I have been asked "How is your life with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)?" To begin with there is a long list of issues to consider, not just the CLL diagnosis. How does all of my other conditions work or not work together. With cancer comes emotional, physical, social as well as financial issues that can come up unexpectedly. In my case, everything in my world has changed.
With cancer becoming a large part of my life, I have begun to focus on what is my purpose (reason for being, point in life, function)? Am I just to exist, or is there something for me to accomplish?
I struggle to maintain a positive and productive thought process with:
- PTSD (Post Trauma Stress Disorder) This does not go away, one learns coping skills. But, there are triggers to bring on a multitude of symptoms.
- High blood pressure, SVT, irregular heart beat, etc.
- Diabetes (numbers high due to sterioids in treatment)
- CLL (kidney, renal artery mass)
- Thyroid nodule/mass (more than one)
- Blurred vision (doing this blog with my prescription glasses and various reading glasses layered on top has been a challenge.)
- Immune system down
- Bleeding disorder
- This blog helps me to explore my feelings, vent frustrations, find the silver lining of a looming cloud, and not worry about looking into the face of one I am talking to, having the fear that my thoughts are being rejected or discounted.
- I have found that it is okay to admit that I do not have to be okay all of the time.
- I do not have to accept only negative news. I can research, ask questions, be an active part in my own life journey.
- Maybe you feel alone. Then think of when you have remained silent toward others. Yes, it can be awkward to talk to someone with health issues. You, personally, may be going through a difficult time and a simple conversation is too much to accomplish. Or, you might be thinking that too much time has passed, will my approach be welcome. This can work either way, your approach or someone approaching you. The key is to be understanding.
- I have found that to have a connection with family and friends one "has" to exit their comfort zone and make contact. It is a difficult thing for me to reach out, fear of being rejected takes over.
- Remember that no prayer is too small or too large. Then ask for strength to go forward.