Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stress Therapy

Today is one of those days when I probably just need to read my own blog. Today I am undergoing "stress therapy".

I won't enumerate, but my life has many facets, and it seems that there are stressors coming at me from many angles. Client emergencies. Concerns about my children. A house in chaos. Medical bills. An aging "to-do" list. Busy days with obligations still suffering from neglect. Many things screaming for order and attention, combined with the icky feeling that I fell short of my best, when people are depending on my best. It feeds my insomnia, it's exhausting (which launches a vicious cycle), and it makes "chemo week" a little rough. On top of it, that little voice keeps reminding me that I'm at that magic 9-month point, where "most" glioblastoma patients start to see their fatal recurrence. I have to beat back that thought with a mental stick, because things are what they are, and they aren't what they aren't. But it does make me hyper-sensitive to the added influx of physical symptoms (which are probably nothing more than a response to stress). I also had to beat back creepy thoughts about how this stress might just make terminal cancer a little more appealing.

So...now what do I do?

I give thanks that I have a loving and supportive husband, and other family and friends who care and who are good at listening and talking me down from the ledge.

I give thanks that I know some good stress management techniques, such as exercise and journaling ("go for a jog and blab on the blog").

I give thanks that I am capable of complex thinking. I mean, really - I could have been reduced to a ball of goo that only operates off of what's left of the brain stem. Talk about the simple life.

I give thanks that maybe...just maybe...all of this mental effort is good for the brain. Stress is bad for the brain and the body, but perhaps if it is used constructively, it might exercise the good glial cells.

I give thanks that I have the cancer glasses that help me remember what is a big deal and what isn't. It doesn't take away all of the stressors, but it helps to be able to remember that these are temporary things. If I can endure this moment and avoid giving up, all will be well.

I give thanks for the knowledge that most of my life's worries have been smaller in reality than they were in my vivid imagination. I give thanks for the hope that today's worries will be the same.

I give thanks for experiences that have taught me that even when my worst fears have been realized, there has always been a purpose and a blessing around the corner.

I give thanks for the knowledge of where to turn for help, and for the faith to trust in that help - even when it takes a form that I wouldn't have expected.

I give thanks.

It helps - I finally feel like falling asleep. (Which I can do, once I get the kids to bed and exercise and take my Temodar and sit up for half an hour afterward and prepare for tomorrow's meetings, and...)


Anonymous said...

Tell that little voice inside your head to take a chill pill. Don't worry about the "status quo" for glioblastoma. I think your brother said it best when he said "your cancer is a first...the first time it's ever been in a Krista Ralston Oakes."

I'm usually up later than you, so don't hesitate to call if you just need to vent.

I love you! Wish I were there to help take a load off. Remember, you still have helpers in your ward that would jump at the opportunity to help you. Don't be afraid to ask.



ellen said...

You sound like a very strong woman; hang in there. I really enjoy your blog.

Kristine said...

Thank you for sharing your gratitude, even in the middle of your multiple stresses.

I am grateful that you share your perspective with us in such an honest way. It helps us to get a glimpse of what it must be like looking through your "cancer glasses".

Anonymous said...

You are such a dear girl.