Personal Shortcomings: Individual Flaws

dark forest image with the text Never Weaponize Personal Shortcomings
Never Weaponize Personal Shortcomings

Our personal shortcomings is a topic that has become a bit more of a challenge to work through as a cancer patient and survivor. Because there’s a lot of different cancer issues that come up. Personal Shortcomings lends itself to be one an area of conflict. 

As you go through the cancer experience, there are many issues that come to light that you never really think about. What a lot of healthy people don’t realize is the shortcomings we have as humans. When you go through cancer, the shortcomings become tools for conflict when Stress and Anxiety over the situation run high. 

It’s Difficult Because…

Personal shortcomings are really difficult because it affects so many people not just including yourself, but it affects your family, caregivers, and everyone that is involved in your team. Some might be small idiosyncrasies that only you know, and some are larger more obvious. 

When you go through the Cancer Experience, these issues come to the forefront because of the close proximity to your team that you are working within. A big issue for me is how the frustration and anger with our personal shortcomings get weaponized and used as a way to poke and prod insecurities only to cause conflict. 

This doesn’t need to happen! It only causes extra stress. That is one thing that we just don’t want need in our lives, especially going through a personal ordeal like Cancer.

Never Weaponize Shortcomings

Patience and Survivors consider this a Burden!

Our Personal Shortcomings aren’t just a burden on our family, but they’re a burden on us as well. Were the ones that are going through this cancer experience. That’s why it’s hard when the burden becomes weaponized. For me, my memory has really taken a big hit. Not just all the treatment I’ve done, but add to it all the stress and anxiety that I’m currently experiencing.

There’s a lot asked of me right now. Especially since I look and feel well while I’m going through treatment, which makes my shortcomings an easy target for a conflict to escalate.

But here’s the thing, I can understand why it goes that way and I have empathy because of the frustration it causes with our family and the people we love. 

Its hard and I know it!

Unfortunately, because of my memory (this is a big one for me), I can’t remember everything that’s going on, (Schedules, Appointments, Grocery Lists exc…) then add in all the personal responsibilities that I am trying to do and accomplish. Trying to cover all bases all the time. It just doesn’t always work. But I am aware and doing my best to do a better job, even writing everything down and using my hand computer as a resource. 

Unfortunately, there’s a lot that goes on through the cancer experience. It creates so much anxiety and stress, not only on myself but on my caregiver and the people that I love as well. That’s the last thing that I want to do as someone that is going through cancer. And there’s a lot that goes on for normal, healthy people as well.

Acknowledging the Shortcomings

At this point, my goal is to be as stress-free as possible. It’s difficult because there’s so much stress that comes along with being a cancer patient, dealing with the stigma, dealing with the possibility of your own mortality. 

Trying to put this into words is incredibly difficult to do. So what am I trying to do about it? 

At this point, I’m doing my best to be as patient as possible with my family. Trying to be patient with myself knowing that I have difficulty with my personal shortcomings. This is one of the more difficult exercises to do while going through this huge life challenge! 

Overall, the knowledge gained has made me a better Husband, Father, and Patient. Gaining a deeper understanding into my own weird little world.

Todd Franzen

I’m trying to not let it escalate any more than it has to. And if that means stepping back and taking a moment or part of a day away from my family and team to let things cool down, that is absolutely OK!

Taking the time to do something that is going to be physically good for me like getting on my bike, going for a walk, or taking my dog Enzo out. This is a great way to let the tension dissipate in order to have a constructive conversation about it. 

Awareness, Communication and Patience!

I’ve been aware that my communication skills need help. I’m aware and working on this because that’s one of my shortcomings. Trying to communicate my thoughts in the middle of a heated conversation. 

It’s really hard to get your point across and to be heard because everyone is just angry and frustrated at the situation and in order to allow that to happen, you have to let it dissipate.

So far I’ve been having success with this method. And with everyone’s need to express there are thoughts and opinions, having some time to cool down and not be heated allows all points to be heard. 

My family and team are very aware that I have acknowledged that my shortcomings do frustrate me and cause angst in the macro picture of my scenario. They too have also acknowledged that it causes me Stress and Anxiety as I’m the one going through the cancer experience. 

I will Continue to Improve!

I think one of the biggest takeaways I’m going through cancer during a pandemic is learning to respect everyone’s space. Trying to give a little bit of personal distance between my household and the needs that are household requires. 

We have all discussed that weaponizing each other’s shortcomings only creates an unseen barrier that doesn’t do anyone any good. And by acknowledging this, it has helped create a Better place where each person comes from. 

Sure we have our moments, but fortunately, we are respectful of each other. 

About the Author

Todd Franzen is a Stage 4 Lymphoma Survivor. Living in Breckenridge Colorado

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