I hate to admit it. I really do…but I’m a spoiled brat.
The other day, I spent an entire day feeling sorry for myself. The fatigue that comes from chemotherapy is beyond my capacity to explain. It leads to entire days spent in bed, just staring at the ceiling, too tired to read or watch TV. That’s when the pity party has time to get fully underway.
I had a good one. I expressed my aggravation to my wife and a close friend, and I try not to do that. This time, though, I thought it might be a good thing to hear the negative thoughts I was having. I thought, “It’s about time people close to me know how I really feel.”
Both my wife and friend listened to me, of course. And, of course, they were sympathetic and understanding. I didn’t feel any better (which is why I don’t usually vent about things), but they were great.
The next day, my wife drove me to Chicago for a speaking engagement. It was a better day (in the scale we use, which identifies days as “good”, “better”, “okay”, and “rough”). The doorman at the hotel greeted us warmly and asked why we were there, and when we saw him a bit later, he said, “Stop and see me tonight. I’d like to tell you about someone I met last weekend.”
He talked about a guest speaker who had stayed at the hotel for an engagement. This particular speaker had survived a very difficult life, including the loss of both hands and a leg, and was one of the most inspirational people the doorman had ever met. Listening to that conversation made me ashamed of the pity party I’d thrown just 24 hours before.
How could I complain about food having no taste when so many people haven’t enough food to begin with? How could I complain about being tired when I have health insurance, great doctors, and a terrific network of people who regularly express their cares and concerns? How could I justify feeling so many negative things when I’m surrounded by such positive people?
It’s humbling. I’m a spoiled brat, and I’m sorry about that. I’ll try not to host any more pity parties, I promise.