I lied there with a fever, bundled in blankets and hiding from the world. Twenty miles away my best friend stormed from office to office and meeting to meeting to nail down our company’s 2013 budget.
She picked up the most crucial pieces of my job when I went out on disability. And I’m so thankful she did. We work on the same wavelength, and I know my philosophy on those things that mattered so much to me is being carried forward.
My job was so rewarding; sure there was some corporate BS, but I could navigate it. I even prided myself on that sometimes. Of course it’s easy to look back through rose-colored lenses at the better days when everything fell into place. Truthfully, though, the job was stressful. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I thrive on pressure and perform my best when people are really counting on me. I did, anyway.
It’s been more than nine months since I worked. In most ways, time has passed quickly – measured in scans, hospital visits, and chemo infusions.
But sometimes it really bothers me that I can’t mean more to other people. That I no longer have anyone relying on me to succeed. There is a certain intrinsic satisfaction of a job well done. And like many, I also thrive on recognition from others.
I wouldn’t expect anyone to understand when I tell them “being sick is a full-time job.” I’m not sure I would have believed it. It’s certainly the least rewarding job I’ve ever had…
Almost daily I must remind myself that I shouldn’t feel guilty if I need to sleep. I struggle to balance what I want to do with what my body will allow me to do. I feel like I must be the only person in the world who feels the way I do, although logically I know that is untrue.
In this shitty job, there are no milestones I can set, no goals I can work towards.
No, being terminally ill isn’t a full-time job. It’s enslavement to a horribly-flawed body with taunting reminders of the life you had, the person you were.