“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
This advice was given to me as a principle for professional success at the Big 4 company I formerly worked for. In that context, it was referencing putting yourself our there for networking at events/conferences/trainings, accepting project roles that intimidate you, and generally pushing beyond your comfort level in order to learn and grow as a professional.
For whatever reason, this quote resonated with me and is something I have adapted and applied to living with cancer. I often receive compliments on how well I look or how much I get done while having cancer and have some pretty crappy treatments going on. Candidly it’s not always easy, but these are the times I remind myself to “get comfortable being uncomfortable” in order to continue making the most of my life.
Unlike most cancer patients, I don’t have the option of waiting for treatment to be over. I would be waiting forever. My treatments/medications will change over time and some are certainly worse than others, but I will always be in some sort of treatment. I’m constantly trying to build (or at least maintain) my physical health while treatments are simultaneously tearing it down. For these reasons, I have to do my best to live my life on the good days, push myself to make more good days, and generally make the best of things by focusing on the positive. I’ve also realized I’m happier when I push myself to get out of the house and not miss out on social activities (even if I have to adapt the activity to my energy level). Using these strategies along with a fair bit of will-power is how I am able to continue to do what I do.
For example, today (two days after my last chemo treatment), I pushed myself by walking my pup and getting in all *ten-thousand* steps on my Fitbit. Hopefully, the exercise today will help tomorrow be a better day. I’m still on pretty heavy anti-nausea pills, one of which makes me very sleepy, but I will start weaning off these in the next couple days. I’ll do some yoga before bed tonight and call it a day of getting comfortable being uncomfortable!
On another note, I learned that the rest of my blood work test results came back and the indicator for how much cancer is in my body has dropped again! Good news for me! Assuming this trend continues, I will likely have 2 additional chemo treatments, three weeks apart before transitioning to another less intense medication to try to prevent growth again for as long as possible. If the cancer does not continue to recede, my doctor and I will have to talk about what additional treatment options I have, including possible clinical trails. I’d love for my Cancer to be stabilized without being on a medication that takes so much out of me, so I’d appreciate good thoughts towards the former option.