10 Things to Know About Breast Cancer Chemotherapy
Facing another day of chemo? Down in the dumps after a pain-filled night? Take ten!
1) Get to a place where you can see the sky. Look up. Blue or gray, calm or roiling with restless clouds, it’s vast. Imagine flying into the sky, up and up and up, into that vastness, where all your troubles seem tiny, compared to this universe we live in. Take a deeeeep breath, and let it out slowly. Take another. Whatever it is that’s bothering you today–you’ll get through it.
2) Put on your favorite clothes: your most comfortable pants, softest shirt, warmest socks, those shoes that feel like you’re walking on air. It doesn’t matter if nothing matches; just for today, don’t try to impress anyone–except you, with how nice you can treat yourself when you try.
3) Cruise this Web site: www.amusingquotes.com. I guarantee you’ll find something that makes you smile.
4) Think of the best book you ever read, your absolute all-time favorite. If you have it at home with you, pick it up, open at random, and read a few pages. SOMETHING about this book struck a chord with you; picking it up again will bring you back to that satisfying place.
5) Slow down. Too often we try to do too much. We want to handle it all: the job, the house, the family, AND cancer. No one said you have to be Superwoman. Believe it or not, you can leave the dishes in the sink (really!), not call your mother, skip the heavy workout on the treadmill. Not every day, certainly; but just for today, cut yourself some slack, and enjoy it. NO GUILT.
6) Go to the supermarket. Cruise the produce aisle and pick out the most enticing fruit–even if it’s a $5 half-pint of raspberries. Bring it home. Look at it before you eat it; examine its colors, its surface, everything about it. Then, slowly, enjoy every bite. (Caution: don’t try this on a bad chemo day!)
7) Surely you have a favorite song. Surely you own a copy of it somewhere–CD, LP, iPod? Play it. Then play it again.
8) Call (or e-mail) your favorite family member. Just this once, don’t worry about whether you’re being a bother! Talk about what’s upsetting you. A burden shared is a burden lightened.
9) Your best-loved chocolate bar. An expensive brew from your local bistro (Starbucks?). Your favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s. Take your pick. Enjoy.
10) Realize that, whatever’s making you sad right now, tomorrow is another day. Look down the road: how do you think you’ll feel in a year? In six months? How about 2 months? What about 2 weeks? Will things be better somewhere on that continuum? Time heals. It really does.