The Energy Crisis

The Energy Crisis

The hardest fight I have while living with cancer is fatigue.

This fatigue will make me fall asleep at the kitchen counter while typing on the computer.  Or I will fall asleep while scrolling through Facebook.

I have learned to never text while I am falling asleep!

I sleep at night.  Sometimes.  Most times.

I do wake a lot during the night, but I will typically sleep for ten hours a night.

This fatigue makes me have to take a nap just about every day.  And if I don’t take a nap, I am done with my day by four o’clock in the afternoon.

There are times that I will go upstairs to bed before the hubs gets home from work around five in the afternoon, even if I did take a nap that afternoon.

And to this day, it still makes me feel guilty that I can’t do the things I used to do.

Running Errands

On Tuesday of this week, I shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, all the errands I ran that day.

Why?

To show everyone what happens to me when I run all of those errands.

Tuesday started being planned the Thursday before.  I had made lunch plans with a former coworker that I hadn’t seen in a while.

With a lunch date on the calendar, I then see what errands I could get done while I’m in Green Bay.

Getting Ready to Go Out:  Even taking a shower can wear me out.  And this morning, it did.  I was sitting in the chair getting ready to dry my hair, and it hit me.  Now I know why my sister and the hubs always get after me for pushing myself.  I was tired just from taking a shower, and I could’ve easily, very easily, gone back to bed for another hour or two.

But I have lunch plans and errands to run, and I’m not going to give up on the day.

As I once told my physical therapist, “I have shit to do!”  So, off I go.

First Stop, Prevea Clinic, Luxemburg: Actually, my first stop was putting a piece of mail into the mailbox at the post office.  But I didn’t get out of the truck.

I have my yearly physical coming up on Friday, and my primary care doctor requested I stop in at any clinic before the physical to have labs done.

The problem with doing this, is that any other labs at the clinics does not have anyone to access ports, therefore they will not draw blood that way.  This then requires a poke in the arm, and I am a hard poke.  The first nurse didn’t make it.  The second nurse went in deep and got the blood draw.

And remember, having labs done means fasting…so I am pretty hungry, but figure I can make it to lunch since it’s already 10:30 a.m.

In and Out of Truck Count: 1

Second Stop, Costco, Bellevue: do park in handicapped parking, and I am not going to apologize for it.  It saves me steps on my adventures, and if I am going to get all of these errands done today, I need to save as many steps as I can.

Why DO they always put the pharmacy in the back?  Granted, I want to get some steps in, but I’m hungry, and tired.  Someone suggested that the couch looked like a good resting spot.

I was there to pick up one prescription.  ONE prescription that couldn’t be put together with the other three that I picked up last week.

While at the pharmacy, a large older gentlemen on a scooter had on a hat with “veteran” labeled on the back.  Taking a cue from what I’ve seen my sister do in the past, I shook his hand and thanked him for his service.  A huge smile crossed his face.

I did walk around Costco just a little bit, not looking for anything in particular because I didn’t really want to spend any money, I just wanted to get my prescription and go.  But remember, I was hungry….

In and Out of Truck Count: 2

Third Stop, U.S. Cellular, Bellevue:  Word of advice: don’t go into Costco when you’re hungry.

Uh-oh…..Yup.  I did it.  Those caramel medallions though, they are ADDICTIVE.

Son-in-law Matt works at U.S. Cellular, and he is the BEST representative I know! He was busy with customers, so I just dropped off a small package of the caramel medallions on the counter, smiled at him, and left.

In and Out of Truck Count: 3

Fourth Stop, The UPS Store, Allouez.

I had a pair of shoes to return to Amazon.  Had them all boxed up, ready to go, just needed to ship them out.

Then I had a thought that you know, Luxemburg could use a UPS Store.  Maybe I should look into that.

I’m not so hungry now after those caramel medallions…

In and Out of Truck Count: 4

Fifth Stop, the side of Riverside Drive, Green Bay

Received a text from the hubs that he was eating lunch.  So I pulled over on the side of the street and called him.

