Lady in Waiting

Modern day ladies in waiting look like this...

Ok, so we can argue over whether or not I am actually a lady; but it makes a nice headline, so thanks for indulging me in a little literary license. 

Today has been a tough day. Keep reading at your own risk. 

I am waiting for more tests to be scheduled (a second liver biopsy, another MRI, more blood work). Waiting to start my treatment (after the aforementioned tests). Waiting to know how good or bad I will feel while I am in treatment. Waiting to know what I will, and won't, feel up to doing just a few weeks from now. Waiting to find out if this treatment is going to give my body the reinforcements it needs to fight this cancer. I am waiting for Erick to come home and edit this post (I can't escape lawyers reviewing all my work). And, I know there will be more waiting. Just what exactly I will be waiting for, yep, you guessed it, we'll have to wait to find out.  

Waiting is not my thing. I am just as sick of doing it as you are of reading the word over and over again in this post. But, in my new world order, waiting is starting to feel like my job. I think it is the most exhausting job I've ever had (and that is saying something). 

I know that all this waiting will probably teach me a whole lot of things I need to learn, maybe even some things I want to learn. I just need to be a willing student, but today all I want to do is ditch class (also saying something since I don't think I have ever ditched a class in my life). 

Why? It's partly because waiting makes me anxious, the kind of anxious that sets your mind off in 25 different directions to the point where your brain is almost paralyzed. Waiting forces me to stop without knowing when I will get to start again. Inaction is more tiring than action for a person like me. Being still is not in my hardwiring. 

I think the worst thing about waiting is that it's a constant reminder of just how powerless I really am. That is a tough pill to swallow. I am used to leading teams, spearheading crisis communications efforts, moving projects forward, solving problems, pushing timelines to meet goals. All of that gives a person (or at least me) a false sense that you can control your destiny, that you can make things HAPPEN, that you are powerful at least in your own little world. 

Now I am totally and utterly dependent on others to make the medical machine move ahead. I have zero control over whether or not my body will respond to treatments. I can't make my diagnosis not hurt the people I love. I can't predict really anything about what the rest of my life will look like. The whole show is totally out of my control. This is one of the parts of my new normal that makes me the most uncomfortable. 

What I can control is how I deal with this discomfort; how open I am to learning something. Maybe I am learning something about not just the necessity, but the healthy aspects of relying on other people.  I am also realizing that allowing my monkey mind to go in 25 different directions is a form of self-inflicted torture.

Mental discipline is required in order to keep my eyes ahead and my heart engaged. This is not something that's easy to do in a day. I think is done in small, mundane ways ... every day. It is actually something I can do something about. 

So, today I am embracing the fact that my brother is washing my dishes and my is mom sweeping my kitchen floor (although to be fair, she's the one who made the mess), even though they are guests in my house. I am writing this post as a way to calm my anxiety about waiting and letting myself articulate these thoughts instead of letting them get lost with the 24 others flying around in my brain. 

Maybe tomorrow I will allow myself to be still, to wait, even if it's only for a moment. And, I will wait (with anticipation) for the day when I can appreciate waiting as a teacher of the soul.