Stress is bad for you and your body but especially after a cancer diagnosis, you have to try to keep stress to an absolute minimum. This is hard to do.
I have mentioned in previous blog posts how I just do not have the ability to worry the way I used to in terms of anxiety and the such the-secret-of-life.html. That being said, there are still things that can trigger a case of the nerves for anyone.
A big thing for me is the financial management of living on one salary and supporting the household bills balanced with the boredom of my two children this summer and the fact that I am not yet at 100% in terms of energy.
Working full time during chemotherapy took a lot out of me and I took some sick leave after chemotherapy to manage my tiredness and also to deal with the fact that my job will not be there come September (a long story for another day). Radiation, although much less exhausting than chemotherapy, is still a 5 day a week routine that zaps you (ha) both mentally and physically.
I find that I do not panic and/or overact as much as I might have done in the past facing a new year with only one salary and knowing our bills need two. Recently, my husband and I went out to celebrate our marriage anniversary, a marriage that is perhaps stronger than it ever has been before as I wrote about here in-sickness-and-in-health.html but I spent most of the evening listening to some of his fears and worries for the upcoming year and I told him right away, "Why are you stressing about these things, as long as we are together and cancer is gone, who cares about anything else."
Of course, I can say this because, although we do not have any excess discretionary income, we can still eat, clothe and house our family. I think about people who lost their jobs due to their cancer or the economy in general and who do not have the ability to meet their basic needs and I am grateful that I can still kind of do as much as I can PLUS I still have health insurance though my husband so I know I am super lucky.
Even still, though, I find things that would keep me up at night like having $20 in my checking account to last a week or two is now something that I just do not care about. I focus on big picture stuff like staying alive and beating cancer. This might not be the best way to look at things but I think limiting stress as much as possible is for the best for anyone, especially someone who is undergoing cancer treatment.
That being said, there are still the triggers. Like, will we downsize? Is now the time to move away from our big city and live somewhere with a lower cost of living? Do I want to be farther away from my treatment hospital and network of friends if the worst happens? I have a friend who is a 15-year survivor who has young kids and she jokingly says, "Why do you think I am so nice to you - it is because if I die you will help my kids when I am gone."
We who deal with cancer have more of an association with our own mortality and the worst case scenario, I guess. These are things I think about in the time between.
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