At the bus stop, while conversing with fellow parents, one of the Moms asked me, “do you work?”. As a stay-at-home Mom, I stumbled through my answer, as I do every time someone asks me that question. I responded vaguely, “while I do not go to work everyday, I do indeed, work”. She then asked, “what do you do all day?”.
I sat on the curb, watching my daughter play with her friends, thinking. My answer, in that moment, included phrases such as; “I clean the house, shop for meals, exercise and support my husband and children”. But, while all of that is true, I do have another full time job. I was hired 2 years ago.
I work 7 days a week, often overtime. I did not interview for this job, nor did I have any of the skills or experience needed to succeed at this job. Like so many, I just wing it, a lot of on-the job training, if you will. And, my boss sucks — Such an ass! I think about quitting just about every, single day but, I know that in order to support my family, I must continue to clock in every, damn day. Do I ever get a day off you ask?
Not – one – day!
I am a cancer survivor. Now, that title used to confuse me. Until you actually have this title, it might confuse you too. You see, survivor does not mean that you won. It does not mean that the cancer is gone. It does not mean that you are in remission. It means that you are surviving this horrific disease. That is exactly what I am doing full time.
This week my job responsibilities include managing a rash that covers over 50% of my body. It itches so badly that, against my better judgment, I scratch it until my skin bleeds all over. Then, it stings. It’s angry at me. It is so ugly that I pray for cooler weather if only to cover it up and pretend that it is not there.
I am managing food aversions so bad that I am surviving on marshmallows, chicken broth and crackers. None of these food groups are low in carbs, as cancer survivors are directed to eat. None of these foods provide any energy to get through your work day. Eat more protein the doctors says, boy, I sure would love to.
And, I am managing diarrhea. That word alone may make you chuckle a bit and roll your eyes in disbelief. But, this is not your typical loose stools we all experience after Mexican food. Pardon the graphic nature of this blog post but, to put it bluntly, it is violent. It is painful. It is debilitating and, it controls my entire agenda for the day. Like my boss, it tells me what to do, it orders me to stop in the middle of my day and pay attention to it. It’s self centered, at best.
I hate my job. I want a day off. I am lonely sometimes sitting in this dark cubicle by myself. This job sucks.
I will never quit.