Photo on 5-19-16 at 5.55 PM #3

I emailed my endocrinologist on Monday, telling him I’d really like to get off the steroids as soon as possible.

So as of this past Monday, with his blessing, I have gone down from 15 mg of hydrocortisone to 12.5 mg each day.  Until today, I was feeling pretty good.  Today, I’ve been tired since I woke up.  But fatigue is a common symptom of weaning off steroids, so I don’t think it’s any big deal.

I am currently reading The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.  It’s pretty good reading for someone with cancer, I think.  The chapter “Bisy Backson” is a particularly good chapter for people who are trying to wean off steroids.  Being tired so much for the past couple of months, I am learning how not to be a “Bisy Backson,” which is Christopher Robin’s misspelling of “Busy Back Soon,” and a perfect description of Rabbit’s character – someone who is always busily heading somewhere and nowhere at the same time.  All at a frantic pace.

When you are tired, it’s hard to be a Bisy Backson, but it is easy to fret over not being well enough to be one.  I am finding the trick is to enjoy not being able to be a Bisy Backson.  It is a change in perspective.  If I don’t have the energy to get anything done during the day, I just sit in the sun a bit and watch bugs and birds fly.  And I enjoy – or try to enjoy – not being “bisy.”  I have to say, it takes some getting used to, but it can be very, very nice.

The trick seems to be to accept both myself and the day as they present themselves, not as I might wish them to be.  It is much nicer not to fight against what is, but to go with what is.  Allow it.  Become part of it.

Still, I’d like to not feel so tired!

The plan is for me to stay on this 12.5 mg dose of hydrocortisone for another week and a half – two weeks total.  And if all goes well, I’ll taper again, per my endocrinologist’s instructions.  

Hopefully, today will just be a one time, little dip in energy.  But also hopefully, I will decide to continue to not always be a Bisy Backson, even when I have loads of energy to spare.  

It’s nice just watching the world go by.

And being part of it.

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4 years ago

Dear Fran,
I’m reading St. Benedict’s Rule (thinking about applying this to my family) and you came to mind and here you are fighting cancer. Fight, fight, fight the good fight! I am praying you have a complete recovery. I’m so glad that you embrace these days to watch the world go by. That’s what I do too, many days. I hope you remember me — I was with you at Chautauqua 10 yrs ago 🙂 I love your book and looking forward to another. God bless you.

4 years ago
Reply to  Fran

Dear Fran, the Rule has great advice for abbots (parents) to organize things so that there’s minimal grumbling of the brothers (children). It’s not really a project per se rather developing better habits for living in general. Ex. not procrastinating, doing our work with the utmost excellence, regular family prayers/devotions. We’re converts, so there’s a lot of resistance. Pray for us.

Jean Makurat
Jean Makurat
4 years ago

Hi Fran! I have “The Tao Of Pooh”, and have read it several times. Great book. Now I’m in the middle of “If The Buddha Got Stuck”, which seems like it was written just for me :-). Good luck with the weaning, and with keeping things in perspective! Love you!

Jo Viglione
Jo Viglione
4 years ago

Wow, I truly envy you this post. What a gift! Guessing we are the same personality types and I just hit 70 and am finally trying to figure out “how to smell the roses”. Yes, I have always been a busy person and thought it was a real gift-look at all I seemingly accomplished. At this stage of life, mostly lived, I now am trying to re-learn how to truly live. Just started yoga and trying the meditation thing, all very surreal to me. But I am focused on “being in the moment” more. It’s very difficult for me. I think you may have been handled a gift-soak it up! Love ya

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