Have you ever had someone tell you to relax and “go with the flow?” Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always fought this concept. It sounds easy, but the actual implementation is quite difficult. Plus, let me be honest here, I like things to go my way. Why should I have to change my ways to accommodate something or someone else? Why? No seriously… why?
My husband recently reminded me of this idea of going with the flow, and I fought him on it (not the first time). But damn it, he was right. It’s time for me to let things be, live and let live and not try to force things to be the way I want them to be.
So what has lead me down this path? Well… as you may already know, I had colon cancer and am in the middle of taking chemo treatments. I’ve been known to call my treatment “chemo light” as the drugs I get are often the base of much more aggressive treatments. Since I started chemo back in November 2010, I’ve had a few bad days, but honestly life has been pretty good. Ok, and by good, really I mean pretty great (relatively).
Life has been a bit harder, but that just means I’ve had to work harder. Since the time I started chemo I’ve:
- Traveled to Spain, NYC (twice), San Jose, Salt Lake City & Denver
- Been to 5 conferences and 2 meetups
- Spoken at 4 conferences (soon to be 5), 1 meetup & helped with several webinars
- Been interviewed once and have been mentioned in several other posts
- Written one guest post and have another one in the works
- Commented on countless blog posts
- “Talked” with hundreds of people via Twitter, Facebook, IM, email, etc.
- Had countless team meetings
- Essentially… done my job
None of the things listed above are all that extraordinary. These are all aspects of my job, just a part of what’s expected. The point is that I’ve been able to keep on keepin’ on with only a few bumps in the road. On the other side, I should put these into perspective with some of the things I’ve been doing in my personal life too. Since September of 2010, I’ve had:
- Major surgery
- 3 CT scans and 5 X-Rays (literally the X-Ray & CT people know me now)
- 2 Colonoscopies, 2 Endoscopies, 2 Flexible Sigmoidoscipies and have had my colon stretched 3 times (eww)
- 45+ various doctor’s visits
- 25 weeks of chemo (only 11 more to go!)
Yea, I’ve been a bit busy.
But whatever, life goes on and you deal with it. Ok I say that all nonchalantly like it’s been super easy. It hasn’t been, my husband has been my rock and has helped me through every single day. SEOmoz & my team members have been open and understanding through everything. Without the support at home and work, life would be much more difficult! But back to the chemo…
This chemo bullshit hasn’t stopped me though, until recently. Around the time of SMX Advanced, I caught a nasty cold. I had already been running myself a bit ragged but the combination of chemo + cold + conference + quick trip to Denver, left me so fatigued I could barely move. Literally one day I was sitting in a meeting at work and had to talk myself out of falling asleep. Right after the meeting I went and took a nap in our video room. That’s when I finally called the doctor (mainly because my husband said “call the doctor, or I will”) to see wtf was wrong with me.
For the past six months I’ve been chugging along as usual, perhaps even pushing myself a bit more than normal. When I think about it now, I wanted to be sure I wasn’t considered “that girl.” You know, the one that had chemo and made a big deal about it. The one that couldn’t be Wonder Woman through it all. The one that made everyone else suffer because she was suffering. “That girl” sucks. But so does being so f-ing tired that your body feels like it’s been run over by a truck.
So you know what the doctor told me?? He reminded me that I’m taking chemo. That I’m putting poison into my body and that it’s cumulative. So all those 25 weeks of treatments are finally adding up… and apparently kicking my ass. Well fuckity fuck. He also told me I had to slow down. Wait. What?! Didn’t he know what industry I’m in?? Doesn’t he know that internet marketers don’t slow down for anything, not even chemo? Bah.
He also told me my husband was right (literally he said “your husband is right,” Rudy is still rejoicing over those words). He reminded me that when my body says “you’re too tired to work” then I stop working, rather than trying to push through. He reminded me that I need to learn to say no and not put more work on my plate (eek.. what?!). The doctor told me to take a couple days off work and sleep.
This was getting serious. So… I’m taking it into my own hands to “go with the fucking flow.” Yea. I cuss. So what? I’m taking chemo right now, and I’ve earned the right. I’ve also earned the right to sleep and to ask for help. So that’s my point. I’m tired, chemo is kicking my ass and I’m going to just go with it rather than fight it. Oh… and my husband was right. :)