Sunday, November 07, 2010
(Countdown: 54 Days to New Yearís)
Ok, I have heard and read that after cancer treatments stop, your brain kind of goes numb, many have a hard time adjusting, some get depressed, etc. Intellectually, I knew all that. I was watching for it.
How come I didnít see it coming at me like a Mac truck? Crashed and burned this past week. I think what kicked it off was the in-laws coming over with pictures of the 25th Wedding Anniversary/Thanksgiving week-end. While Iíll admit that Iím stocky, and my shape has changed since the mastectomy, and my hair is super, super short because it's just growing back after chemo... I wasnít expecting exclamations of ďwhoís that guy?Ē when they looked at the pictures. I mean, I was sitting right there, looking right along with them. I donít get it. People really donít absorb changes in things and people once they get used to seeing them a certain way. Ugh. And Ouch! I thought I was at least rockiní the short hair; now Iím just feeling really self-conscious about everything when I go out.
I didnít quite realize that it had had such an effect on me, but I was lazy, on the sofa and computer/tv all day Thursday and Friday. I was snarky and picked a fight with my DH yesterday. Now I didnít even recognize myself!
So today is another day; Iím ready to take this bull by the horns and tame it. Plans for today include:
ē Check for anything that needs to be done outside, and setting up a schedule to do it this week
ē Check our supplies and replenish anything we need for outside work today (paint!)
ē See what we can do about our kitchen drawers (which are falling apart Ė glue might not do it!)
ē If itís nice, get outside for a walk. Otherwise, get on the stationary bike
ē Iím going to review the daily routines I had drafted a while back, and really set up something that works for me in the morning and at end of day, to make our lives easier here.
ē Iím going to meditate on accepting DH as he is, and not try to force him into walking along my path. He has his own path to walk!
ē As much as I hate to say it, because Iíve never been a Ďgirly girlí, Iím going to look into wearing make-up more regularly, to try to look a bit more like a girly girl! Because I've also never been mistaken for a man, and I really, really didn't like it!
ē It's menu and grocery day, so get some more healthy food in the houe - we're running out of fruit/veg.
Thatís it. Thatís all Iíve got.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
(Countdown - 58 days left until 2011!)
Today was the last day of my radiation treatments. I'm still a little leary of what that means. My days have been organized around these for the past five weeks, and I'm entering a brand new world of no more cancer treatments. It feels stranger than I thought it would.
I'm happy to have started with SparkPeople before my treatments, because now I feel like I'm ahead of the game in recovery. There are so many inspiring people here, and it makesa huge difference to me that the discussion is about being more active, healthier, eating nutritiously.
Here's to the rest of my life!
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 59 days left to 2010!)
Best accomplishment: balanced food (brought snacks, so for our after-appointments coffee date I had fruit instead of baked goods; and had supper in the slow cooker, so we didnít get take-out).
Lesson Learned: walking in my clogs doesnít work so well anymore, now that my feet arenít so swollen. Finally found some silicone toe protectors, and will try those and see if it helps with my chemo toe nails so I can wear socks and closed shoes!
Planning makes such a big difference in my day, and Iíve finally found a system that works for me. I got a reminder at the hospital yesterday to not push too hard, too fast, and that return to work in January might not be the wisest move to make. Iíll have to really think hard on that. Iíve never been one to abuse of a system, and I already feel so, so lucky to have universal health care and long-term disability insurance. But Iím also hyper-aware that I returned to work much too quickly after the thyroid cancer, and donít want to make that mistake twice!
Iím trying hard to put thoughts of work on the way-far-in-the-back burner for now, and concentrate my limited energy on getting healthy and creating a better home environment (yes, I mean decluttering!). Slow and steady will win the race in both those cases so thatís my strategy.
Tonight will be supper out for my sonís birthday, and heís debating two restaurants. One I can find nearly healthy choices (still too much sodium), but the other one is strictly a burger place so not much hope there. I think they donít even have salads, so it will be a burger with brie cheese and pears, and a few sweet potato fries stolen from my DHís plate, which come to think of it may be better than that first place with all the sodium. Hmmmmm...
Sunday, October 31, 2010
(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 61 days left to 2010!)
Iíve been having some deep thinky thoughts lately about my life. Letís just say that when it comes to having help and support, Iíve always been put and learned to put myself last on the list. My mother used to say that I was the one she never had to worry about, or pay attention to because I was so self-sufficient.
When I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in Dec 2009, the doctors were all over me. Unlike my first cancer (thyroid), IBC is a very aggressive form of cancer, and put me on everyoneís priority list. Tests that usually take 8-12 months to schedule took two days.
In a sense, I was one step removed from the control I usually had in my life. However, instead of fighting to regain control, I relaxed into this new sensation of being taken care of. Donít get me wrong. Chemo, surgery, dealing with four drains for a month, radiation, the fatigue, nausea... none of it was fun, by any definition of the word. But I had a job - to maximize my chances of living cancer free, and minimize any side effects. And an entire team of medical professionals was supporting me in doing that!
Iím only coming to realize what strength I garnered from that suppot. Yeah, it was good. This morning, I realized that when I turned to SparkPeople early in September, I was subconsciously seeking to re-create that support and shared strength. I couldnít have fallen onto a better crowd!
When I think of how this transfers into my new life, I see the following:
ē Walking or biking will not be used solely to get from point A to point B, to do errands, to get to work. I will also walk and bike because I love walking and biking, and I miss it.
ē I also used to skate from the Rideau Centre to Dowís Lake and back (so, about 15 km) every night the skateway was open. Iím going to take that up again.
ē My health and wellbeing are just as important as payments on the mortgage, my sonís soccer membership, my husbandís daily coffee run, or whatever. I will budget funds to pay for exercise courses (aquafitness, learning to swim, zumba, yoga, tai chi, etc.) to take care of ME!
ē I now accept that I sometimes need or want help, and I have to practice asking for it. I will delegate to others, and not hover to make sure things are done to my so-called Ďexacting standardsí, freeing up time to take care of ME!
ē Iím going to search out innovative ways to get a support system going in my real life (to complement my virtual SP one!). Itís going to be a ĎTeam Meí for everyone on it, and they will all benefit. If my family members want a spot on the team, theyíll have to earn it!
ē Rather than observing from the sidelines and helping everyone else achieve their goals, Iím going to go after my own too!
Even as I type this Iím hearing that internal monologue that says Iím being too selfish, or that Iíll be wasting money, or taking time away from the family. Enough, I say! The first half of my life was about everybody else; the second half will be about a better me.
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