I learned a long time ago that I do best when I set goals for myself. If I set a goal then I have something to set my focus on achieving. To that end, every year at the beginning of the year I write goals and objectives for myself. The goals are the things that I want to accomplish in the course of the year and the objectives are the things that I can see that I need to do to accomplish those goals. I find that I also do best with getting those things done if I share the goals with someone else. That makes me feel more accountable. I may be willing to blow off my own goals but telling someone else makes me more accountable to my goals.
This year when I was writing my goals I couldn't focus. My body was in a lot of pain I was recently unable to ride my bike and all I could think of for a goal was to get out of pain and get back on my bike. I didn't yet know that the reason I felt so bad was because I had cancer running wild in my bone marrow. What I did know was that I couldn't focus on achieving anything else until I had a plan for how my body was going to get better.
I felt guilty because I usually write goals and objectives that cover all aspects of my life not just my physical being. But things felt so out of balance with my body that it was all I could focus on. I could not write goals about my career or my family or about what big rides I wanted to do until I could find out what was happening to me.
Now it is five months later. I know now while I felt so bad. It was a relief to finally find out what was wrong with me. It gave me an answer to a mystery and it gave me something to work towards. Now my life is almost all about fighting cancer. I really don't have time or energy for much else. But the difference is that I have a plan that I am working. I am doing the treatment that was worked out for me by my doctors and it seems to be working. That gives me a little extra brain space to think about the other things that I want to do.
I'll be frank, I don't have much energy to do much more than fighting cancer but I do have a lot of time to think. That gives me plenty of time to think about what I want to accomplish. Most of the things that I think about are things that I will do once I start feeling better.
One of the biggest goals that I have is to go sailing again. I am going to go sailing in the British Virgin Islands with my family. The chickenhawk and I went there in 2005 and I had a really really good time. This trip is the carrot that I dangle in front of my face to keep me working forward day by day.
Beyond that I am starting to formulate some other goals. First off I will get back into shape. I don't really know what a reasonable expectation is after putting my body through this "treatment" but I am going to get back in to the best physical shape that I can possibly get into. I am going to start training again.
A few weeks back I started to envision a big bike ride. A really big bike ride. I started to envision a ride across America. I don't yet know how I can do something like that. Heck, I don't even know if I'll be able to ride a bike. Nevertheless, I am thinking that one of my goals may be to ride across the USA. One of my other big goals is to help other people that have multiple myeloma. I had never even heard of multiple myeloma before I got it. I want to make people aware of the disease and I want to do what I can to help fund research into treatments for multiple myeloma. Those two goals seem to be made for each other. I am picturing a ride across America to bring attention to my disease and to perhaps raise some money for its treatment.
I learned a long time ago that setting reasonable goals is the key to getting them done. If they are too huge then they don't get done and I feel bad about it. So I am not going to call it a goal yet because I just don't know if it is reasonable. But I am going to keep my eye on that idea and work on finding a way to get it done. If I get to the point where I can see it getting done then I will do it.
On the family side of my life, I want to spend some real quality time with my wife and kids. This cancer battle has really knocked a big hole in our previously happy life. I have felt very disconnected from my kids and I don't like it. I really want to get back to a situation where we play together and I can be more active in parenting them. I want to spend some good quality day to day time with them. More than I used to.
And with the chickenhawk, I want to go back to being her partner instead of her patient. I want to contribute to the work that needs to get done and more. I want to show my gratitude for everything she has done for me.
I have other goals that I'll keep posting about them over time.