Life After Cancer Is Slower, But That’s Not All Bad


Slowing down due to cancer and COVID-19 made me realize the parts of life I’ve been missing, though my new pace isn’t all bad.

cartoon image of blogger and MDS survivor, Jane Biehl

I have been battling this cancer since 2010 and have lived longer than anyone ever anticipated. I am grateful, but I am slowly realizing with each new chemo or treatment, I get increasingly tired. With the combination of an immune disorder, blood cancer and the risk of getting COVID-19, many of my activities have been curtailed. No more cruises, flying, travel, concerts, large gatherings, plays, programs or sports events are possible for me. The list seems to go on and on.

I have always been a participant rather than an observer. My family doctor even joked with me that when I got cancer, it finally made me slow down, which he had been telling me to do for years. Cancer forced me to do it whether I wanted to or not.

I honestly hate it and feel like life is passing me by. Recently, CURE sponsored a Zoom meeting for all of us writers and it stuck with me how several of the other cancer survivors said they hardly leave their house.

However, I am also getting older, and I am finding it is not all bad. I enjoy evenings when I can read and watch my favorite television shows. I am doing some bus trips instead of flying. I take driving vacations, which means I can stop whenever I feel like it. I have found every patio in my little town that I use in the summer. My darling little dog makes friends easily and I am constantly talking to new people after they pet her!

A slower pace of life is not always bad. I have no desire to go back to work, commute or work remotely from home. I love my slow walks with my dog, and we find all kinds of fun scenes ranging from deer to geese to little moles in the ground. I can smell the roses and admire the flowers that are blooming everywhere.

I have time for leisurely morning coffee and reading my devotions. Maybe life is not passing by as much as I think. I will forever mourn the fun things I used to do,but now it is time to enjoy a different kind of life that is not so bad after all! I am learning to enjoy it!

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