As I eluded to the other day as my days have filled more with the lives and struggles of others my adventures and stories are become less frequent. I have tried to reflect or think back to some entertaining moments of my life which may be of some pertinence or interest but I seem to be drawing a blank. Partly because I have not had much time to do a lot of thinking. I have been getting up early (just like the pre cancer days) to get to work. I still have the feeling that I am not going to get through all my patient if I don’t hurry up. Partly it is because I always feel like one of them may want to or need me to listen longer than the average physician visit which is only about 5 minutes. On top of that swimming through all the information and netting it into a form which is useful to others who might be interested in my plans on patient seems to take more time than it ever has.
That being said I still seem to be getting done with ample time in the day to get myself involved in some other administrative blah-blah which I never saw coming but suddenly seems to be rather important. These mini leadership dilemmas are quite different for me than they used to be before I got sick. I used to think I was sticking up for patients and trying to make my job more efficient at the same time but now I feel a lot more of a pull towards making sure patients perspective are the forefront. I am sure I still have some physician driven bias but I clearly feel way more of a pull towards patient perspective now. I realized today as I listened to one patient tell me how her significant other wasn’t coming in because he would have to drive 130 miles one way to hang out for just and hour before he had to drive back just to work. He was going to do it and she actually had to argue with him not to.
I suddenly felt really bad that I hadn’t offered to find her a computer she could access routinely to keep her friends back home informed of how she was doing. I almost always ask patients if they are having people come and visit or I run into their family that I sort of forgot that even in the small setting I am in there are some great distances people have come. These are the people who I need to push to get online and build some support the way I was able to. I bet only a very few of them would do it but I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been a bit more pushy in encouraging her and others to do what I found to be one of my most coveted weapons in my scary walk. This sudden guilt I will have to translate into another administrative quandary.
However, this was not what I got involved in today. I was distracted via multiple other meetings a number of which I simple stumbled into out of talking with people whom I have not seen in some time. I still found it rewarding and it made me realize I am still so short on thanking all those who supported me and helped carry my fears. I was also reminded of this shortcoming as I was spending a bit of time trying to weed through some photos which I plan on using for my upcoming speech (embarrassment) at the Medicine X conference. I got a bunch of pictures of all these friends and supporters wearing HUHS shirts. They were all different sorts of pictures, some of people working, some of people playing, some of people just gathering, some of people with kids, some of people during bone marrow drives, but they all had two things in common, in everyone of them people were wearing the HUHS and living life, in everyone of them people were happy to be supporting me. I won’t lie, I am tearing up thinking about all that care which I will never be able to thank everyone for much less return in full.
My days aren’t as adventurous as they were with the boys this summer, but they are still packed with interesting moments. I think so frequently about how much I missed this when I was sick. I think so much about how I can keep reminding all of those who pushed me along this road. I think about all I can do to keep on living my life fully and that is all I can do to show everyone what their support really means. Thank you all. Thank you.
Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure. I need a cure.