I work full time. I have been back to full time for probably two years now. I take pride in my job and I take much pride in how I've managed to kick ass at work, while managing my myeloma. Tiger blood. Meow.
I get to work at 7 AM. It was 46 degrees here in LA this morning. I couldn't even get Gracie to go for a walk. I work for the Port of Long Beach, in the administrative offices. I'm a planner. We're in an interim admin building, waiting for a new building. For some reason, the powers that be decided that our interim building should be 10 miles away from the actual port. Silly really. The only good thing is that the interim building is about 5 minutes from my house. The commute is awesome.
This morning I had a meeting at the port at 8. Which meant I showed up to my office at 7, sent some emails, got prepared for the meeting and left the building at 7:30 to get to the meeting on time. A big part of my job is managing the relocation of oil wells and pipelines to get them out of the way of a new bridge being built. The oil relocation work has been going on for about 3 years and has cost over $200 million. Recently the bridge contractor has been damaging oil wells, which can have serious safety ramifications. So the meeting today was for me to bring together all the parties to figure out how to prevent the incidents from happening and how to appease the regulatory agencies that oversee the wells. This part of my job I love and it keeps me fired up. Note there are parts of my job that I loathe and wish I could hand off to someone else. The meeting lasted a couple of hours. It was useful and productive.
I then drove the 30 minutes back to the office. Then I had to get back into my car and drive over to Dr Phan's office for my blood draw. Recall, we can't use my left arm for draws or even blood pressure given I have the no longer working fistula, which is there in case I ever needed dialysis. The veins in my right arm don't work any more. They've been beat up too much. The lab can't access my port. So I go to the doctor, the nurse draws my blood, I carry my blood to lab and that's the process. I should have done the blood draw last Friday. But I just didn't feel like it. Giving blood every two weeks can be annoying. So I went in today. But the nurse who does my draw isn't in this week. I had to walk a new nurse through the process. It's fairly simple. But they didn't have vials at the office. So I had to go to the lab, pick up the vials, then go back to Phan's, then carry the blood back to the lab. Phan's office was super busy, so it took a little while to get my blood drawn. And then at the lab, even though I was just dropping off, I had to sit and wait my turn. Annoying. It also hit me that I am a bit entitled. Not because I am a white male, but more because I have cancer. Fuck waiting, fuck systems. I expect things to work the way I want them. And gosh darn it, I deserve it. I have cancer. I have to remind myself that everyone has their own story and to remain patient. Be a patient patient I tell myself.
Now I'm back at the office. I have a couple of meetings and some emails to send before calling it a day. I'm taking the rest of the week off. Why? Because I want to. I want to be able to go for a bike ride, have a beer, take a nap. Matt time essentially. Some might ask, why not take a day off when I've got the post chemo fatigue. I thought about that. But I'd rather feel good on my ditch day. I've figured out how to muddle through a day when I'm tired. If I took a tired day off, I'd just lie around and watch tv and sleep. Why waste a nice day off on that.
Gary Peterson is a fellow myleoma patient. He has a website that discusses myeloma survival rates; comparing doctors, hospitals, etc. It...
I no longer work, but I did work for over 6 years while managing my disease. For a while, I had some real challenges with human resources. I...