Why Patience is so Important

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Patience is a virtue!

There’s a lot of lessons that we can take from the many experiences that we all go through. Patience is one of the most critical skills that we can learn as we get older and when we’re faced with insurmountable situations.

As a cancer patient and survivor, patience has been one of the most important virtues that are needed to deal with all the challenges I’ve faced over the course of my lymphoma re-occurrence and with the stay-at-home order with COVID-19.

I’m constantly working on my patience. There are a lot of reasons and situations that test me. Have to remember to slow down and not force the future. It’s hard, especially for someone that tries to be as informed as possible when it comes to making important decisions in my life. 

Driving is one of the most challenging situations that test my patience. I’ve had to pull over countless times to the side of a road where it’s safe and take a moment to relax and let the moment sink in, Gather my thoughts, and then continue. I admit I get very angry and frustrated when I drive.

Just like waiting on test results. after so many days of waiting, I have to remind myself to let the process work. This is incredibly difficult though. especially right now. I don’t want to speculate on what the next six months of my life are going to look like. And that’s the thing about knowledge is it can also be a curse.

“Capacity to accept trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

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Even though I might get frustrated when it comes to driving and waiting on test results for my lymphoma, I don’t want mistakes to be made or steps to be skipped for short-term satisfaction. Patience is an exercise in self-discipline! And is a virtue that is learned over the course of time. 

Patience is more important now than ever before!

With our short attention span and having information instantly at our fingertips, it’s easy to become frustrated and anxious about not being in control or making informed decisions on the spot. When it comes to cancer, there are long periods of time when we wait for results that may or may not be favorable. Like recently I had to wait for months to get the results of the radiation treatment for my lymphoma. Unfortunately, those results were not favorable. Without patience, I would have gone mad days after finishing up my last treatment. 

But here’s the thing, during that four months of time, I was able to work on learning new skills and being a more valuable person not only at my job but in my own personal interest as well. I use that time to really go deep and understand my feelings and emotions And not let them fly out of control. 

I’m going to teach you 10 lessons on why patience is important!

You’ll never get an answer when you want it.

99% of the time when you’re in the middle of needing an answer to make the next decision, chances are you’re going to have to wait.  Now, I’m talking about important decisions that can affect the most important aspects of your life. At the time of this writing, I’ve been waiting 8 days to get the results of my biopsy. This information is going to dictate what happens for the rest of 2020. It’s honestly been brutally painful. Even though I have an idea of what’s going to happen.

One of the best things that I learned in my life what’s having patience. Keeping me occupied through all the tests, biopsies, and treatments helped keep my mindset strong and open to what is next. This also helps teach me to live more days today instead of dwelling on what might be in my future. This is added so much value to my life. I truly believe has been one of the main paths to finding peace through all this lymphoma nonsense.

Who knows what opportunity might present itself? 

I truly feel that some of my best opportunities came when I didn’t jump on the first thing that crossed my path. By being patient and taking the time to exercise caution and discretion. As a person going through the cancer experience, again, I have found that the more I learn, the more I feel the need for patience in my life. Maybe that’s just an age thing… 

Are you doing something good with this free time?

This is a big one for me right now. With the stay-at-home order, we have an opportunity (see #2) to do something bigger than ourselves. to potentially give back in a way that may make us feel proud and humbled. I truly feel that this pandemic has opened up one of the most important opportunities for our current generation. This is a great time to learn the lesson of patience. Planting the seeds of creativity and desire now and nurturing the results over time.

I am building a better life for myself and my family through hard work, consistency, and patience. This is keeping my head focused and sharp while I wait on these results. It’s a way for me to be patient with my time.

Allows you time to improve your mental and physical health

Just as any goal is incredibly important to you, having patience can help you see the gains of the work that you put in. This is especially true for your mental and physical health. 

As a Cancer patient, you spend so much time waiting. You’re waiting to get results of Tess that you’ve never had done before. You’re waiting to know which direction the treatments going to take you.  all this waiting wreaks Havoc on your mental state just because of all the uncertainty of what is next. That’s why I like to combine both physical and mental together. 

It’s scientifically proven that your physical health is directly associated with your mental status. The endorphins you gain from physical exercise directly affect your mental health. That is why so many people preach this concept, It works. But what stuff is starting?  people expect to see results immediately. And that just doesn’t happen. Discouragement kicks in and the vicious cycle continues. They weren’t patient enough to see the results over time.  

This is why I’m a huge proponent of lifestyle modification for cancer patients and survivors while having the commitment and discipline to follow through.

It gives you a chance to calm down and make rational decisions. 

When I was diagnosed with this second reoccurrence, I spent a fair amount of time rationalizing the situation I was in. My head was moving a million miles an hour. Consumed with trying to figure out why I was in this position again. I was able to look back and ask myself And ask questions like “did I do everything right”? 

