Living with Cancer is Like a Grab Bag

Before I had leukemia, I could pretty much count on every day being, about the same. By “about the same” I mean that regardless of my previous day’s activities, or night’s sleep, or what was in store for me that day, I always just “got it done.” I had the luxury of living my life, day by day, with little regard to limitations. I didn't wonder if I would feel good enough, or have enough energy to accomplish my daily wish list. I could “plan” a vacation or tackle a project.

These days I find myself constantly challenged. My life has turned into a grab bag; I never know how I am going to feel when I get up, or how my day will progress. I don’t how the weather, a plane ride or a trip to the market is going to affect me. I am reluctant, yet try to remain optimistic, when planning a weekend trip to visit my family, signing up for a dance event or planning any long distant trip. I believe that the key word here is “plan.” Seems as though anytime I make a “plan”, all am I really doing is making some one upstairs, laugh and say, “So there you go; making another plan! When you will learn, that I am the one in control?” Problem with that is; either I am deaf or “He” does not speak loudly enough!

I have become a bit fearful of being “too far” from home; and my doctor. Could that be because I ended up in the hospital in Palm Springs on a visit to my folks? I worry about going to street fairs in the summertime; because of the heat. I won’t go to ball games or the beach. An indoor movie still, sometimes makes the cut; but even then I worry about the headaches from the big screen and loud volume. Light Bulb moment; earplugs!!

All I can say is, “Thank God for Dancing!” While currently, my dancing activities have definitely declined; they are still a part of my life. My weekly goal is to feel good enough to practice for one hour on Wednesday’s, and then help teach two 45 minute classes and still have enough energy to dance a few dances during the following hour. Some weeks I dance many dances, others I do not even get to go at all. Dancing is the one activity that is reminiscent of my “old life” and I am reluctant to allow the cancer to steal it away, as it has stolen my blood cells, my energy and my immune system. I am hopeful that in time, I will regain the upper hand.

When I am actually “dancing”, I do not notice the fatigue or fever-ish feeling. It is after I stop that reality sets in. Yesterday, we had a two hour practice, I “felt” relatively good, yet I was a bit “wobbily”. Near the end of our practice, Joe asked me if I was OK, I asked why and he said that I looked pale.

Yes, the never ending roller-coaster of living with cancer; it’s just a plain old grab bag. You never know how you are going to re-act or feel; from moment to moment or day to day.


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