Initially, this post was going to be called, “Cancer girl for hire” …and then as I wrote it and read it back to myself, I was like, “Ugh…I’m definitely an idiot. The very least I could do is warn people about my idiocy in this post.” So that’s how I settled on that title.
Let’s get in to my idiocy…
It’s a good week (Huzzah!!) and I just have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to be productive. I want to have an important job (or jobs) to do to make me feel like I’m somehow contributing to something at the end of the day.
I’ve expressed this to friends and family and their response is, “Well, isn’t your job to just…make it through this, right? I mean, resting up and not feeling like crap seems like a pretty huge undertaking.”
And it is! It totally is. And there are days where I’m fully committed to that job because I have no other choice. But on the days when I’m not feeling like crap, or even just feeling mentally good, I now crave having a job. Having some important work to do.
To be clear…I am employed.
When I first considered what to do with work going forward…given the chemo treatment plan my doc had laid out for me…the choice was obvious – take the long term disability. I had the option of going part time, but in order to keep my health insurance, the number of hours required of me each week would have been unattainable during a bad week. And when every other week is a bad week, that’s a lot of additional stress to deal with while also not feeling great.
Note: Yes, we could have switched to my husband’s insurance, but we would have had to meet a new deductible/out of pocket max which would have been silly…and expensive. Plus, he switched jobs recently, so that would have gotten REALLY messy.
So that’s why I decided to go with long term disability – where I could keep my health insurance and not have to worry about work for the time being. It was a hard decision to leave all things work-related…back at work. It still makes me sad, and I still check my work email a lot just to see what’s going on, but I know I made the right decision to take this time to really focus on the treatments and my well-being.
So yeah…still employed…just on a break
But that still brings me back to my current situation. I feel like I need a level of activity in between binge-watching-all-the-shows…and…take-on-all-of-the-work-things-and-continually-failing-at-balancing-things-and-just-stressed-and-also-not-feeling-well.
That was a LOT of hyphens on that last one.
And right now, the level of activity that I’ve found on most days just feels sporadic. I’m doing my best to keep my mind and body busy with various things, but it just feels like I’m spinning a wheel and just picking whatever I land on to do at any one moment. Should I color? Go for a walk? Go to the pool? Watch reruns on TBS? Actually accomplish the one thing Jake wanted me to do today? Write? Blog? Read? Order knitting supplies to start a baby blanket or two? Bake something? Eat something? Eat more things? Eat all of the things? Pay some bills? Work on Jackson’s baby book? Organize a desk drawer? Scroll through all of the sites and my email and the social medias eight hundred times?
Hint: This is the part where I realize my idiocy.
Okay, timeout. As I just read through that list, it made me feel like it sounds like I have it made in the shade. I’m such a dick! Because seriously I would have killed to have time to do ANY of these things when I was working full time. I’m an idiot. I apologize.
Ugh. I don’t know what I’m saying here. I just feel like I’m in this place where I’m SUPER grateful that I have an employer that allows me to take the time I need to deal with the shitty things I need to deal with, all while still making a percentage of what I’d be making if I were actually working. But also just going a bit crazy because I’m not used to being able to just focus on me, and it just feels like I need to be doing something more important than what I’m doing…at current.
I guess I don’t expect many empathizers here. I’m just voicing some privileged frustration I have with my pseudo-quarantined lifestyle. And maybe I just need to shut up already. Right?
Okay, one last try at getting you to understand.
Being left to my own devices makes me a bit anxious. I just feel like if I were contributing to a greater good, I might be less cabin-fever crazy at the end of the day.
For example – maternity leave. For three months, I was away from my job. And it was perfect. It was like, okay, I’m not working for three months, but I’m doing this amazing thing called motherhood and even though I would flop down from exhaustion and question every parenting decision I made…each day still felt like, “YES! My son is still healthy and well and alive and we’re figuring this out! I did my job!” And it was super satisfying. And as hard as it was to go back to work, it was exactly what I needed. The first three months are all about figuring it out, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten bored by it anytime soon, but there definitely would have come a point where I would have craved the challenges of the working world, so I’m glad I had a job to go back to…even if I would have wanted maybe about three more months of maternity leave (a topic for another day).
But now? My job now is to fight this thing and rest and get better. And like I said, no small task. But…it just doesn’t have that “I’m accomplishing something great and awesome for my family or others” kind of feeling to it. Okay, yes, my family probably thinks I’m accomplishing something great and awesome with each new chemo treatment, but for my mind and spirit…it would just be nice to have some sort of greater challenge or thing I could undertake while I’m going through this, to make me feel like each day isn’t just a spin of the wheel, but rather, a well-thought out plan put in place to make the most of each day in front of me.
So…I’m still figuring out what that is. And while I’m doing that, you can go on thinking I’m this really ungrateful cancer girl. Because on days like today, I should just shut my trap and be grateful, instead of blogging about the hardships of what fun thing to do next.
God, I am the worst!
p.s. If you even think about pandering to me in the comments to say I’m not the worst…DON’T! This isn’t one of those blog posts where I secretly want you to tell me I’m awesome after I berate myself. I truly just wanted to spew this blog post out and it’s really just for my own benefit and I don’t want sympathy. I really don’t! So please don’t! Thank you.