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I Am Not Well But Am Coping

I’m a cancer survivor. I had a ‘good kind’ of cancer and I survived with relatively little collateral damage given that oncology medicine in the 1980’s was rudimentary and somewhat brutal. Hey, I’m not dead.

Today, I’m left with regular episodes of being “in a bad way”. I’m not sick but I’m not well. Several parts of my body have some swelling or inflammation, my lymph glands are swollen suggesting a viral problem and I have minor headaches regularly. My muscles ache and are weak. I sleep ok but I’m tired from the moment I wake up. I mean, the exhausted of tired that I used to get at the end of a 16 hour day but at 8am in the morning after sleeping for ten hours. When you get tired you make bad decisions and I find it hard to maintain a healthy diet,

In a few weeks, I’ll be back to my ‘normal’ self. Its ok. Its happened dozens of time before for the last 30 or so years and I just need to be patient.

Yes, I’ve been to doctor, several times. Blood tests show nothing and the symptoms are generic. Quite often, by the time I get to the doctor I’m getting better and the episode is over. Doctors surgeries are full of sick people and I’m concerned to catch something while I am in weakened state so I am always a bit slow to book a slot.

What This Means

Sometimes the exhaustion means I’m a bit testy and short tempered. I’m aware of it and conscious about keeping that out of my podcasts.

I’m struggling to find the focus to write more often. I’m able to keep up with podcasts with the support of the Packet Pushers team, and get articles written for the newsletter. I’m focusing on delivering the work that I must do including the Interop Future of Networking track in mid-May which I’m really looking forward to.

My long form writing has taken a hit because I’m struggling to find the necessary concentration. I’m up to date with stories for Human Infrastructure Magazine (subcribe)

I’m mostly keeping up with microblogging on EtherealMind and chatting on Packet Pushers slack, and other forums.

Steps

I’m taking steps to focus on eating better and making sure I get exercise which gets difficult when you are exhausted.

I will be back in a few days or weeks, just watch me.

Comments

  1. Hi Greg,

    We never meet and you may or may not recall my name from Twitter replies or Comments on EtherealMind.com back in the days when you were posting almost daily. Somehow your blog inspired me to start mine. I used to write a lot…
    I don’t have any of the physical symptoms you mention and thanks God I never had serious medical issues, but I still encounter the lack of focus you talk about.

    Talking with other bloggers that were posting a lot back in the days, I had the impression that also they got somehow demotivated to write.

    What I’m trying to say is that beside your listed medical topics, maybe the lack of concentration is also a result of a different factors. Like the IT environment in which we’re living in. You get intoxicated by marketing elements that you find irrelevant and can be hard to focus and write about something “hands-on”.

    Anyway, please find in my message here all my good thoughts towards you. I’m keeping the finger crossed that you’ll pass this stage and find the necessary motivation (especially on the writing part) to continue to be…you. From medical perspective all the best and keep fighting as there is no other way. I know you’ll find the energy to do it.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Calin and, yes, I remember your name!

      I just checked my RSS, for some reason your blog is not there anymore. I have resubscribed and look forward to seeing more of your content.

      I like your thinking around the hands on/business /marketing but its not possible to stay hands on and produce the podcast at the current level.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i stumbled across your blog post today almost completely by accident. I am a “self help” writer for men. But, I am very unorthodox in my writing, hence the anonymity. What I will reply with today, isn’t overly unorthodox… nevertheless, it should still be helpful.

    Self discipline is at the heart of all this “trying” you mention. You need to start by creating small ways to make your life harder, and use anger or frustration as fuel to push you past those ways.

    It’s easy to throw the words “self discipline” around, so what does it really mean? Well, it’s about overcoming yourself. Doing when you don’t want to, because it’s good to, because you’re meant to. It’s about pushing past the safety net society has created, and sleeping on stone instead of a warm bed.

    Pick up some books on stoicism. This will help you become comfortable with the idea of the harsh and cold treatment you aren’t so used to. Fredick Nietzsche tells us why society has done what they have to make us comfortable, and why this comes with a lot of bad for us as men. It softens us, let’s us make excuses for ourselves.

    Self discipline is your out. I suggest you read at many books on stoicism as you can, as well as Fredick Nietzsche’s theories and books.

    This is written by Marcus Aurelius, and centers around stoicism:

    “At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?

    ‘—But it’s nicer here…’

    So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doings things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

  3. Your case does not sound like this, but you may want to read it anyway.
    https://joshkaufman.net/debugging-dysthymia/

    I hope you get better soon.