Sunday, 30 September 2012

Slowing down

The old saying that work expands to fill the time available is completely true for me. It's just that normally, with a minimum of an 11 hour working day (including commute), my time available is minimal so I live in perpetual fear that if I stop for a moment, the whole pack of cards will come down. But now I have nothing to do except focus on getting better, so a) this should be a relief and b) the things I do have to do should all be getting done, right?

What do I have to do? No work emails, but lots of messages from friends and people I haven't seen for ages, particularly thanks to Facebook where I am being very open about my condition and consequently getting lots of contact from old school/university friends, work colleagues, sports club friends and ante natal club (real and virtual) friends. Lots of texts. Bunches of the most glorious flowers. Cupcakes in abundance (my children are ecstatic, my dentist less so). A fabulous recovery pack from a bunch of friends I see all too rarely but which includes biscuits, nail varnish, word puzzles and some lovely bath products. I almost don't know where to start with getting back to everyone and thanking them. Then there's the diary management: lots of people want to come and see me, which is fab. But the uncertainty about the chemo is making this bit difficult as I have no idea what state I'll be in at any given point. The only practical way to deal with this one is to carry on as normal and hope that people don't mind if I flake out. Medical appointments also complicate this one, as for a change I don't think I can be choosy about times and so many appointments seem to be needed. I'm gutted to have to turn down lunch next week with an old, close friend who is having a similar period of down time for medical reasons and who is clearly finding it hard, because I've got lengthy medical appointments every day except Monday. There's all the admin that goes with being ill, of chasing down appointments (the ovary stopper jab took half a day and 5 phone calls to organise), getting authorisation from the insurance company, keeping work up to date on progress. Finally there is organising the support network and finding them all something to do - recovery is so good that there isn't much I can't do but I do still need people to help when I get tired.

Clearly I need a secretary. How lucky am I to have this problem though - finding myself busy because so many people want to help? How people get through this without this kind of support network I don't know and I'm pleased I don't have to find out.

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