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At this point I am somewhere between halfway and two-thirds of the way through my radiation treatments.  And everyone was correct – I’m in and out of there in 15 minutes. Every day, Monday through Friday.

This is by far easier than chemo would have been.  I have nothing to complain about – and everything to be grateful for.  I am constantly aware that my cancer journey is minimally disruptive. My life – and full recovery – has never been in question.  I can’t say that I’ve really had to wrestle with my mortality. It’s been easy to be hopeful and positive. So it is hard to say what I am about to say.

I’m tired of this.  

When I am brutally honest, I’ve realized in the past week that it’s true.  I need to learn to say this and to know I can say this without it being a complaint.  It’s just a statement of fact.

It’s also a statement of fact that I really am “doing well”.  Being tired of something doesn’t have to mean my life is awful – or even particularly hard.

There’s the physical tiredness – which I was told would likely happen.  It’s an odd feeling to not be exerting myself, to physically feel nothing during the treatment and still feel the fatigue growing week by week.  I’ve kept it at a manageable level by doing some wise things. I blocked my work calendar off from 2-5 every day. So I go home right after my 2:45 radiation appointment.  No afternoon commitments. And I take a nap if I need to before finishing up my emails or other work for the day. I’m gratefully accepting meals and offers to walk the dogs so that about half of my days I don’t have to think about that in the evening.  I’m asleep a couple of hours earlier than normal every night. All of these things are keeping the tiredness at a manageable level and allowing me to continue to do most of the things that matter to me.

But I’ve hit a stage where there’s another kind of tiredness as well.  I’m tired of the routine of the treatments. I’m tired of having to slather Aquaphor on the treatment site 3 times a day – and think through my wardrobe choices with the filter of “what won’t be ruined by the Aquaphor”. I’m tired of energy level being a bigger factor in my plans.   Along with that tiredness, I’m afraid of sounding petty – after all, this is minor (compared to many treatment protocols), this is really no big deal (and I know that), and so on.

So what is the Father teaching me in this?

Rest is a gift.  Not only for the physical healing, but for the way it opens up my soul and spirit to peace.

Community is a gift.  Not just the meals and the dog walks, but the prayers and encouragement in other ways.  While there is no real need for anyone to go with me to daily radiation, I’m incredibly grateful for the friends who accompanied me to all the appointments from the biopsy through the start of radiation.  The Body of Christ, functioning well, is irreplaceable.

In the Mr. Rogers documentary that came out this summer (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?), they talked about how there was a lot of silent air time on the show.  For example, the time he watched a second hand go all the way around – without talking as it was happening – to see how long a minute was. One of the producers of the show said this about the show:

“There was a lot of slow time.  But there was no wasted time.”

I like that, and I think it fits here even though the context is very different.

This is a season of imposed slowness for me.  My heart is choosing to not let it be wasted time.


12 responses to “The Impact of “Just 15 Minutes a Day””

  1. Dear Betty,
    Thank you so much for your honest sharing. It is good for you to acknowledge both how well the radiation treatments are going and how you are tired of them. I can only imagine. I am getting weary of going to chiropractic appointments 3 times a week. Such a small thing! Prayers for you to continue taking care of yourself as you heal. God’s strength be yours!

  2. On the train to Munich and the tears have come. I love you, Betty Pal. My best heart thoughts are directed to you in the hopes of sweet sleep and an energy boost. ??

  3. This was wonderful to read, thank you for sharing. I see your heart and understand your daily journey better. Once again you are being such a beautiful example of how to navigate life. Much love and prayers as always, see you soon.

  4. Thank you for sharing Betty. I pray that the Lord keeps you close and that He surprises you in little ways throughout the week.
    You are so strong and filled with grace! Thank you for being sharing your journey with us.

  5. I am so proud of you Betty. You are an inspiration and I am counting on you to continue to be honest and transparent. I love you so much and I am thankful for the good prognosis and excellent care you are receiving.

  6. Betty, thank you so much for inviting people into your journey. I have so enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you better. You are strong and courageous, gentle, kind, and wise – so genuinely giving!! I’m sending prayerful hugs your way.

  7. Betty, your honesty is deep and appreciated. Continued prayers for your healing, strength, and doctors’ wisdom. ??

  8. Oh Betty, I love that you have been honest with your feelings and your “being tired of this”….as I went through Seth’s pain course, I learned that, although my pain failed in comparison to some of the others, it was still my pain, and it was/is real. Yes things could always be worse, but pain is pain no matter the degree.

    I feel that way about your “being tired of this”…you may have a lesser cancer battle than some, but its still a battle, none the less. Its YOUR battle and you are entitled to be tired and tired of going and all that comes with that.

    Thank you for sharing your heart, because sometimes we have to know…its ok, to not be ok, no matter what we aren’t ok with.

    I wish I lived closer so I could prepare you a meal or two, walk your dogs, go to treatment with you just for support, or any number of other things that I know your community of friends are doing for you…but since I am not there physically, I am there through prayer for you.
    sending love, hugs and prayers

  9. I get the weariness. I did this as well as chemo. Rest is good, support system a must. You have been on my mind a lot, thanks for the update. My breast still gets itchy at that spot, it seems to dry out faster than the rest of my skin and it’s been 8 years. Prayers continue for you!

  10. Betty, thank you so much for sharing this…. what good words so beautifully said!

    It was great to see you and spend a little time with you at Parents Weekend!

    God wastes nothing…. may HE continue to encourage your heart!

  11. Betty,
    To me you are both an inspiration and a blessing. I’ve worked with you for 3 years now (+/-) and despite what you’re going through, I’ve not seen you slack off from your job one iota nor have I heard you complain, not one bit!! Your strength and integrity are amazing!! I pray for complete healing!! Thank you Betty for who you are!