Work Stop Repeat – The Story of Cancer Survivors

Jane Biehl Ph.D.
Jane Biehl Ph.D.

Jane is a ten-year survivor of a very rare form of cancer Myelodysplastic Syndrome. She has enjoyed several exciting careers including a librarian, counselor, teacher, and writer. She loves to write about surviving cancer, overcoming hearing loss, and her hearing ear service dog, Sita.

A cancer survivor explains how she finds time to be productive while dealing with exhaustion.

I have written several articles about slowing down.

I find myself getting slower and slower as the years roll on. Now I have a new mantra:

Work a little,

Stop a little,

Repeat.

Along with the fatigue of having cancer, I have other health issues which cause me to be slower than usual – including getting old! I am constantly frustrating myself with looking at things to be done around the house. We all have those little boring but important tasks that we must get done or we get ourselves into trouble. We have bills to pay, expiration dates on certain items, cleaning out of closets, telephone calls to make, calendars to keep track of doctor appointments and on and on. Plus, there’s the never-ending preparation of meals and mountains of laundry.

I often sit there and stew, worry and carry on about how to get it all done. In one of those revelations, I realized something important. I don’t have to do everything right now. I can answer a few emails and stop or do one load of wash at a time. Before I was sick, I would do a marathon of tasks all in one day. Some of this was when I was working several jobs and had to do chores mostly on the weekends. I am unable to work outside of the home now.

I do not have to do everything on the weekend! I can do a load of wash, then stop and have a cup of coffee. I can write some letters, then stop and take a breather. I can go for groceries without making three or four other stops, then come home.Sometimes I even take a nap! I can work on each task a little at a time with bills that are the due priority! I no longer allow tasks to pile up to where it is so overwhelming.

There is a saying to “work smarter, not harder.” I used to get tired of hearing that from the employers when I worked – and we were short-staffed! But there is certain wisdom that we can use to devise a way to do the tasks a little at a time.We survivors and seniors have to figure it out and in our wisdom, we can!

So, work a little,

Stop a little,

And BREATHE!

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