Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

A Typical Day Today

The easiest way to get through these difficult times, is to keep some sort of routine.  We all have different needs and circumstances for sure.  But as I have often explained before, from personal experience, my chemo battle, you can get through the toughest times of your life, if you take them one day at a time.  Concentrate your energies on that day only.  And if it works for you, make that your routine.  Because the next day, you can look back and say “this worked yesterday, I can make it work today.”  Some would call this “groundhog day thinking.”  Maybe so, but it works.

Knowing I am high risk, I have kept to myself to not only protect myself from my vulnerabilities, but also so that I do not have any impact on anyone else, especially any health care workers.  Their work load is heavy enough without me being another patient for them.

My days are static, routine, not really any fluctuation other than longevity of each activity.

After my morning walk, I spend my time with “to do’s”.  I had been talking about writing a book based on my experience as a cancer patient and survivor, much like I do here on the blog.  The good news, this crisis has finally convinced me that I had the time.  And I am fifteen chapters into this “survival guide” I am nicknaming it.  A couple notable things while doing this project, which I have no idea that I will even finish it, but can I even get it printed.  My goal is just to finish it.  The first thing that has my attention, the details that are still in my mind, fresh as the day that they happened over thirty years ago.  I remember everything, including conversations, word for word.  The second thing, I have been alive to see actual progress in the diagnostics and treatments of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  With that came the disappointment and realization of the fact that very little was known about what my body was being put through as far as treatment when it came to long term survival.  I was a guinea pig.

Anyway, staying focused on this being a fun post.  Along with the book project, I am also always working on posts for “Paul’s Heart.”  Both of these I am doing on an old laptop.

Yep, my laptop is almost twenty years old.  A technical issue resulted in an upload upgrade to Windows 8.1, but the operating system is old.  But like everything else I have, I take really good care of my things.  Vinyl records… never a scratch.  Original Nintendo game cartridges, never had to “dust” off any contacts.  My laptop?  I protected it in its case, kept viruses at bay.  In fact, I sill have all the information stickers on the laptop.

One way that I have preserved it so long, is I go through it, looking for things that I can delete or consolidate.  I have not really made a lot of ground on either effort.  But what I have done, has been way more fun.

Do not underestimate the power and the value of reliving your past.  I literally have thousands of photos saved in my laptop.  Places I have been to, things that I have done.  More importantly, so very precious moments with my daughters.  Struggling with the daily repetitive grind of this crisis?  I simply go through album after album of these memories.  There are so many, and I know that I have not seen them all.

Besides a daily walk, with my health concerns with this virus, I do what I can to keep my lungs in the best condition that I can, in spite of their condition.  I could just use the spirometer daily, but as anyone who has ever had to use one, they hate it and using it is boring.  So, a more fun way to exercise my lungs, ask Alexia to play some music.  Because of the reduced capacity of my lungs, I no longer have the technique that I once did.  By the end of the song, I usually end up winded.  But I have accomplished what I wanted, expanding my lungs and keeping them flexible.

I have also been paying attention to what others have been “binging” on Netflix and Amazon.  While my back will not allow me to watch more than two episodes at a time, I have completed Ozark the 3rd season, Hunters, Upload, and of course, Tiger King.  Newsflash, there is going to be a 9th episode (the 8th episode was an after filming episode filmed via social distancing methods).

But the highlight of my day is in the evening.  Getting to talk with my daughters.

Initially reliant as communication between scheduled visits, as we wait for the time that it is safe not only for my daughters, but for me to travel with my health issues, Facetime, Zoom, and House Party allow me to still share our daily experiences.

And that for the most part is how I fill my day, day after day.

Like everyone, I am hoping that this crisis ends soon.  I do not know when it will end.  But in the meantime, I am doing my part not to spread or get infected.  I do not get involved with the whole “forced to do it” movement.  I do it because it is the right thing to do.

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