Friday, March 13, 2015

Toolbox plus A Good Week- Reflecting

Three of us had amazing juice for breakfast
and great conversation too!
I received a message from an app yesterday, Timehop... I saw pictures of myself sitting on a hospital bed. Wow. It has been a year since my 1st/2nd operations for breast cancer, second cancer diagnosis. I've been taking Tamoxifen for a year now. Keeping that specific cancer at bay. I've had pain from the scar tissue for quite a long time... but the new scars are starting to recover a little bit.
I am not one for marking too many dates in my thoughts every year. Loved one's birthdays are important, anniversaries as well but cancer diagnosis? surgery? Not so sure.

I've enjoyed the past week for so many reasons... it kept me hopping, not many down-time moments.
First there was a dear friend staying with us- feels like an empty hole in our family now that you're in a hotel Lenore, we miss you! Then there was an author visit at my school on Wednesday, what fun that presenter was, enjoyed the day taking care of his needs and laughing along with my students. Also wrapped up the second book week... a relief but special the whole time.

Every day I'm getting a little stronger, feeling a little better... actually walked 10,000 steps without feeling exhausted/noticing it on Thursday. I'm really excited about an event my husband and I are going to tonight. Shall see if my strength holds up.

I chatted with my life coach a few weeks ago about what I can do to maintain my health now that radiation is over. She's seen too many people crash/get ill once their body is done with the exhausting process of surviving chemo/radiation. Guess it is like how some go on holiday and get sick because they are relaxing for the first time. We talked about what my toolbox for health holds... what my practices are for feeling strong. I've thought about this over the weeks and I have a pretty full toolbox of good practices presently, some tools are used and the others are there for emergencies and needed times.

Tools I'm presently using:
1. Breathing and relaxing. When I find myself feeling nervous/stressed, I forcibly slow myself down, lower my shoulders, start breathing slowly and deeply.
2. Qi gong. I'm still loving classes once a week and know that the practice is happening on a daily basis. I use strategies when I'm feeling insomnia occurring and also when I wake up feeling lousy.
3. Yoga. I'm still enjoying classes once a week and am grateful for the focus time.
4. Yoga Nidra- once a week I'm still practicing this with a friend, grateful for her gifts of time.
5. Family time- my son's and husband's love nurture me.
6. Quality time snuggling with my dog. She slows me down and is such a sweet little love.
7. Walking - I appreciate that I can walk to most things here in my neighborhood- grocery shopping, MTR, and more. Just a few steps away. I love the energy walking gives me.
8. Acupuncture- I'm visiting my acupuncturist still. Just not as often.
9. Chinese herbal medicine- drinking it twice a day. Still dislike the taste but I'm consistent.
10. Tea- tumeric, ginger, green tea, mint tea, and more. It helps me start the morning off right and I also drink it in the afternoon/evening. Calms my stomach.
11. Squeezed lemon in warm water- I start the day drinking this.
12. Oil pulling- I still put a teaspoon of coconut oil in my mouth first thing in the morning and swish it around for 10 minutes or so and also I do this in the evening.
13. Essential oils- I use many essential oils every day. I really feel that they've helped me keep up my immune system and also helped my stomach on bad days.
14. Health supplements- I take many vitamins on a daily basis. Some I've taken for years to help keep my arthritis at bay... others I take now for better health.
15. Massage therapy- I have two more prepaid massages. Got one yesterday. It was lovely but painful. The woman I see knows how to do lymphatic massage and is incredible at working on the areas I tell her I have pain in.

Tools waiting to be grabbed:
1. Osteopathy- I'm going to see my osteopath in a week or so, haven't seen her in ages, think it will help to get my body reset after bedrest, etc.
2. Lymphoma specialist/physiotherapist- I'm going to see one for the first time in a few weeks. Will be interesting to learn from him.
3. Chanting- I haven't done much chanting but know I can.
4. Meditation- I haven't done much of this but know I can.
5. Mindfulness- I haven't used an app, etc. in a while.
6. Gratitude journal- I haven't written in one in a long time but instead am taking note of what I'm grateful for, think the journal got me into the natural practice of redirecting worried thoughts to  appreciation instead.
7. Art- I haven't doodled in a while. Soon. Soon.
8. Writing- I'm only writing lately in this journal and on my blog... soon. soon.
9. Eating healthy food- I'm doing so on a daily basis which includes green juice, etc. but haven't expanded my repertoire too much. Shall be pulling this out soon and finding new meals to eat since I've become a little more picky recently.
10. Insomnia solution- putting my legs up the wall- haven't had to do this for a while.  (Hooray for sleep not being as tough, knock on wood.)
11. Yuen method- I think about seeing the specialist and what he says frequently but haven't found a need to return.
12. Dancing- hoping to dance at an event tonight! Shall see.
13. Exercise- beyond walking I've been waiting to have a little energy, might be getting there. Haven't stepped into the gym we joined a year ago since August. Would be nice to go use the elliptical sometime soon. Someday I hope to build up energy to do Zumba again. That would be a beautiful thing.
14. Travel- this is something I love looking forward to and then also experiencing- going to Bali in 2 weeks, hooray!! Anticipation!
15. There's always room for more tools, right? I felt very healthy simply putting away a tool last week, my wig! Bagged up, put away. Hooray.

Well... enough lists, I love my lists.
Thanks as always for journeying with me...


  1. It's a pleasure to journey with you. I am happy you are happy. And I like your lists too. Sending you love and doggy kisses from Xena.

    1. Thanks so much... many hugs your way and snuggles to Xena...