Data Next GenerationNow that my daughter’s family has moved into their new home (they stayed with us for a year and a half while their house was being built) we are moving our stuff back in from storage.

I moved most of it yesterday and have a bit more to do today. I am doing the moving by myself. It’s mostly boxes. It’s nice to know I can do it. I had to rest a few times but this old body is still operating.

I’m so lucky that Leuk hasn’t brought me down yet. Though I get tired sometimes, I am still “functioning within normal parameters” as Star Trek’s Data would say.

It’s strange having this invisible thing inside me. Leuk is lurking somewhere in there. He’s not too strong yet but I know that could change. Hopefully not for a long time.

My biggest worry is that I will become a burden to my wife. She is strong and would make it happen but still I don’t want to make her life harder. She is such a blessing to me and she doesn’t deserve this.

Oh well, I might be worrying about a future that will never happen. I am 65 years old after all. CLL can be a slow moving type of leukemia so as long as it doesn’t speed up I might make it to old age just fine. It’s not really worth worrying about.

In fact, I should take my own advise about worrying. God knows I’ve written enough posts about it.

So I’ll shut up and live for each day.

Dumbledore

 

Hi. Sorry I haven’t written in awhile.

You know that rabbit hole I’ve mentioned before? Normally when I see myself getting too close to it I run the other way. But this time I sat down, dangling my feet over the edge.

Depression is nothing to flirt with though. I was in that hole once and there is no way I’m going back in. But this last couple weeks I got close. Too close.

The writing – my book, my two blogs – stopped. This can happen from time to time for quite normal reasons. But the rabbit hole is different. Maybe I should call it a black hole because depression can suck the creativity right out of you.

The signs where there. I let my hair grow too long, I went for a couple weeks without shaving. And showers, well, lets just say my daily routine skipped a few days – actually more than a few.

I had to laugh though. When I finally did step away from the hole and looked in the mirror, Professor Dumbledore was looking back.  I looked twice my age and that’s saying something since twice my age would be 130.

I do let myself go some times in the shaving department. I mean, when you’re at home by yourself pounding out words on the computer who cares what you look like. I’m sure my wife and kids do but somehow they’ve adjusted to my screwy idiosyncrasies.

This time though I went into bizzarro mode. I had Einstein hair and a beard no mother could love.

Anyway, I’m back all showered and shaved. The old bedraggle guy is replaced with this extremely handsome young man. (Hey, it’s my blog. Let me live the fantasy.)

I’ll try to get at least a few posts out each week. Thanks to all you Leuk fighters for sticking with me.

Not feeling too well today. Nothing specific except that I am tired and having trouble focusing. I had work that needed doing today and I’ve not done any of it. Even this blog has been neglected. I just feel empty.

I’m not looking for sympathy. It’s just that I promised from the beginning I’d try to be honest about what’s going on. So this is where I’m at right now.

I know things will pick up tomorrow.

One of my goals for this blog is to show people with CLL that they can have a somewhat normal life (see my About page). Since ‘normal’ is a relative and hard to define term, I thought I should clarify.

Our ‘normal’ is certainly different from those without CLL. We’ll often be more tired and not able to do as much as we did before. If we are having chemo treatments, we’ll be dealing with some not-so-fun side effects. And, of course, there is always the possibility that Leuk my take us out earlier than planned.

But despite all that, we can have a mentally healthy life. A line from the book How God Changes Your Brain reads “Only human beings can think themselves into happiness or despair, without any influence from the outside world.”

The way we think has a profound effect on our experience with Leuk.

I write this blog as if leukemia were a person named Leuk. This gives me a concrete idea of an otherwise quiet, hidden disease. It makes my CLL more real. I have something to fight against. I see Leuk as someone separate from myself; someone I can fight and maybe even conquer.

A war is made up of many battles. Each day Leuk and I fight a battle for my mind.

For me, the first and most important step in fighting Leuk is to keep him from invading my everyday thoughts.  I admit that some days he gains ground, giving me nagging thoughts that bring me down. But mostly I only allow him time when I have to deal with him, then as quickly as I can I push him out of my thoughts, winning that day’s battle.

I strongly believe we can have a normal life if we don’t let Leuk creep too deeply into our minds. Leuk wants us involved in fearful thoughts. But instead, we can live our days involved in life.  We have the choice. We can give our minds over to him or build a protective wall against him. He may be affecting us physically, but we don’t have to let him infect our mind.

It may not seem like it at times, but you really do have a choice. So fight the good fight. Win as many battles as you can. Guard your thoughts. Leuk may be elsewhere in your body, but he has no business treading on your mind.

Today’s a rough one. I was fine when I got up. I’m working in the office just designing labels, burning CD’s of photos for a client, invoicing, and making a few phone calls.

But I’m stressing out over issues that are blocking the sale of our house. They are all solvable, but I’m feeling overwhelmed. I don’t think this is Leuk’s fault, at least not directly. But dealing with Leukemia on top of the daily stress of life seems overwhelming today.

It’s frustrating. I don’t seem to have the stamina I used to have. I haven’t eaten all morning. Maybe food will help. Oh yeah, that’s right, food probably would be a good idea!