Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Need to Pace Myself

Here I am -- post-cancer treatments and post-surgery. I have my life back and I have hair. But there is one small problem. I need to pace myself.

I find myself wanting to do it all and right now. I want to power through every project at work just to show everyone that I'm back. I want to visit friends, attend art festivals, re-start my Masters degree program, take a romantic vacation and join a yoga studio. And let's not forget about working out, eating right and losing some weight.

Perhaps I am too greedy because my life has been essentially on hold for the past 12 months. I missed all those things last year while I was hooked up to an IV and feeling rather lousy. I need to get over this impatient, greedy phase and slow down because I am getting a little stressed and overwhelmed. The last thing I want to do is invite cancer back into my body. No thank you!

I really need to step back and keep reminding myself that small, consistent changes can lead to big results. I don't need to take on more than I can reasonably handle. And I don't need to do it all today.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Recovering Nicely

No matter how it's done, a hysterectomy is major surgery. And while I chose the da Vinci robotic procedure which boasts minimal down time and pain, believe me when I say there is still plenty of down time and pain. I started to feel pretty good one week post op so I got online to work from home. Big mistake.

My abdomen swelled up and my incisions started oozing. Not good. I decided to lay down and take the rest of the week off. That was the right thing to do. Now I am almost three weeks post op and feeling much, much better. I still need to listen to my body and lay down to rest when I need to.

I have my follow up appointment on June 5. My plan is to ease back into work, start walking about 20 to 30 minutes per day which my nurse said will help alleviate my swelling and just take it easy. I am a bit anxious to get this all behind me but I have to keep reminding myself what my body has been through this past year. I have been through a lot and I will not heal overnight.

I am doing well with my goal of getting outside to soak up some sun every day. So far our weather has been fantastic so I have been able to get out in the yard and "supervise" my husband's landscaping efforts. Our backyard has been the beneficiary of all my time off and also my husband's willingness to plant lots of new shrubs and perennials.

I have also lost about 4 lbs. since my surgery. I think this is just simple bloat going away. Whatever it is, I will take it.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What A Difference A Year Makes

One year ago today I wasn't feeling it. I had zero energy. I had trouble sleeping. And I absolutely could not lose 10 lbs. no matter what I tried. So I started this blog with a simple goal: improve my health by making gradual changes and hold myself accountable by documenting my progress.

Just a couple of weeks later, I felt a lump in my right breast... you know the rest of the story.

To recognize the one year anniversary of my blog, I could write a post that reflects on all the biopsies, surgeries, and unpleasant chemo and radiation therapy. But who wants to read that garbage? It's old and tired. I prefer to focus on the future and what I want to accomplish over the next 12 months.

First on my agenda is my "Thank You Project." I want to take the month of May to personally thank everyone who offered their prayers, support and encouragement to me and my family. The list is long. My project could take more than one month to complete. But I would love to hit my one year "cancer-versary" on June 2 knowing that I thanked everyone who came to my emotional rescue.

Second, I will start making healthy lifestyle changes today. Two things I know about change:
  • Small changes are easier for me to make. Over time, consistent small changes add up to big results.
  • I find it is much easier for me to add healthy habits to my life than to eliminate unhealthy habits cold turkey. Eventually, the healthy habits will crowd out the unhealthy habits.
My healthy addition for May is to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine every day. My goal (weather permitting) is to sit outside, breathe deeply and let the sun deliver some much needed vitamin D to my body. How easy is that?!

What a difference a year makes.