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CLL Life

by Anonymous

16 May 2011 at 13:54

Living with "watch and wait"


CLL and Getting past the term “watch and wait”


Following my recent reading on our suppressed/compromised immunities, what may improve its function and improve our protection against opportunist infection many questions have been brought to mind.


Understanding what may be obvious to some that a well balanced diet and exercise goes some way in helping us live with CLL wasn’t hard. But understanding just how many factors there are that may help was. So I thought I would highlight one that is intriguing me, our very state of mind itself and stress relief.


Before we can go there we all have to get past the effects of diagnosis and then come to terms with the disease and the term “watch and wait”, which the majority of us are handed as a status and a monitoring process to allow us to live our lives.


Reality slowly coming home to roost takes time I think, to allow us to remember who we are and remember what’s important. Part of this is understanding how time plays a part in all this. If we use time then perhaps time won’t use us, it’s not our enemy it can be our vehicle. Easy to say when you’ve lost the choking feeling that diagnosis brings with the fear of imminent danger and change to your families future. Hardly surprising when the “fight or flight” reaction wants you to react, but instead slowly shuts you down. As no one else appears to wish to react all of a sudden, in truth they get it but you don’t yet! You’re now on watch and wait.


You then find that “watch and wait” as a description of the observational process doesn’t help you either and in a way it may assist your anxiety to continue. For the words suggest that you do just that, watch and wait. Perhaps not the best start on our journey?


As so much of medical speak is formed around abbreviation. Would a change of the term assist in the transition? As we have to take ownership of the term and lend it back to the profession every now and then, could we make it our own?


  I was doodling with this as a possibility and tried to apply it. For example: Ardent Investigative Monitoring, abbreviated to AIM.  A positive verb that could immediately change an initial interpretation of the process. Did you know that synonyms for watch are; gaze at, look at and stare at for example, hardly inspiring.. For wait they get worse; stay, remain, hang around, linger, stop, kill time, pass the time. Is it any wonder that watch and wait can be so hard to deal with in the beginning until you get past the term?


Add a little Self and you have AIMS.  So with a little Self Education, Reading and Time, it could be a SERT that you lose anxiety and stress and are able to enjoy life again?


But them what’s in a name, perhaps it may just be learning not to wait and just do a little living?


Just a thought



Nick w&w and living again

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