I’ve been away from work for quite some time (about 3 months), and some of my friends have asked how I spend my time. I always say, ‘it depends on how I feel.’ And although this is true, I realize it is hard for others to understand how one day I can feel pretty decent and the next I feel horrible. So… Let’s say I have 4 types of days: A, B, C, and D.
- An “A” day is my least symptomatic. On these days, I can spend some time watching TV or browsing the internet and actually forget there is anything wrong with me! I can do some ‘normal’ things, like shopping, in small stints. I had a lot of these days in December when I was on 60 mg of prednisone. Unfortunately, since my back shenanigans began, I have had zero “A” days.
- A “B” day is a good day. Breathing takes some effort, but I’m generally in good spirits about the whole thing. I can ride in the car comfortably, and I can shop with the help of the motor scooters available in larger stores.
- A “C” day is not fun. On these days I feel under the weather, and it seems like my body is rubbing my face in the fact that I have cancer. I can leave the house if I push myself, but I’d rather not. Breathing is work, and sometimes I need to manage related side effects with additional medication.
- A “D” day really sucks. I won’t leave the house, and I will rarely leave the couch/bed. The worst part of these days is that I can’t get comfortable. I feel like I have the flu, it’s takes a lot of effort to breathe, and I’m just plain miserable.
Of course it’s rarely this cut and dry. Sometimes I might have an awful morning but feel better in the evening.
While I wean off the prednisone and deal with back pain, my distribution of days has been roughly:
- A: 0%
- B: 50%
- C: 30%
- D: 20%
With that understanding, I can answer the original questions: Am I bored? Do I get cabin fever? The short answer is ‘not often.’ Boredom is something that happens when you feel good enough to do more, and you aren’t doing it. In my case, I’m usually not doing more because I don’t feel good enough. There have been a few days where I have had the “I need to get out of this house” jitters, but it doesn’t happen often. Here are some of the things that keep me busy:
- Doctor and physical therapy appointments
- Calls to insurance and disability companies, organizing and understanding medical bills
- Lung cancer research and forum participation
- Napping, social networking, watching TV, blogging, loving on the bunny
The distribution of these activities largely depends on how I feel. When I’m having a better day, I also enjoy an occasional lunch with a friend or a trip to Home Depot.
It is frustrating that I don’t feel good enough to be more productive. But right now my job is to rest and let my body try to fight this thing. If cancer has a silver lining, it is the ability to nap at will! 🙂