Get Healthy Before You Get Sick
I was no Miz Universe before I was diagnosed but as I began treatment I was grateful for every bead of sweat I expended at my Jazzercise classes. The Cancer Adventure is not for sissies and if you start strong you will bear the treatment better than if you begin from a deficit. The fatigue is surprising and all that much harder if you’re toting around extra poundage. Radiation (I am told) is much harder on the skin of obese women. If you have an exercise habit you can maintain through the tough months you will recover faster.
Let’s face it. Cancer therapy involves pumping toxic substances into your body. Doctors seem to know how to take you to the absolute edge of endurance. See above. And see a naturopath.
Medicine is a Miracle
I am grateful every day that I am experiencing cancer in 2010 and not 1910. My cancer was detected extremely early by amazing methods. It was treated by sophisticated machines that produce marvelous results. The miracle helps me to overlook the toxicity.
Intimates are Crucial
My heart breaks for people going through this alone. You absolutely need one or two people with whom you can be your crabby, sobbing, exhausted self. On those days when I was craving a cup of tea but just going downstairs and making it seemed daunting…those days Susan brought me tea and a muffin. The times when the waterworks started up for reasons I could not identify, Susan was sympathetic and comforting. She took up my normal jobs so that all I needed to do was be nice to myself. Bless her forever. Because it is hard to be a caregiver. Really hard.
You May Get Practice on Familiar Work
Whatever it is that challenges you in daily life? You’ll get extra practice with it during the Cancer Experience. If you have trouble accepting help, you will need to learn how to do that better. If you are independent, you will learn to be dependent. If you are impatient (hmmmmm), you will get practice learning patience. As if this whole thing isn’t hard enough! Above all, you will be compelled to practice better self-care.
Love is There for the Asking (and you have to be OK with asking)
I have been overwhelmed by the love and thoughtfulness of my loved ones near and far. The notes on this site, the cards, the flowers, the meals, the attention and prayers sustained me. Community is vital and I am blessed with an amazing community. I am grateful to all of you.