In yet another twist of February, Emily may not be able to come home this weekend because of the forecasted snow. I was, of course, really looking forward to seeing her. WMUR seems much more bent out of shape about the storm than weatherunderground or NOAA so hopefully it's just an attempt to sell advertising time. I want to see my daughter! and I don't want any stupid snowstorm standing in my way!
These days I'm working about 24-28 hours / week and it's going pretty well. I'm still tired often at the end of the day, but not every day and I can't figure out why a particular day makes me more tired than another. It doesn't seem to be intensity or amount of work or patient contact versus admin stuff. I'm just not sure, but some days (yesterday) I am really tired and some days (today) I am not. Now that I'm working more, I'm having a harder time getting myself to go to bed on time. I think it's because I have less time for myself and it makes it hard for me to stop doing something fun (usually goofing around on the internet) and go to bed and then--here's a surprise! sometimes I haven't had enough sleep when the alarm clock goes off. This was a problem I identified last week and I've been getting myself more disciplined recently, but I'm so used to having a lot of time that I feel deprived at bedtime now that I am getting less.
I remember when I was first home from the hospital thinking of all the things I could do, for instance, driving to Portland to visit my friend Jodee. This was in July/August after induction when I was home for a month after spending a month in Lebanon. I remember thinking that I would go to Portland later in the course of chemo after it had killed off more of the cancer because then I'd be feeling better. I realized fairly quickly that that was not a very realistic way to think about it because actually I didn't have any symptoms so I was really only going to feel worse as the chemo went on. I've wished that since I had "all that time off," I could have done something useful with it: restarted playing viola, improved my Spanish, whatever, but it was a vain hope because when I was recovering from chemo, I was actually doing a lot of recovering and recuperating which is, it turns out, mutually exclusive from practicing viola a lot or studying Spanish intensively. Drat! It is a good thing that I understand so thoroughly intellectually that I could not embark on a self-improvement plan while I was recovering from chemo because otherwise I would be berating myself for not having made better use of the time. I remember thinking pretty hard about this at the time that I was recovering because I knew it would be an issue for me down the road. Fortunately, in the 48 years that I have lived with my mind I have learned a little about it and can predict some of its idiosyncrasies so that I can protect myself from, well, my judgmental self.
OK, self-congratulatory self, can you develop a self-improvement plan to make you a little kinder and gentler towards yourself? Or is this all too much navel gazing? The thing is, of course, different people respond differently to being sick for six months--both at the time and in retrospect. Not everyone would view leukemia as a missed opportunity for self-improvement, but you better believe that the nuns who taught me third through eighth grade would have. Sorry, Sister Bernadette, but I think I did OK.
For me, for tomorrow, I hope for the wisdom to be a little gentler on myself. For you, for tomorrow, I hope for the wisdom to see your own self relationship and to make positive adjustments.