Somewhere Down This Road

I spend a lot of time thinking about work.

Specific to my current job, I miss my friends.  It’s only in my adult life that I have developed such strong friendships; and most of these relationships have originated at this job and my last.

In a more general way, I miss the feeling of accomplishment.  I miss being acknowledged for my work and contribution to the world (if you’ll indulge me).

I suppose I also harbor some guilt about the whole situation.  When I was first diagnosed, I thought I would have surgery, take some pills, and *poof* be ready to go back to work in a few weeks.  Then I learned my situation was more severe, but hey – there are plenty of people who work through treatment.  I thought I would start on this pill and be back to work in four weeks – by the end of 2011.

But that came and went, as did another week-long hospital stay.  It’s five months later, and I’m not feeling good.  This week I had another bout of the infamous abdominal pain.  This time, though, I knew what was happening and ceased the Xalkori before it put me in the hospital.  I’m taking a few days off and will restart soon at the lowest possible dose: 250mg once a day.

I want (and plan) to go back to work; I just don’t know when.  Some days I don’t know if I’ll ever be well enough to handle the stress and hours.  And that absolutely terrifies me.  While I’m still planning to return to work, the illness seems… temporary.  I can trick myself to think maybe my life hasn’t been turned upside down.

Here’s a little secret…  In the days leading up to my fundraiser, “Hop for Hope,” I didn’t take my Xalkori.  Before you gasp with disapproval, I will tell you that I cleared it with my doctor.  I wanted to have the energy to not only endure, but enjoy, the event.

I share this because on this very good day, I was struck with the intrinsic desire to have purpose again.  I was afforded the opportunity to make a small speech, and I realized how much I missed addressing a group who was actually interested in what I had to say.  It felt like someone took a defibrillator to my ego!

Two weeks prior to that, I had a different sort of self-esteem epiphany.  I was having lunch with a friend, and she shared that her child seems depressed.  My friend doesn’t suffer herself, but she’s a great mother who recognized that her child may benefit from speaking with a therapist.

As someone who has lived her entire life dragging the ball and chain of depression, I thought maybe I could shed some light on how her child might be feeling.  We talked for a while, and by the time we parted ways, I felt like I had really helped her.  And in that way, maybe I helped her child too.

Today I started thinking about what’s next.  Or, perhaps, what’s now.  If I’m not ready to go back to work, is there anything I can do?  And not just something to keep me busy.  I have napping for that.

No, I want to uncover a hidden talent, a special power.  My one friend ominously says, “who knows where you might go from here…”  It’s soon time I figure that out.

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3 responses to “Somewhere Down This Road

  • Craig

    Oh, yes! — Do find your other calling, one that fits whatever limitations you may have. That’s what I do and as a result I feel as purposefully-directed, overwhelmingly busy, and colleague-connected as I did when I was working full-time, and I’m more passionate about it, too.

    Best hopes,

    Craig
    – (Stage IV never-smoker/no-risk-factors lung cancer,
    successfully controlled with Xalkori)

  • Bella's mom, Debbie

    Jessica – Introverts, amazingly enough, make excellent therapists. We see the world differently, that is WE SEE THE WORLD, and thus can help those we don’t to understand. Many seek out the advice and maturity of the introverted. Perhaps that is your calling. Good luck!

    • Jessica

      Thanks Debbie! I was considering this, but with 5 years of schooling required, time isn’t exactly on my side. Thanks for weighing in. I just started reading the book you recommended on Facebook!

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