The art of not waiting

Last Tuesday, as you might recall, my doctor decided it was time to take a little look at my bone marrow. One needle and one Ativan later, I was told to return the following week for the results. And so my week of waiting began, for good news or bad news, who knows. My week of trying not to cross that bridge before I come to it. I was wondering, why is it always the bad bridge I try to cross rather than the good, hopeful, optimistic bridge?

I tried to tell myself that my doctor would not find anything of concern, that she’d have some solution to whatever she finds because she always does, that she wouldn’t send me off with cause for alarm. But it didn’t really work. Let’s just say, hypothetically of course, that I’ve been terrified of what my doctor might find. The bridges I was crossing led to nowhere good.

So I decided I’d better stop waiting, i.e., sitting around and stewing about the worst possible outcome. Even if the findings are bad, how would it help me to spend a week worrying? It wouldn’t. So I decided not to.

What would I do instead, though? Well, I had Christmas and Hannukah gifts to buy (the downside–and upside–of being in a bi-cultural relationship), I had healthy meals to cook, I had friends to visit, and I had a dog who, whatever my mood, still needed to be walked. I had yoga to attend and groceries to buy and a blog to write, and I seemed to have a curious amount of eating and not sleeping to do. I could even have cleaned the house if I ran out of activities! No point in waiting when I could be living.

This busy-ness strategy worked for a few days, but then I remembered that I have leukemia and I can’t keep a frenetic pace for long. And so I crashed. When J. offered to take on my usual morning dog walk yesterday, rather than fighting her, I consented readily. And then I had my first morning nap in months. I don’t like morning naps. They feel like giving in to the fatigue, or giving up. But I knew I’d struggle all day if I didn’t.

I’ve now decided I might have to shift my strategy if I’m going to get through the week without dying from overactivity-induced exhaustion. Rather than running myself into the ground, I’m going to focus on the faith I have in my beloved medical team. I’m not going to assume there’s something bad lurking in my bone marrow, just something unknown that may need to be addressed. And it will be. Knowing what’s going on will be better than not knowing, don’t you think?

J. says she’s actually looking forward to Tuesday because we’ll finally get some answers. I’m not quite there yet. J. is a master at not crossing bridges before she comes to them.

And it’s not like I’m going to have to cross that bridge on my own. There’s J. and Jelly and all of you. I am so grateful for all the support.

Line of people crossing bridge at dusk

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2 thoughts on “The art of not waiting

  1. A very interesting part of human nature…thinking the worst first. As I wonder why we do this, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a defense to help us cope in case the worst actually happens. But here’s the kicker or at least what has been the kicker in my life…when I worry about the worst, it doesn’t happen. The worst usually blindsides me and is something I didn’t expect. Generally though I get through it. And one thing I do know from reading your blog…if the worst happens….you will find your way through it. I believe this with all my heart. Hang in there!

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    • Thanks for your kind, supportive thoughts. Truth is, were my worst fears realized, I’d be long dead. But I’m not. Your thoughts remind me that I should learn from experience, which has never been a forté! Thanks for your comforting words.

      Annie

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