Today started with a trip to the Cancer Clinic to have my labs drawn in search of a Platelet count higher than 100. After a nice morning with my wife, a jaunt to the in-laws to pick up the kids, and a short Ed-venture I got the call letting me know that while my Platelet count is up another level is below the threshold to start Chemo tonight.
I will likely have a follow up appointment tomorrow. There my team will intervene with a shot to boost the problematic levels, and after positive lab results begin my next round of Chemo. While I am able roll with the punches I would be lying to you if I was to say that everything is ok. And if I were to suggest that I am not disappointed I would tell you to stop reading this blog because I am full of shit. Because frankly, the prospect of another delay in my treatment is disappointing.
So what do I do with disappointment? How do I process it? Here are my less-than-expert thoughts.
Acknowledge The Shittiness - I think often we will just stew in the disappointment which leads to tension, grumpiness, and other negative side effects which plain suck. So instead of sitting in the shit we should look at it and just acknowledge it. When I found out that a new level went down delaying my treatment I just had to admit that delay sucks.
Is The Shit Legit - Sometimes we are disappointed for good reasons and sometimes for selfish reasons, so I would suggest asking yourself if what you're disappointed about is something worth being disappointed about. Last week when my treatment was delayed I was disappointed for a bit, but quickly got over it because it wasn't totally worth being stuck in a funk over it.
Feel The Shittiness - If it's legit then experience it for a bit. While I don't think we should just sit in disappointment forever I do think we should feel disappointment. I think this is especially true for my Scandinavian friends from Minnesota, what I am trying to say is experience the feeling of disappointment and don't avoid it. While a delay wasn't worth sitting in, finding out that you have Cancer is worth sitting in the shit.
Get Some Wipes - Ok, it's acknowledged, legitimized, and you sat in it for a bit. Now what should you do?
- Think About It - Think about the issue from both sides. Sometimes an issue is small enough that we can just take some time to think through it and come out the other side having learned something.
- Chat With A Peer - Little bit bigger issue? Chat with a friend who is quick to call out out when you are being stupid. A "Yes Man" (or Woman) is not the person you need.
- Talk With An Elder - Have someone in your life that is older, wiser, and will tell you what you need to hear, give them a call.
- GET COUNSELING! - In all honesty I think Counselors should be one of the most sought after healthcare practitioners. They are a 3rd party, they are impartial, and often have good advice or know how to lead you to self discovery. Again, I can't rep counseling more. To all my friends that work in Mental Health thanks!
Once I had sat in the shit for a bit I decided that I needed outlets. I started this blog, I get counseling, I talk with friends and family, I do all I can so that when disappointment comes I can get the wipes, clean up, and keep moving.
Note: I want to acknowledge that this is easier said than done. Disappointment, especially legit disappointment is hard, and can lead to things like depression. So if things like this are hard to deal with I really encourage you to seek professional help. Friends and family love you, but often don't know how to respond when they have a vested interest.
Assignment - The weather here is Minneapolis is starting to get good so I am getting back on my bike to work out and to go on rides with Kim and the kids. So my assignment for you is to go do something you love. If it is getting your favorite scoop of ice cream get it, if you need to get to a lake get there, or if you need to set up a hammock and lay in the sun, soak in the rays.