Sometimes I feel like there are that many versions of ME and what I need to do and in all honestly, I think this is just a state of normal for anyone out there who has different "things" in their life - be it family, work, fun, etc - there is stuff to balance and manage.
Something I miss doing is writing and updating my blog more often - it seems I am down to once a week and I need this outlet so I have to take that splintered photo of myself and prioritize what I NEED to do to stay "sane". Writing is up there at the very tippity top of the list - it is my way of practicing self care.
I ran on empty for a LONG time and did not do anything for me like ever. As a mom, it is so easy to get swept away on what everyone ELSE needs and I was like that way before I ever gave birth. I will not run on empty anymore. I need to focus on what I need to do and how I need to do it but lately, it has not been easy and as all the parents in the land know, it is almost time for the most dreaded season of all seasons - SUMMER VACATION.
Now, listen to me, I love my kids so damn much. I treasure my time with them now but before I lived only for them - I planned activities up the arse each and every summer. I kept them rocking and rolling from 7am (when they woke, the little b-words) to 10pm at night for bed. Last summer, I was undergoing radiation so it was the first summer that I did not go balls to the wall in terms of activities and it was kind of brutal.
My kids, like all kids, love to fight, to complain about being bored and oftentimes now, I just have to let it go because I CANNOT do what I used to do. I mean, I could but I do not want to because then I wind up collapsing and not doing the things I need to do FOR ME.
I often have big plans for the summer academically - for summer reading, for homework activities and just to help with skills but it always falls to the wayside of fun, fun, fun. This year, though, my son needs to focus on his handwriting and his essay writing skills and I dread it with every fiber of my being.
But before all of that, in these last few days of school, I am going to work on what is nonnegotiable for me. I know I need to write, I need to promote my small business (check it out and let me know what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong - www.thenextstep1234.com) and I need to work on building out my nonprofit.
Of course I also need to have some fun and enjoy my kids - I see them growing up so quickly now - and I have tons of follow ups with Sloan for my clinical trial, Lupron shot and surgeon. I also have the 9/11 WTC program, which I am working on writing about as well. Oh and maybe a vacation at the end of August.
What are your plans? How do you practice self care? What is important to you? How do you keep your kids (if any) from kicking each other ALL SUMMER LONG? Asking for a friend. :)
So I spent time this weekend with scanziety over something that isn’t even a scan nor is it a different thing or out of the ordinary. It is something I do quite often with my clinical trial where I go in every 3 months for CBC blood work - so not even tumor markers- and then I get a physical exam of my remaining breast and my mastectomy side and then I get my next 3 months of trial pills.
There is no rational reason for me to be fearful and thinking that I will be told “that’s not good” - nothing has changed, I haven’t had any weird side effects so thank God about all of that - and yet I am still consumed with this fear that something will happen to ruin our immediate vacation.
I have realized that I am thinking in terms of my kids all of the time - what mother doesn’t I guess - but for this cancer mama there is so much that I have no control over even more so than “normal” moms. What do I mean by that? Well, you see I feel guilty that I got sick. I know I didn’t make myself sick I know I didn’t ask to get sick but it happened and though it did effect me it also effected my kids - sometimes more and more...
So now with this random unnecessary scanziety I know what I have to do. I have to recenter away from how things such as bad Dr news affects my kids and instead just think about me - me the kickass person who said cut the boob off, who sat through 8 rounds of chemo with a smile on my stupid face and worked full time during it too then got laid off then went through radiation and started sharing to help others in so many ways between career after cancer seminars the free kids book and sharing my story period.
I have to think about that because although my kids maybe couldn’t handle any bad news (God forbid) I know I can because I did ... so I have to do some deep breathes and just know no matter what I will go to Sloan and then to my family vacation after. No matter what. This is what I do in the time between.
In keeping with my promise to myself, I have been focusing more on self-care and on being kind to myself. What does it mean to be kind to myself? It means I am not beating myself up anymore about things I cannot control or do much about in terms of finances, stamina and just whatever else can come up.
I do want to do so much and I still plan on doing it but in pieces and much less showy. I also am still very active on my Instagram, despite initially thinking I would not be. Insta is really kind of my lifeline, my connection to others who have walked my walk and who can understand how I feel.
I have been slightly more social of late, too with some parties and events I have attended. That is all great but as we all know, sleep is impacted by the aftereffects and current effects of treatments/medications so I have been more tired and also trying to manage out my time effectively. I want to enjoy more with my kids and focus on all of my blessings - the fact that as far as I know I am NED and that last year at this time, I was just wishing I could survive chemotherapy and be considered "normal" again.
Now, though, is the wisdom that I cannot be "normal" again - though I see myself as still being "me" I am not the me I would have been had my plot twist of cancer not hit me right in the middle of chapter 39 of my book of life. Instead, though, I am starting to love this new me, this creature who knows what to do though I forget often enough that I need to remind me to be nicer to myself, to know what I need to let go of to say fuck it all when my bank account goes red to not fear tomorrow or to think about how to handle tomorrow but instead to enjoy and think about today.
Unfortunately, no one knows what tomorrow will bring but when your yesterdays are full of chemo, surgeries and learning this new vocabulary of cancer, you kind of learn that today is the shit.
So today and yesterday, my kids are home (thanks nor'easter #4 in 4 weeks!) and instead of obsessively planning out my next steps and what I want to do, I have been watching movies, cleaning & laundry (it never ends the cleaning and laundry involved with being a mom/woman/etc) and just enjoying my little people and my family, too.
Wednesday night, I got to fulfill a little dream by being able to walk on a runway for my kids' school. I thought I would be one of many moms walking but I was the only mom who walked. Lately, with my new makeup skills and the use of a makeup artist, i have been feeling glam and fab - but not too big for my britches than to also post photos of me looking ridiculous and spikey!
In between Wednesday night's festivities, I have been home and reading and resting with the kids (or when they are at school, just on my own). That is my solace, my escape - I read and it is like watching movies in my head. I have wanted to write but I have been loathe to get my laptop and start going at it ... today was the first day I had the urge to write.
Last year at this time, I still had 40 days left of chemotherapy treatments... I refuse to get down about anything, though it is a challenge to keep myself focused on the positive...Check out my pics & my video of me on the catwalk and let me know what you think! I had always wanted to model something and this dress was perfect for me and my one boob-situation - you cannot even tell! Some of the women there were telling me how brave I was to model and I was like, "sister, I had a boob cut off, this doesn't take much bravery!" ... This is what I do in the time between...
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