And how to be a better parent.
Confused? Cynical? Me too. Or at least I was.
But it’s the truth.
Since my diagnosis, and thanks to my therapist, I’ve been learning how to take care of myself and put myself first. (Note: Much of what I’m about to write stems from a conversation with my therapist yesterday.) I think this is a foreign concept for most of women, especially those of us born and raised Southern-fried. We’ve grown up having this idea that we put everyone else first, leaving the scraps for ourselves – we’ve seen it in Bible stories and it’s a legacy our mothers pass down to us. And woe betide those who do put themselves first, for they are seen as the worst women at all – selfish.
But they’re not…these women are the wisest of us all. By taking care of themselves, they live longer and happier lives filled with people and items that cause them to feel fulfilled and live healthier lives. Isn’t that what we all deserve and crave?
For me, I’ve been taking care of people and putting others first for as long as I can remember and it took this huge and horrible disease to force me to slow down and take care of myself. I am slowly, very stubbornly, learning to put myself – my wants and my needs – first. Whether it’s just sleeping when I’m tired or going to the spa occasionally, I have been working on listening to my needs (and wants) and then following through.
This means putting more responsibility on the girls. The really great thing is I’m also teaching them to take care of themselves. I’ve been perpetuating the “self-neglect” thinking (and doing) in my child-rearing tactics and it dawned on me recently that if I taught them to take care of themselves this would also filter into their bedrooms, their hygiene, and their self-thinking. I want the girls to take care of themselves and I don’t want them to feel guilty about it, so I’m talking more openly than ever with them.
What’d I’d like is to prevent even just one woman from feeling guilty about taking time for herself…and maybe also prevent the need for her to experience a HUGE sign (like cancer) that forces her to (like me) – so do me a favor, ladies, take care of yourself. Mmmkay? That’d be greeaat.
Update on my treatment
This morning I head out for the third of my 16 chemo treatments followed by the third of four Nulasta infusions on Friday. So far, I’m going bald (incredibly – if not painfully – slowly due to my psoriasis) and am a bit more tired but over all, after we make it through the aches and nausea of the first few days post chemo/Nulasta, I’m doing better than even I expected.
As I mentioned above, I have about 13 treatments left (1 bi-weekly and 12 weekly) and am hoping to be done by Christmas. Of course, that will mean scheduling my weekly treatments for an earlier day in the week than I am currently getting them – otherwise, those favorite holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas will cause an extra two weeks of treatments. And really, wouldn’t treatment completion be the BEST Christmas present ever?!
I’ve had several people stop in, drive long distances just to spend a couple days with me, call and email/FB stalk regularly to check on me and so much more. I can’t tell you what this means to me…thank you for helping me to not feel like it’s my family against the world.
So for now, I’ll keep plugging along – taking care of myself a bit better and pushing through the treatments with a positive mindset and a full heart.
Huge thank you to all of you who support me and follow my progress on Facebook/Twitter. You guys are the best.
Okay. Off to chemo! Have a great day!See y'all later!