Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Is My Inner Mouse/Hamster Kicking Butt?

I sure hope he/she (remember chinese hamster ovaries?) is kicking butt on those nasty cancer cells, because I feel like it! Today has been a little strange. I worked from home today, but I will have to put in some of that time as leave time because I didn't put in a full 8 hour day. I spent quite a bit of time over on the CLL patient's forum ( and kept finding myself getting upset because several of the folks are struggling. Then later tonight I went to the grocery store and it took me almost an hour and a half to get through the store. I felt like I was barely moving and couldn't wait to get home and relax. I am going to repeat a post I put in the forum to share with you all. My apologies to those who read it over in the forum.

I titled the post "Conflicting Emotions - Anger/Compassion"

In our battle for our lives or our loved one's life, I think we are sometimes surprised by the emotions that sneak up behind us and smack us in the back of the head.

Lately I have been finding myself getting a little more "feisty" or grumpy over things. Sometimes insignificant things, but most often when I read of the struggles of my fellow travelers here in the Forum and on the ACOR list serve. I get angry at incompetence of some of the doctors and nurses I read about, but more often I get angry at how this disease is attacking folks I now consider friends and even family - connected by blood in a very real sense. Although I don't think it is wrong to get angry with the disease, itself, I realize that I can't let these emotions take over. I have remarked in observing others how terrible it must be going through life as an angry person. I must guard against that. There have been times in the past where I have criticized others and then, later -- sometimes much later -- found myself behaving in the same manner. Perhaps we need to be especially vigilant as the frustrations of a chronic disease wear on us.

Two months after 9/11, I posted a very short piece on a 9-11 memorial page that ended up getting published. There I wrote about my frustrations and mixed emotions with the whole terrible tragedy. In that piece, I quoted a Native American story. I happened to run across it again today and it spoke to me all over again. Perhaps someone here will find it valuable.

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt.

He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one."

The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"

The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."

The origin of this story is unknown, at least I could not find it.

May we all feed the loving, compassionate wolf inside each of us.

Physically I am still handling the chemo very well. Last week I got four or five hours sleep each night which is much better than I have been doing. Again, no nausea! Perhaps some of the mixed emotions are the result of the high doses of steroids (I was warned about that very thing). My next blood tests are next Monday morning and then in the afternoon I leave for Waco. I will be there doing a technical assistance visit for one of the organizations we trained in a new protocol a few months ago. I will be there Tuesday, Wednesday and perhaps Thursday morning.

Well, I must go feed my compassionate mouse. Tomorrow will be a better day. Goodnight.


DavidE said...

Keep it up my friend, keep it up!

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