Okay… this post is a day late, but I can sum up the reason in a single word ….
By the time I got home yesterday and handled some things for the day job, I had nothing left in the tank. My entire system threatened to revolt if I attempted to get one more thing done, so I did what I should have and went to bed early. But as tired as I was, I still found plenty to be grateful for. The daily ups and downs of life are truly put into perspective when you sit in a room with people who all have the same goal—to keep on living. Yesterday, we were so full in the chemo room, one man had to start his chemo sitting in a regular chair, until one of the other chairs was freed up. And one patient was having chemo in another room because we were so full.
I sat in my chair, thankful exhaustion was the worst of my woes for the day. Others are not so lucky—discussions of hospice and whether continuing chemotherapy will help to prolong life enough or whether it is time to make the patient as comfortable as possible—my heart goes out to those patients and their families for the hard times ahead. And I keep thinking about the guy I sat next to yesterday. He had to use a walker and had a brace on his knee ON TOP of having chemo. I asked him whether he at least had fun banging up his knee. He had been playing basketball when he hurt himself, but if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t know that he has osteosarcoma. Hopefully because he hurt himself, they will have caught it early enough.
Young, fit, your whole life ahead of you, or so you think, until you take a tumble on the basketball court and find out your horizon may not stretch as far as you once thought. Those were the thoughts I saw behind his eyes, as he went through his first chemo session. It’s not what he expected, but it’s something he has to deal with.
We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, we don’t know whether the treatment is going to work the way we hope, we can only keep the faith and move forward knowing we’re doing what we can to help our bodies heal. And so for me, I am thankful for exhaustion because things could be worse. I am thankful for my support network. And I’m thankful for the experiences that help me see things from a different perspective.