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Cultivating patience
Being a patient patient: cultivating fortitude and calm.

n. a person who is under medical care or treatment.
adj. bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.

Okay. After this week I am officially over it. I am tired of taking pills x number of times a day and at certain hours; going to doctor’s appointments and waiting; my body changing and worrying about every little change and what it might mean and if it is permanent; chemo therapy; the threat of hospital stays, and therefore hospital food; looking into the future and seeing more doctor’s appointments, more chemo, more prescriptions. Bah. I want this to be over. I am not patient, so I don’t want to be a patient.

I keep wondering how it is children are so successful at overcoming ALL and adults less so. My suspicion is children don’t have calendars, nor do they read and understand the entire protocol, nor do they have much previous experience to compare this one against. For the next two years I will be on chemo therapy for two weeks and off for one. I’m not sure, maybe the doses lessen. Two weeks on, one week off, for two years. Oh, my, God. It has been 63 days since I was diagnosed. I’m still much closer to my old life and schedule than I am to this one.

I’m clinging to a life where I didn’t have to be patient. This is real, I can not go back. Not ever. I am a patient. I will have to cultivate fortitude and calm to offset my anger and complaint.

Fortitude. This word works well in hymns and scriptures, but what does it even mean? Dictionary please: Courage in pain or adversity. In other words I’m scared, but as there is no out, I will do it anyway.

What am I afraid of? I could die. I might die. I will die, someday. My life is currently happening, even if it is cancer flavored. Is death the thing I’m really worried about? Not so much, I think truly it is change. I will change through this process—but into what? What will I no longer be able to do? This is what I genuinely fear.

Calm. Can I be calm? Is mine a process of fighting to stay alive, or of accepting the way my life is now? Is this a fight or a surrender?

What will I become after these two years? What new things will I be able to do? Maybe I’ll be able to distinguish when to fight or when to surrender.

I am a patient (the surrender).
I can become patient (the fight).

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