Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You're sick....Get over it!

Image result for you're sick funnyPam and I have this running conversation about my cancer.  She claims I am sick and I should act like it.  I claim this is just a temporary inconvenience, coupled with a “stay at home” vacation (stay-cation?).    My position drives her crazy.  Not nearly as crazy as having me around all the time, “helping out” by reorganizing the food pantry and the cupboards.    I now understand what my mom meant after my dad retired when she said “for better or for worst but not for lunch”.

 I have to admit that as the treatments have progressed there are times when it’s hard not to acknowledge that I have cancer.    Like when I’m spending more time sitting in the hospital hooked up to an IV than I do any other activity except sleeping.   You realize more than half the blood in your body came from someone else.   When I have so many pill bottles lined up on my shelf that I need a spreadsheet to track what I need to take and when (really…I have a spreadsheet…..and a second one to track all the doctors).    When nurses and administrative people at the hospital as well as at the local pharmacy know you on a first name basis (and are asking after your children and grandchildren).    You not only know what your Absolute Neutrophil count is but know what it means.    I can crush a soda can with my right hand but because of the picc line in the left arm I can barely open a water bottle. 

The thing is, after a while this all seems normal (I think I blogged on the new normal a couple of months back).   It’s easy to fall into a mode of letting others do things for you, because you are sick.    There is no question that there are things Pam and I either can’t do, can’t do ourselves, or that I’m not supposed to do (like yard work, gardening, and lifting heavy objects).  There are certainly no shortage of family and good friends who have generously volunteered to do whatever they could to help, and no question we have gotten better at leaning on them.   But at some point you have to decide if you are going to let the cancer define you or adopt the view “I’m not sick, I’m just not marathon ready. “    

Tomorrow I head back into the hospital for another round of chemo.   I know this one will be tough…each successive one gets nastier.  For the next week while I’m dealing with the effects it will be pretty hard not to acknowledge I’m “not well” but I know I will come out the other side.

So there are two ways to view “You’re Sick…get over it!   One is to accept it and let it define you and your actions.  The other is to refuse to acknowledge that it is anything more than a temporary situation and you will “get over it”.  I choose the latter.


John Keyes said...

Great attitude! Good luck with your next chemo round, Dave.

Doreen Bentley said...

Dave you are still and always will be true to the gifts God gave you and the amazing person you are, the same positive, goal-oriented man who finds humor and joy in your life, never letting any tough scrapes define or limit you, the same loving husband, father, grandfather and yes, our brother-in-law, always choosing the high road of optimism and grace, while running marathons in Nick's memory and throwing anchors out to those in need. You have blessed us with your love, kindness and patience (except of course when we argue over best way to cook the chestnuts) and will continue to. Please know you are surrounded by your family and friends' love and prayers as you make your way through this next week. You haven't wavered in your resolution to overcome this bump in the road nor looked back. Here's to your spirit and wisdom. All our Bentley love and hugs.

Unknown said...

You are my hero, Fowler. Mind over matter in spades.

Inez Uerz said...

Every round of chemo is probably a 'marathon' in its own way, but altogether, I'd say you're getting marathon-ready again. Good luck with this one, Dave. Rooting for you!!

rigpei said...

Hey Dave...Like your comment "I'm not sick, just not Marathon Ready" Don't lose that attitude and you will be marathon ready sooner than you think! Think I will borrow this, slightly modified...I am not sick, just not 5K ready.

Love & Prayers...Mom & Dad Grove

Michael Muhlfelder said...

To admit to being "sick" is to admit to being a mortal. That doesn't seem to fit you or your persona, so I will continue to bet on you kicking ass on this insidious disease.
We are all here rooting for you! Good luck with the next round.

Edmund X. DeJesus said...

Hope your next round of chemo goes well.

I'm with you. I have plenty of things wrong with me. But I'm not sick unless I say I'm sick.

Go you.

Ed DeJesus

Kym Harrington said...

Keep up the good fight Dave! Sending positive thoughts and vibes your way.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good fight Dave! Sending positive thoughts and vibes your way.
- Kym

Helen Dittelman-Dolan said...

Dave, you are an inspiration to all. I am rooting for you to put this all behind you and cheer to hear you crossed the finish line, once again!

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck on your next round of Chemo. I love your blog and your attitude. Get better soon, my friend.

Helen Dittelman-Dolan

Matt Pfluger said...

Hope all is going well with the latest round of Chemo, David. Good luck.

- Matt