We’re used to having lunch together nearly every day.  He’ll come home around noon and I’ll make his lunch, and we talk about what has happened so far in his day and my day.

But now, he’s working on the new building at the Shrine in Champion, so he’s not able to come home for lunch.  But we can still talk while he’s shoveling food in his mouth!

I’m still not as hungry…

In and Out of Truck Count: Still 4

Sixth Stop:  Fox Harbor, Downtown Green Bay

In my working days, I used to meet a lot of friends and coworkers for lunch at Fox Harbor.  I’d have to say its been about two years since I’ve been there last.

I met with Sally who I used to work with at Bay Title & Abstract.  The nicest person, hard working, quiet.

She caught me up on life at the title company and how everyone was doing there, her family, my family, and life.  It was good food and good company.

Now, I’m not hungry anymore. At all.

In and Out of Truck Count: 5

Next Stop, HME Home Medical, Allouez:  New year, new insurance, new CPAP supplies.  The people here are always so friendly and helpful.

It’s amazing how much better you can sleep when you change the cushion on your CPAP mask!

No longer hungry, but still pretty tired.

In and Out of Truck Count: 6

Last Stop Before HomeYMCA, Huron Road, Bellevue:

My insurance provides for a free membership to the YMCA.  This year, I’m going to take advantage of that benefit and join.

While I want to try and lose weight, that isn’t my overall goal.  My overall goal is to get healthy while my cancer is sleeping, so when it wakes up, I am better able to fight.

Bestie Anne is going to be joining me once a week for walking in the water.  I love the water and swimming.

The rest of the weekdays will be starting with a five-minute walk on the treadmill at home.

My insurance company is also sending me a chair resistance band kit, which includes a resistance band and instructional DVD to help improve posture, range of motion, and flexibility.

In and Out of Truck Count: 7

Surprisingly, it has been a good day, but I’m starting to get worn out.

Back Home, Getting the Mail:  In and Out of Truck Count: 8

Time to Make Supper!  I always do my best to have supper ready when the hubs comes home from work.  I tried a new recipe that didn’t take long, and it sure tasted good!

The Energy Crisis

The energy crisis started before I even started out on my adventures for the day.  But as I said, it was a surprisingly good day!  I was definitely tired at bedtime.  I slept very well, but I WILL pay for everything I did yesterday.

It will take me at least two days to recover from everything I did yesterday.

When I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 44, I was not prepared for the loss of energy.

There are still those that don’t understand that sometimes, I just can’t go to that party.  I just can’t attend that performance.  My body is not cooperating with me.  It’s tired.

There are some that are still wondering when I’m going to get a job again.  Is there a job that allows me to sleep at my desk?

Why Share My Energy Crisis?

The next time you are out and about, look around you.

Can you pick out the people that may have cancer or a chronic disease?

Do you see the people that use the handicapped parking spaces, do they “look” sick?

You never know what is going on in someone’s life.  Don’t judge appearances.

People with invisible disabilities don’t LOOK disabled.

If the person in front of you at the check out is taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r, don’t get frustrated.  Think.  That person may be tired and worn out, fighting against their body to keep going, and they are trying their absolute best.  Please, be patient.  You’ll probably appreciate slowing down yourself.

Sending love and hugs to all, ~Erika~

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5 thoughts on “The Energy Crisis

  1. Here for you if you ever want to chat. I lost my 41 yr old sister to stage 4 BC last year. I’ve seen her go through the unthinkable! Sending hugs and prayers your way 🙏❤😊

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    1. Thank you! So sorry about your sister, way too young to be gone so soon. I have not lost a sibling, so I cannot fathom the pain that you’ve been left with. I will always take prayers, prayers are the reason I’m still here today!

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  2. You’re doing great! My husband just passed last week from bladder cancer, and I get the tired. We’d be talking and I’d look over to see him asleep. Stay strong as long as you can. You’re inspiring.

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