Friday, 15 February 2008

A learning curve...

I've been reading over my diary from August last year, and thinking about an email I got from one friend about what I could learn from being ill.

I've had time to think about it a bit more, so here are some thoughts:

What I've learned/am learning:

1. Patience

I'm not known for being the most patient person in the world. Tis true, even though I don't like to admit it. I have my way of doing things, and I (was) always in a rush to get everything done as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Don't get me wrong, I was/am just as impatient with myself, so it's a big deal to learn to back down and give people the time they need to do things! The house-work will have to wait, and if it gets me down, then I'll have to learn to not let it affect me so much, as it isn't bothering anyone else!

With myself, I have learned that I have to slow down at times. I can no longer jump out of bed in the morning, and start hurtling around the house putting a wash on, or emptying the dishwasher. Now I have to wait for toast and anti-nausea pills to arrive, and ginger tea. I have to accept that the 20 lengths I did today at the pool, may mean I need a nap later!

2. Anger Management

Anger makes your immune system fail eventually, so I'm learning to be calmer, and happier (as much as possible!). This means that when I get cut up in the car, I say in a calm voice, "Please, with all the peace and love in the world, would you kindly F*** off!"

3. Mind Control/Thought watching

The little voices in our heads can be sooooo mean, so I've been learning how to re-train them. I've followed the advice given in The Barefoot Doctor, and stand on the balcony of my own mental St. Peter's Square, looking down at the infinite masses of my many babbling selves. And then I say, "Ssssh!" Very nicely of course, and now they do. And then I get us all to think positive thoughts together. It's working because when I woke up this morning at 4.45 am, my first thought was, "I'm going to survive this," and that's a vast improvement on the thoughts I'd been getting around the Christmas and New Year period, I can tell you. There are tears, don't get me wrong - would it be normal if there weren't? - but the terrors have passed for the most part, and I'm starting to see what others mean when they say that having cancer ended up being the best thing that ever happened to them. Sort of! :)

4. Pain control/Nausea

This bit is crap and is really taking me a long time to master. I will keep working on it, but have found that swimming through the pain threshold leads to less pain later on, for longer. So thank god I did all those years of half contact martial arts when I was younger, and learned to keep going beyond the desire to!

5. How much people care

This is the best one of all. Not that everyone turns out to be wonderful overnight, or anything ridiculous, but just seeing who does care is amazing, especially if you are as blessed as I have been. And there was I thinking I was just some weirdo who did everyone's head in most of the time! Turns out I'm loved, and this has been a revelation of sorts. The biggest surprise of all really, because I'm not known for having the largest amount of self-esteem, having been bullied through school, suffered some disastrously destructive relationships, and other stuff that doesn't do your ego much good.

6. Learning to be less judgemental

I'm learning to be less judgemental myself too, because you never know why the person in the queue ahead of you is acting so oddly, or moving so slowly. I look quite normal on the outside, but then on days when I woke at 2 am and couldn't get back to sleep - chemo-induced insomnia they call it - I am slow moving and look like a junky! Especially when the nausea kicks in.

I get dirty looks from old women when I use my Blue Badge, and am waiting for someone to say something, so that I can say, "Please, have my blue badge, but you have to have my cancer with it!" because there are lots of days now where I can't walk that far for that long.

Now I realise that we don't know what is wrong with people, and there by the grace of whatever goes us!

7. And er... shouldn't really keep putting stuff off that you want to do...

Carpe Diem (is that how you spell it?!) and all that! Seize the Day before something seizes you first!


maresy said...

YOU ARE LOVED VERY MUCH!! Sometimes we get what we need in the oddest ways, I remember wanting a new vehicle, I was in a car accident, that wrote off my truck, and now I have a new car, three years of pain, but I learned a lot,slowed down, live more, and that god has a sense of humor!He gave me the car I wanted, not the way I intended, but the car never the less.
Not thinking you needed this AT ALL!! It is nice to see you are gaining something from such a trying journey, I just wish this whole process was easier on you. Wishing the nausea would be gone, truly you are doing great!!
lots of love, xoxo Marion

Billy said...

Clearing one's mind to make way for the positive is so hard to do. Until I started trying to meditate--nothing formal--I didn't realize how much crap my mind was processing all day long. I can identify with many parts of your post.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

This is a great post. I particularly like your approach to anger management, which made me laugh.

Lane said...

It takes some crappy stuff to make us realise what's important doesn't it.
You're dealing with some of the crappiest of the crap and dealing with it admirably if I may say so:-)

Love you're last sentence.

Hope the nausea is beginning to subside xx

hesitant scribe said...

maresy - thanks honey! The world sure does work in mysterious ways, eh! A, also wishing the nausea would be gone!

billy - good to hear from you - it's true about all that mental flotsam and jetsam.

zinnia - gotta keep smilin' ain't we!

lane - I know - and what a bloody shame it has to be this crappy!

Debs said...

You speak such wise words and I shall certainly take them on board. It's amazing how much we worry and stress about stuff that really doesn't matter.

Hope the nausea subsides soon. Dx