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.
Friday, October 29, 2010
(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 63 days left!)
Iíve been focussing on regaining my health since August 23, 2010, joined SparkPeople on September 9, 2010, and been undergoing radiation treatments (rads) for breast cancer in October (expect to finish around November 3). I have had the focus of a heat seeking missile, learning about nutrition and exercise, but am now unable to follow-up on the exercise because of reactions to the rads. Giving up? No way!
All this means is that Iíll take a step back and digest what these two months have brought me, let my lessons sink in, and be better prepared to continue once Iíve recovered. In the meantime, nutrition will continue, as will organizing my home. Movement will be incorporated insofar as possible, but Ďformalí exercise is on hiatus until Iíve recovered. Then Iíll reward myself with an aquafit class!
I was planning on Aquafit in January 2011, but my doctors say I can do it four weeks after I finish rads (assuming my skin heals properly). That brings me to end November/early December. I see no reason to delay it Ė itís four more weeks of exercise challenge! It will give me a good re-boot before I return to work in January.
Iím so looking forward to all of this. I am re-energized, and Iíve taken conscious, deliberate control of my life for the first time. Feels great!
Monday, October 25, 2010
(New Year's Countdown - Day 67)
Today was a model for the rest of my week, as I near completing my radiation treatments.
Fatigue is assailing me to a degree I never expected. I got up, ate, and fell asleep on the sofa this morning. I was so soundly asleep then when my ride arrived, and rang the doorbell three times, I didnít even wake up. Luckily he called, and the phone woke me. But that just means that I need the extra sleep, and Iím allowing myself to take it. Itís the only way Iíll heal properly.
Of course, that meant I had no lunch before going to the hospital. I had to eat in the infamously unhealthy cafeteria. After doing the cafeteria circuit twice, I noticed someone refilling the salad bar. So guess what I had for lunch!
After that, went to my doctorís appointment, then my rads, then a walking circuit of the hospital campus, just to get some steps in. I found a circuit is about 600 steps, and decided to do one before and one after my rads this week.
Now, because I slept all morning and was away all afternoon, I made no preparations for supper. Normally, that would lead to take out. But today, I managed to organize something from food we already had at home, so we had a nice healthy supper. After that, we did a couple of errands, and I finished sorting my closet at home (from which I removed most of my dressier clothing, which has all gotten too big!)
So this is the model I want to follow this week: rest as required, eat nutritiously, add walking wherever I can, and get stuff done at home. Things are still falling nicely into place.
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