Making the decision to take a pause on certain aspects of life so you can focus on others can be very difficult. We all want to think that we can do it all; work, play, take care of ourselves and our family, etc. Having placed work as a large focus in my life for the past 11 years I never wanted to have to consider taking any step away from this daily part of life which keeps me motivated and gets me out of bed each and every morning. That being said, I have recently taken the decision to significantly pull back on my working time in order to give my body and mind the time it needs to heal. Bringing myself to this decision did not come lightly and took a number of yellow and red flashing signals for me to get the hint to slow down and make a change.
Making this decision and preparing to spend less time working and more time recovering put me on an emotional roller-coaster for a few days but has now left me feeling satisfied and thankful. The real kicker for me was the realization that I was back to my old ways, putting work above all else. I was going home from the day to nap, eat and sleep the night away all so that I had the energy and focus to deliver at work. While this is necessary at different points in life, it should and cannot be my day to day when I am putting my body through treatment which is breaking it down to the point of exhaustion. I am now a week in and have slept more in the last 7 days than I had in weeks. My energy level has stayed up throughout the day because I am running at a much slower pace. I believe the rest also helped me get rid of a nagging cough I had for a couple of months! This is the time to switch my focus, I started with rest and now I can add in food and some low impact workouts. I am trying to train myself for one day at a time…we will see how this goes!
The focus of the next 4 weeks or so is getting through my last chemo treatment. Last weeks blood work showed that my platelets and red cells were at an all time low for me while my white blood cells were standing strong. With that being said I need my body to make a big turnaround for Wednesday in order to get the treatment. If my platelet count does not improve we are going to delay one more week, like for the last round, and then I will be done with chemotherapy!! It is hard to get too excited about it yet knowing that I will still get the herceptin treatment (hormonal therapy for Her-2 positive cancer) through my port through early next year, but it is a huge step in this process. Once this is done my body will truly be on the mend, just in time to enjoy spring and summer!
This weekend I have relaxed a lot which energized me to get out and spend some time with friends. The sun has been shining after a week of rain and I have tried to soak in as much as I can. I hope you are also getting out and enjoying the turn of the season. As I work on my current focus of self-care I would love to hear your stories on how you balance all that happens in life so if you want to discuss please reach out!
Life balance is an illusion, it’s more ebb and flow of what is needed in that moment. True to your need to focus on your health/body now and work will again be important later. I also try to not feel guilty all the time. That helps me to keep the “balance”.