I’ve been trying to figure out why my thesis progress isn’t as fast as it should be, trying to understanding why my focus is failing and why at the end of the day I feel like I didn’t get much accomplished. I thought maybe I just need to try harder, will myself to be better and everything would be alright. I feel now that the problem isn’t my willpower, it is my body. Each day the cancer cells in my blood, get a bit bigger, get a little bit more aggressive, and my body breaks down a bit more. Each day my anemia gets a bit more challenging to deal with affecting my memory, concentration, and everyday life. Each day I get stressed wondering how October’s expected chemo treatment will affect me mentally and physically. I try to ignore negativity in my life and focus on positive thoughts that I won’t have severe side effects so that I can still remain productive in my thesis research.
Now I’ve become more alarmed to discover that I’m losing time and I’m thinking this has been occurring for a while – maybe 6 months, perhaps a year. There are moments when time will pass and I just won’t realise it. I noticed this yesterday during an occasion when 45 minutes passed without anything being typed in the document I was working on. Just poof the time was gone. I’m definitely zoning out. It is probably a good thing that I’m not allowed to drive since my stroke in Dec 09, I wouldn’t want to be a danger to anyone. In addition, I forget the name of a friend and his girlfriend that I had spoken to numerous times over the last year, just poof gone from my mind. It was embarrassing and I felt bad to have my memory fail at that time. These are just side effect of anemia and my incredibly high cancer levels that I need to learn to better deal with.
My levels have never been this high. However, as the effects of cancer drug treatment is always an unknown, it is usually best to stay off drugs as long as possible. Unfortunately there really aren’t many options available to me right now. If I could financially afford it, I would take a break from school, move off-campus somewhere maybe close to the hospital, eat healthier, relax more, and focus 100% on getting better chemo treatment. Instead, I’m going to stay in school and focus on completing my PhD, and live in residence on-campus. It would be a challenge to find a place when I’m getting chemo treatment with unknown side effects. In addition, I don’t have cash to afford anything anywhere.
I’m focused on staying positive and I know that I will make it through this rough patch in my life. I’m confident that I will respond well to cancer treatment and one day walk across the stage to accept my UBC PhD degree.