First off the Walk was amazing, I am truly blessed to be surrounded by amazing people! Team Defeat Goliath/Team CEF had the most walkers of any team! That is fantastic! Once I get the final tallies from the walk and collect some more photos from folks, I will post a complete recap of the walk in the next couple of days.
Expectations – that is a big loaded word to talk about. A big portion of our lives is built around expectations, how we are expected to act, what we are expected to do, what we are expected to say, and so on. However sometimes the hardest expectations to meet are the ones we place on ourselves.
I know that I am my own worst critic. I typically don’t need people telling me that I failed or did something wrong, because I usually have already beat myself up over whatever it was I did. I am hard on myself. I expect to reach my goals, to accomplish what I have set out to do, to meet my own expectations. I expect to follow through on what I have said I would do. It is at my core, it is how I am wired.
During this process, this has been one of the most challenging things that I have had to do – reassess my expectations – change my commitments. So far, I think I have weathered things pretty well. On weeks of chemo, I have been able to still work for half of each cycle, I have coached several of Colby’s baseball games on chemo, attended board meetings, I survived the baseball jamboree on chemo, the walk yesterday I was walking on typically one of my most difficult days of a chemo cycle. And (at least I think) that unless someone was told I was on chemo, I really don’t think anyone was really able to tell. I think I have been able to push through and force myself to still do those things that I had committed to, I was able to somewhat meet my own expectations.
This past Friday, though I failed to meet my own expectations, I felt like for the first time that chemo beat me down, it prevented me from meeting my own expectations of what I should be able to do. On Friday for the first time in 10 months I was throwing up, really dry-heaving. I actually threw-up my chemo meds as they had not dissolved in my stomach before they came up. They were still sealed in there capsules – so I did what anyone would have, I picked them back up, washed them off and swallowed them back down. There was a conference this past Saturday in which several top speakers from around the US converged to specifically discuss brain tumors. I even had an invitation both Thursday night and Friday night to hang out with these speakers, to be able to ask questions, understand more things about Goliath, to learn what I need to do to battle brain cancer. I had already ruled out Thursday night, thinking I would rest and plan to attend the conference and then hope to get my small group chance Friday night. Friday morning Jess and I made it to the Rainier Exit on I-90, before I threw-up in a bucket sitting on my lap in the car. At that point it was time to head home. I was frustrated, I felt defeated, I felt that for the first time that I put out as something I expected to do on chemo, yet I couldn’t, I could not battle through, I couldn’t hold it together. I threw-up several more times on Friday. Not a good day.
One of the most challenging things about this entire ordeal is having to say that I am not capable, that I am unable to do that, to change my own expectations and be OK with that. To ask for help, to say at work that I am not currently able to complete the job – then to have it reassigned. Somehow I thought these feelings would subside once I could drive again. However they are still there, it is just a little bit different. Maybe this is all a part of a great lesson for me – to learn to say that I am not able, not capable, to learn to depend on others, to know that it OK to rest, to pass on something, it’s alright sometimes to not constantly push. To know that I can change my expectations of myself, because they are my expectations, it is my burden that I am placing on myself. To know that I won’t disappoint those I care about, that it is OK not to have to do it all. To know that I have limits, to know that I am human, to say the difficult words, I need help because I am not capable.