As I write this I’m reflecting with some sadness. There have been several people within the blogosphere that have passed away this holiday season. I just read that the first person who I met with metastatic breast cancer (I met her at a young women’s breast cancer support group meeting) has passed away. It is always sad to hear of these passing, but especially sad when it is someone you have met, even if it was just that one time. Her spark for life touched me at a time when I was still pretty new to the whole breast cancer thing – I think I met her when I was on my second or third round of AC chemo. I do recall that her checkin made me cry uncontrollably that evening. So, there is sadness in my thoughts this evening.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on 2015 as it comes to an end. I’ve been reflecting on what my goals might be for the year to come. I don’t want to have specific goals – because I’m a bit afraid of not being able to live up to them – rather I want to set goals that are achievable.
So, for 2016, the biggest thing I want to figure out is balance. How to find an effective balance in my daily time demands. How to balance the amount of work I’m doing, the research I’m doing, with the time I need for self care, exercise, doctors appointments, and grocery shopping.
Just yesterday I demonstrated how the simple task of grocery shopping can turn from a 30-minute activity to a two or more hour activity – as we couldn’t get what we needed at one store and needed go to two others in order to get everything. So went the afternoon.
The other goal I have for the new year is to get back on the bike. I pretty much stopped biking when I got lymphedema, largely because I also had a fair bit of shoulder pain. Biking made things worse. Plus, I am spending a lot of time at the gym, 45-minutes of cardio, a little weight training, and a 40-minute swim. Add in the 30-minute drive to and from the gym, and it becomes a four hour task that I undertake three times per week. Since my priorities have been hiking and the gym, biking has fallen to the way side. So in the new year, I will need to get back on the bike.
The other aspect of balance is around my mental and physical health. I want to maintain a balance of being proactive but avoiding being reactive. I don’t want every pain to signal something that I need to fix. Perhaps it is a balance of allowing myself to live with a little pain as a reminder that my body is not perfect, and that is OK. Either way, I need the little pains to not be triggers for big worries. Perhaps I need to learn to leave the worrying to my doctors (amazing how well it works to just decide to let someone else worry for me). If I trust my doctors, and let them worry about detecting recurrence, I can just get on with living my life.
And so, with that, I shall look into the new year with hope of finding some kind of balance in my life, whatever that might mean …