Patience is “the ability to accept or tolerate delay and suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious”.
I have thought a lot about this in the last few weeks. In the early stages of thetreatment for my condition I was hoping that the first round of Chemotherapy would be done within a month and all being well then I could move into a Stem Cell Transplant (bone marrow) a month later – but of course as you know I had to go through a second round of treatment which took another month or so.
Then I had my focus on the transplant for early December with the worst of it being over by Xmas, but as you know due to the problems with my lung initially and then my kidneys this was delayed until the New Year.
What do these delays mean? And how should I take this given my desire to complete the process as quickly as possible with the aim of returning to a ‘normal’ life as soon as I can.
The delays mean several things:
- The best possible outcome will only be achieved with my internal organs being in the best possible shape prior to the transplant.
- The extra delay over Xmas has meant I am relatively well over this period and can enjoy some quality time with my family.
- The delay has reinforced the need for patience and the importance of accepting that things won’t necessarily run ‘to my time frame’ – something that has taken me a little while to get used to!
- Patience is required here – I need to manage my time without letting boredom creep in.
- I need to manage time without becoming anxious or annoyed. The process is the process!
And in questioning my consultant further I have realised it will be a long road back to health. After the transplant I will be in hospital for at least 3 weeks. Following that for the first 100 days post transplant I have to be close to the hospital for blood tests every second day – more patience.
Following that I have to be prepared for regular (maybe fortnightly or monthly) check-ups until the 6 month mark, during which time I will be immunosuppressed by drugs before receiving some of my childhood vaccinations again. More patience required!
And following that the first two years post transplant is the key to my long term health. The medical team will keep a close eye on me and watch the ‘Graft vs Host’ battle that will be raging in my body. Patience will be required.
I may get sick during this timeframe and there will be times when I will need to be treated with new drugs or perhaps even hospitalised. More patience required.
So understanding patience and how to deal with the annoyance and anxiety that might creep in is a big part of my mental challenge with my treatment for Leukemia.
On Monday evening we had an unexpected visit from Bruce and Anna Allworth from Holbrook. They were returning from a quick visit to Tassie and had only recently heard of my condition so looked us up and dropped by for a cup of tea. It was great to see them both again after a few years.