New year, new me has a totally different feel to it for me this year. It’s not something that happens at the stroke of midnight on January 1. It’s something that will happen over the course of the next… however long.
Since I’ve been in battle against cancer, time has had its own pace. In one way, when I was told it would be six rounds of chemotherapy, I thought, “Done. That’s quick!” But here I sit, with five chemos down, and one to go… and now it feels like its been forever. When I did my 2022 year in review on Instagram, I felt in my heart a sold delineation between before diagnosis and after.
I am going into the new year with the word WELLBEING on my mind. I have one chemo left in a few weeks, and then I move onto the next phase of treatment. I feel strongly its time to do more to care for the whole package that is me, not just my physical body.
My oncologist told me I need to start getting more exercise. I knew that already, but hearing it from him gave me a boost of motivation. Not unlike when my primary care physician years ago told me to take a multivitamin every day. It took her saying that for me to actually do it. I have a treadmill that I need to unbury from the guest bedroom. Until then, though, I have bought a pedal exerciser that I can use while watching TV at night. It’s a good start.
He also warned me that the last two rounds of chemo will make me more tired… and I can confirm. I’ve napped a lot more than normal. One day recently, I actually had (according to my Fitbit) just shy of 11 hours of sleep for the day. Sleep is absolutely the best medicine that I find myself depriving myself of getting on a regular basis. Sleep will take a higher priority for me through the course of this year. Naps are okay. Go to bed earlier. Mute the phone and sleep in. Whatever it takes.
Through chemo, I’ve found myself eating what I can versus what I should. And what I have best been able to eat was/is sweets. Give me all the ice cream, cake and cookies. I gravitate towards things like Sprite to drink. However, as I draw to an end of chemo, I need to part with those sweets and focus on healthier alternatives. More fruit, less candy. More vegetables and less pasta.
My skin took a serious hit early in my chemo journey. The chemo rash was real, it was strong and it HURT. I had to temporarily put all my beloved skincare products into storage, and I pivoted to the most basic products. Clean my face. Moisturize my face. Use a gentle exfoliator. That’s it. And guess what? My skin has bounced back beautifully. I will eventually start to reintegrate my previous skincare routine, but I’m also going to be more mindful of the importance of the basics. Clean. Exfoliate. Moisturize like crazy.
I must worry less. For someone who says, “No worries!” all the time… I worry. All the time. Deep down I think I might have this odd need to worry. To chew on something until I’ve turned it over in my mind over and over and over again. I suspect I live with a certain level of inflammation in my body at all times due to it.
Finally, I want to put things like travel and experiences ahead of other things. Live life. Love life. I enjoy working a LOT. I love every one of my jobs. Bartending. Photography. Helping my parents with their business. Helping manage my husband’s schedule. All of it. I love it all. But I also have a bad habit of putting work ahead of other things, and as such my spirit doesn’t get fed the way it should. I have about four trips in mind this year that I am determined to take. And I will take them without apology.
I have resolved to read more this year. Once upon a time, I could devour multiple books in a week — sometimes in a day! I’m not saying I’m going to get back to THAT level of readership. But I will do better. Same with photography and writing. These are all things that mean a lot to me, and they are all things that I’ve let fall by the wayside. Especially over the last couple of years.
WELLBEING. Or maybe its more just getting back to me. Either way… lets do this 2023.
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