There are days when tired seems to be the main course. Living with Multiple Myeloma is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing when one considers the advancement in treatment that have been rolled out over the last twenty years. These treatments have increased survival rates and placed characterization of this horrible disease in the chronic disease column. As I write this piece, I’m not in any form meaning to complain about my experiences over the last seventeen and one-half years. I just feel the need to pen some of what I’m feeling today.
This has been one of those weeks, thank God few in number, when I’m tired. It’s been a challenge to follow my normal routine of taking a ten-mile bicycle ride, working out with my weights and doing a few stretching exercises before breakfast. I’ve been retired now for three years and nine months. Retirement has been enjoyable. I often joke when asked what am I doing in retirement by saying whatever I want. God has blessed me to be a long-term cancer survivor, who wasn’t quite sure I would get the chance to enjoy these golden years. The times I’ve spent with my grandchildren, my wife, other family members and friends have been precious. I distinctly remember praying seventeen years ago that God would allow me to see my children grow into adulthood. I have no doubt that prayer has been answered, and He’s given me even more.
There’s a reality which I must accept: I’m a consumer of large quantities of chemotherapy drugs, designed to keep my cancer at bay. I went into relapse during the latter part of last year. My healthcare team is now trying to put me into remission again. No doubt these medications are having effects I would rather not experience, fatigue being one of them. Tiredness comes every once and awhile. When it does, I must slow things down and allow my body to rest, to catchup. These are the times when prayer, meditation and less animated activities are par for my daily course. The problem though is that this tiredness is unique.
I can recall when I was much younger, spending a full day at work, preceded with running a good five miles, and maybe even a bit of exercise after work would leave me tired. This was a different kind of tired though. It didn’t put me in a mental fog like what I’m occasionally experiencing now. There are times when I feel a though I’m too tired to withstand the tiredness I’m feeling. There wasn’t any excessive physical activity to bring it on; it just showed up at my doorstep. It causes me to say with regularity that this too shall pass. God is always gracious in moving it beyond my field of sensitivity in short order, allowing me to bounce back to my normal menu of activities. But while it’s with me, it’s dark, heavy and burdensome.
I can only say that one must be prepared to take the bad with the predominant good and thank God. As I go through each of my days of heavy tiredness, I’m reminded of the Psalmist who said, “As I go “through” the valley of the shadow of death…”. I’m still here, and as long as I am, God is still blessing me to go through whatever dark passages life places before me.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.