I'm so frustrated of being asked that question. Everywhere I go everywhere I turn around I get asked, "so how are you doing?". As soon as the words start coming out my anxiety rises and I start getting irritated.
Here's the catch though, it's not the people or the question that bothers me. I actually really feel cared for when people ask how I'm doing. Many people apologize before they ask and there is really no need. I don't mind you asking.
I'm also very comfortable talking about myself and my condition. I don't have a problem discussing my medical experiences, treatments, and options.
So what drives me nuts?
The answer, I can't answer this question. It's getting steadily harder and harder to try and share how Kendra and I are doing. Physically is a simple answer. It's emotionally and personally that is almost impossible to describe. So I get frustrated not at you or the question, but at me and the answer.
Here's why it's so hard. The answer is complete opposites most of the time. I'm doing great and terrible all at once. I'm healing and I'm dying all at once. We feel an indescribable sense of peace and God's grace and also cry into each others arms during moments of fear and terror.
For example, Kendra and I may drive down the road and see a house or a condominium and start having a very casual conversation about whether she would want to live in a condominium if I die. Five minutes later we might be talking about where to take our grandchildren on vacation.
I can go from feeling closer and more intimately connected with Kendra to irrational emotional outbursts and a hard heart from day to day.
The longer this battle wanes on the better and worse we are doing. The pressure is still very real, and for Kendra the grind of living life, working full time, being a mom, a caregiver and more are overwhelming at times. For me due to the side effects I continue to feel further removed from the person I always used to be.
So how do I answer the question? To answer "great" or "terrible" would only be giving half the answer. I can't figure out how to describe this duality of emotions though. So I'll probably continue telling folks that I'm doing well but it is a daily battle.
So please don't stop asking me (or others in my situation) how I'm doing. I appreciate your concern.
But know that sometimes, it's the most difficult question of all.
And if the answer may not make sense to you, perhaps you'll know why.