Since I was in the middle of going through all the tests and waiting on results, I was able to calmly answer these questions. And in turn, make rational decisions moving forward.

Helps you develop a new set of skills

As with anything in life, it takes time to learn new and valuable skills. patience is important in this fact because it takes time to be proficient with these new skills. Whether that’s learning to weld or learning software for 3D printing or coding software to make it work better. It takes time to learn all the skills and it takes patience to develop the skills to become proficient at a top level.

There’s a great line from hip-hop Lyricist Locksmith about what it takes to get good at a new set of skills. “The definition of grind is through repetition and time”. This struck a massive chord with me. Mostly because it really helped put into perspective what it means to be patient. How you can become anything that you want as long as you are disciplined enough to follow through. 

Teaches you to battle worry and frustration! 

Patience is like the older sibling that just looked at you when you made mistakes as a little kid, shaking their head in disbelief. All the while knowing the only way you’re going to learn is by doing it the hard way.

It is especially true when worry and frustration come into play due to decisions that were not created by you. 

This is a tough one for parents because there is always going to be an element of protection over their kids. You don’t want them to get hurt. But this is also a good way for parents to help rationalize their own worry, frustration, and fear of how a child needs to learn. 

For cancer patients and survivors, there’s always a little bit of worry and frustration in the back of our heads. We’re either going through treatment or wondering if we’re going to have to go through treatment in the future. For survivors, the fear of a reoccurrence or secondary cancer  Camby is overwhelmingly debilitating. We live with so much fear of something that hasn’t happened yet. The profound experience of going through cancer can make it very difficult outside of treatment.

Helps work on relationship skills 

What is so good about patience and learning and mastering this skill allows you the opportunity to reflect on what is happening in your environment. It gives you the opportunity to see decisions in their simplest and most complex. 

I had a moment the other day with my family when I got in a fight over not being included in a simple decision. The chain of events that unfolded added unnecessary stress to an already stressful situation. It would have been very simple for me to circumvent the entire situation by making a simple phone call or a text to my wife about a menu item.

 this is why I have a hard time with assumptions. I assumed the information when It was presented. But I didn’t confirm it. I didn’t make sure what I was told was true. Not from the person I needed to hear it from.

It wasn’t until later in the evening that the frustration from my wife became evident. And immediately I knew the mistake I made. (It was over dinner items that we were ordering for takeout. My oldest daughter had ordered a burger for her, and my youngest picked up a poke bowl from a different restaurant. Turns out my wife wanted a poke Bowl also.)  

Honestly, this has happened a number of times in the past. It’s not that I intend to do harm, I just didn’t verify with the most important person in my life. This time away from my family has helped strengthen my awareness and help me become more understanding with patients. 

Can help create a calming feeling 

It’s so easy to get worked up when you’re in the middle of any situation. Especially one that is stressful. Whether it’s your work or commitments that you’ve made, you can give yourself extra time to work through these challenges. And when you add certain elements like meditation or stretching, it will slow down time and create a calming feeling deep in your soul. 

I’ve been a pretty patient person for most of my life. Sure there were times when I may have forced decisions faster than they needed to happen. But I learn from those mistakes. I saw what could happen when you let time do what it does. Whether it was snowboarding or excavation Contracting and development. You always had to give yourself time and be patient for results and decisions to be made to get to the next step. Anytime I’ve ever forced decisions has only hurt the end result. 

A way to practice self-control and discipline 

I get worked up over things that are small and insignificant. Catching myself when my attitude gets strong and frustrated. I can’t tell you the number of times I have pulled over and taken a moment to relax and calm down.

I used to road rage and get really ornery. A couple of years ago, I made a promise to myself 2 adjust my frustrations at the moment it happens. The best way I found is by taking a big step back from the heat of the moment. Letting the situation continue to move forward in front of me and let it pass. I cannot tell you how hard this was to do. I remember the first time I pulled over and let that situation go. 

This isn’t easy to do. It takes practice and discipline. 

Todd Franzen

There’s something you have to understand when it comes to driving, I have a class-A commercial driver’s license. I frequently am hauling heavy equipment. Sometimes close to 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons. When you are frustrated and angry and traveling with that much weight, it becomes a very real situation, and must think on your feet. 

Patience allows me to learn self-control and become disciplined at it. I’m not perfect in a lot of ways, but I’m definitely much more aware of how much patience can really affect your life in a good way. 

Here’s the key though, you have to be all in. With the desire to understand what it means to be personally responsible for yourself and your actions. They say that personal development is the newest hottest fad. When it comes down to having the patience to discipline yourself why’ll you make the wisest choices you can! 

Click here if you want to learn more about the meaning of cancer survivorship.

About the Author

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

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