This may come as a shock to some, but I have been known to have very little patience. I attribute that to being an only child and rarely having to wait for or share anything. And when I was forced to wait, per say in a restaurant, I would dance around and hope that other diners would give me oyster crackers for my efforts. In other words, if I have to be patient I have to find a way to stay entertained. As an adult, I realize that patience is a virtue…blah…blah but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. After all, we as thirty somethings are just on the cusp of the instant gratification Millennials (the generation following Gen X). Now after this past year and a half I recognize that instant gratification is not in my future (and I didn’t even have to call a psychic for that information). But I would love for one instance where at it at least seemed plausible.
Since my remission reveal and blood clot debacle, I have spent increasingly more time among a variety of medical personnel – my tried and true oncologists, my new Polish cardiologist, x-ray techs, my favorite nurses and more. Aside from the running around to attend these appointments, I admit I enjoy bantering with Z, talking with my favorite nurses about life, and getting to know some of the newbies added to my schedule. But despite all of that, I would at some point like to catch up over cocktails rather than pop in once a week to have my port poked for a blood draw, or gooey sticky ultrasound gunk spread over my body to see if my clot is clearing. Which is and I officially have a neck again and my face actually looks like me. Unfortunately on Monday, I was told I have to reenter the world of dreaded Prednisone steroids to clear another bout of pneumonitis. Hence my issue as a patient with patience. There is nothing I hate more than steroids (well cancer, but nothing else). Steroids are awful and the last time, they made me physically unrecognizable (And Halloween will be over so I cannot even attempt to pass myself off as Pumpkinhead from that terrible horror flick) and more importantly they made me overly emotional and angry. I told Josh he should probably ship out in a couple of weeks once they kick in to avoid a repeat of last time, when he had just moved in and I did phenomenal job of testing his patience. Now I know he won’t actually go anywhere, but I have valid concerns about how these drugs impact my life and my already ‘charming personality’ (hopefully everyone caught the snark in that). I have to take them, because if I don’t my reoccurring pneumonitis (lung inflammation) may become fibrotic and permanent impairing my ability to get a full breath of air for the rest of my life. So I recognize the importance, but I’m a bit aggravated that once again I am in the 5% that contracted this nasty lung side effect in the first place. All I want is a chance to celebrate my remission and attempt being normal for five minutes.
I didn’t realize how not normal my life has become. I’m so used to doctors and appointments and what happens if…that I forget sometimes that other people don’t have to do those things. As it was just the other day, I backed into Josh’s car in our own driveway (minimal cosmetic damage – no one was hurt) and I laughed because it was kind of nice to worry about something that was not related to my health, only the fact that my garage and driving privileges should probably be revoked. That’s when it hit me that my normal isn’t who I used to be, it’s who I am now after all of this. And I hope some semblance of even a new normal surfaces and my appointments slow down, I can actually walk up a flight of stairs, and my marriage to Hodge is finally terminated (I think I’ll probably be skeptical or have some form of scanxiety at least until I’ve been in remission for a year). I guess until then though, I have to learn a lesson in patience and just enjoy the moment!