extreme fatigue: cancer’s constant companion

patience is my quest
eternal to capture this
fleeting aptitude
♦     ♦     ♦     ♦     ♦

Today we started a very busy season at work: recruitment. Since my job is a part of me that I love, I enjoy the aspects of this season that are simultaneously hectic and endearingly fun. My office plans the schedule and executes the plan for some twenty days of interviewing candidates for our program. It’s one of my favorite times of year.

I want to zip around as I used to do with the same level of energy that colored my activities before stupid cancer bombarded my life. Instead, I plod through the day with my walker, running out of energy halfway through the day. It was only one day this week, one single day. It was also a day after a two-week break with chemo, so, laughingly, I’m at the height of my strength. Yet, I pushed my way through the day and secretly prayed that a surge of strength–a second wind, and perhaps a third–would rescue me for the second half of the day.

It’s a part of this stupid disease that I hate. It’s a part of this disease I can’t control. It’s a part of this disease that makes me realize that, despite my hope and my efforts, I will probably never adjust to the lack of vitality that plagues every waking moment. Many of us talk about the fatigue that comes with the turf. Describing it to someone who has never experienced it is difficult, if not impossible. Have you ever been so tired you wanted to cry? Until now, I’d never felt anything like this in my entire life. I would never have understood what that meant–what it meant to be so exhausted from having done nothing but average activities–not from dancing or working out at peak intensity for hours but from only ordinary activities. I get up feeling exhausted. As the day moves on, the only change is that I get more exhausted. How do I cope? I try not to notice. I ignore it.

I’m sure it makes me less tolerant of many things going on around me. I’m sure I’m less patient about coping with some of the details in my life that include not just work but chores, errands and working toward my own personal goals. Most of all, currently, I cannot find the patience to accept that fatigue rules every part of my day no matter how long I sleep nor how deeply.

Tonight, again, I will meditate on adapting to this limitation . . . hopefully, before I fall into a deep sleep.

5 6 7 8

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© 2004-2009 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

One response to “extreme fatigue: cancer’s constant companion

  1. I love haiku!! Did you write that? Loved it.

    I’m so amazed that you are working through all this. I know how exhaustion is. I worked though my first round with breast cancer and chemo/radiation. Not trying to work through Stage IV metastatic (back; spine, pelvis, skull).

    Hang in there, do what you WANT to do.

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