Calm the Chaos & OverwhelmJun 22, 2022
Cancer = Change
Processing the information of a breast cancer diagnosis is overwhelming in and of itself. On top of that overwhelm and all the emotions I was going through, I then had to schedule appointments with the surgeon, for a Covid test, for port installation for chemo treatments, with the oncologist, and set up individual chemo appointments, etc. All this within the span of a few days. This is of course unique to each of us in terms of timing, order, and specific treatment plan, but I am sure you can relate. It is a lot of change and these changes impact every facet of your life. I had to navigate pivoting from 50-60 hours per week for work on top of home and family responsibilities to dealing with cancer and finding time for ME to heal.
Calming Chaos & Overwhelm
- Use a calendar app with automated reminders if you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Reminders are key during this drastic change in routine.
- Map out the journey ahead with treatments, procedures, surgeries, etc in a visual way by month. This not only gives you something to focus on as you go through each step but is also an easy way to share updates with family and friends. Your support network will message, call or email to see how you are doing and where you are at in your treatments. An efficient way to update those you want to share with consistently can be to post your "treatment roadmap" to a private website or CaringBridge site so that family and friends have the information readily accessible or is handled by sharing a simple link. If you want a template to do this, I share mine for FREE here.
- Notice what your mind & body both need by evaluating how you are doing physically, spiritually, personally and emotionally throughout your days
- In stillness, you can meditate, pray, take a nap or bubble bath, journal, get a massage or acupuncture treatment, etc
- In motion, you can take a walk, stretch, garden, take a drive, swim, take a yoga class online, hike in nature, ride a bicycle, dance around the living room to music that you love
- Define your support needs ahead. Some days you will be able to identify what support you need, but other days it may be difficult. Decide what your preferences are and/or what type of support is most helpful ahead of time so it is easy to answer that question: How can I support you?
- It may require delivery of meals, groceries, household items, prescriptions, etc... whether from your support network of friends/family or paying for these through providers, if you have the means to do so.
- It may include a request to drive you to an appointment
- It may include being specific on what gifts would be beneficial (you may genuinely not want anything but people may still send items, so why not be specific on what would be helpful to you for your healing or what brings you comfort)
- It may be a request to pass along updates to others in the family or friend network to save you time and energy to focus on your healing
- Talk to other women who have been through this to ask questions, gain different perspectives, learn from their wisdom, etc
What matters most in this journey is your healing.... what YOU need in order to heal.
- Make yourself a priority
- Create time and space to heal
- Be gracious with yourself along the way as it is a work in progress!
Learn more about the LoveME Healing Journey here.