One of the mantras I adopted shortly after I started treatment was related to my decision to keep working:
On my good days, I'll give more than I take. On my bad days, I'll take more than I give.
After an uplifting and positive day at MSK on Monday, there have been a few really tough ones. They started weaning me off steroids, and I've been coming down hard, with big hits to my appetite and energy - and the haunting realization that maybe it's the steroids that had me feeling so good these past few weeks and not just...me.
It's amazing how quickly the reality of the physical body can pull your uplifted psyche right down to the ground. Ouch.
So, I was not in a good headspace heading into my therapy appointment today.
But as I recounted the past few days, a pattern emerged, and I realize now it's why I felt so strongly about staying in my Starcom role even after diagnosis.
This week, when I said, I'm hitting a wall, I can't do this, someone said, "Don't worry. I will." When I said, I'm exhausted, I need to go, people said "Go! Go!" When I said I couldn't eat anything except maybe a smoothie, someone was insistent in the face of my noncommittal and went to get it for me. Someone gave me a bracelet with a saying that touched her and brought tears to my eyes as well. And when I told someone I needed to bitch, she listened - and volunteered to leave her family and travel on my behalf so that I knew something important would be covered if I couldn't make it there.
Our CEO has been consistent about the leadership team needing to be interdependent. To really and truly feel that in action is powerful confirmation of why I've stayed at Starcom for almost 25 years and why I am there now. Recognizing this today helped me to turn an emotional corner. And I ended the day with renewed energy and a few conversations and exchanges that made me feel that I had given some today.
Maybe not quite as much as I had taken—but moving in the right direction. And that's good enough for today.