Monday, October 22, 2012

Perspective and some empathy

Just home from work after my first post-chemo day back. It was an eye opening day for two reasons.

Firstly, how petty, irrelevant and unimportant are the same everyday issues that two weeks ago would have concerned me. I was never one to be overly stressed, but always concerned. I can't help but look at these same things now with a kind of sadness at how they ever used to bother me. I do have some regret that I have spent the last 13 years going to college to only worry about something that, without your health, means nothing. I love my job! I love the people I work with. The students need and desire to learn make me a better teacher. This is what I am supposed to do. However, it did strike me that for so many of us, our priorities are way out of whack. At least 5 of our 7 days a week are spent working, one recovering from the 5 days work, and one being enjoyed. I think there's a lesson in this. I also know however, that once I'm better I will probably start working harder than ever before in order to catch up on the time I've wasted sleeping. Maybe I need to take action to ensure that I don't have this option. 

Secondly, it instantly struck me how much of a setback this illness was going to be work-wise. How much it already has and is going to take away from everything I've spent the last years working up to. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere, now I feel like I've been knocked back. I felt like I was just getting going on my own. Getting to teach what I wanted to teach. Getting to investigate what I find interesting. This is gutting. It's been a fight to get to where I was, an every day battle, literally. I'm not sure I'll have it in me to do the battle again when this is over. This may be a blessing in disguise, a chance to step back and really look at where I am heading. It is however the first time I felt that this illness has won, even in some small way. 

After a morning of work I got to go have a wonderful experience called a pulmonary function test. Apparently one of these wonderful poisons can kill part of your lungs. So they need a baseline. I am not sure if getting a baseline on post chemo day 4 is a good idea. When the man told me to run on the treadmill, I told him I would cry. Now you all know this is NOT me. But I had to breathe like I was on one. Oh and then they lock you in a little tiny cube and tell you to breathe but take away you oxygen. That was fun. I thought I would pass out a few times. But that is done and he told me that I was not a smoker. So glad all that testing could tell you what a questionnaire could have said. But it is what it is.

Then I went and got Kyles Christmas gift - or ordered it. Another gun. Don't really know what I am buying....but he is excited. Then I did something for ME. I had a massage. She spent a half hour on my face and head. OMG I feel like a new woman. It was just what I needed. I am going to do it weekly and she gave me a great price.

On another side note, I am taking requests for hair styles I can cut into my hair before the shaving. I have had: mullet, step, mohawk and platinum blonde. I have had to reject the platinum blonde (I think this alone will make all my hair fall out, I'll do it in a wig for ya instead!) but all others will be fulfilled. oh and we are going wig shopping on Wednesday, any suggestions are welcome - I have already had the poofy 80s serial killer request.

1 comment:

  1. You're totally learning the right lessions re: work. It's taken me a couple of decades longer...but I, too, am hoping to get some priorities in order. Remember: We work to live, not live to work...