It has been a while since I last wrote. I guess that even I, the eternal optimist, can feel discouraged sometimes. It has been a difficult two weeks; for many reasons. As I mentioned, I was hoping to go back to work part time in February. Because of the impending stem-cell transplant, this probably won't happen. In fact, it might be quite a while before I get back. People have somewhat incredulously asked me, "Why are you in such a hurry to get back to the 'stress' of work". Who I am has always been defined by my responsibilities to others, my partners, my patients, my friends and my family. Part of feeling 'whole' again has it's foundation in how I might serve others. I was really looking forward to that, as it will be both emotionally and psychologically healing. Even now, when I do a little administrative work in my role as Chief of the department, I feel immensely normal. I hope for this as much as I hope to be successfully treated of my disease.
Second, I have finally admitted to myself that a stem-cell transplant will not be a 'piece of cake' unless that cake has liver pate for frosting and sardines for candles. I know this will make me sick beyond what I have previously experienced. I know I will get through it; I don't worry about it, but it will be hard.
Third is the fact that I feel weaker than I did after my heart transplant. The drugs have taken their toll, (or the amyloidosis has). I feel fatigued all of the time and fight past it to function. I am dizzy all of the time, especially when I get up from sitting for more that 15 minutes. I feel bad for Barbie, because I am not always fun to be around, even though I try as hard as I can. I remember before my Dad died of multiple myeloma, he was on the same drugs that I take and he was often 'grouchy', which annoyed us. But now I understand; it wasn't his fault.
Every patient who is chronically ill just wants to feel normal again. Often we must accept a new normal and come to terms with who we are, not who we were. Then again, I would rather feel a little bit ill half of the time than be a little bit dead all of the time. Ah yes, perspective.
How I feel does not diminish my gratitude by one iota. Nor has my hope waned. It is just that, on some days, the effort to self-motivation is the heaviest weight that I lift. I see six months from now a retrospective view that does not daily remember these difficult days, because they remain in the past. The more I can focus on others, the sooner that will come to pass. Until then, I have my fork ready to dig into liverwurst cake.