Yesterday, January 8th, was my two-year Hysterversary. For me it is a celebration of sorts. I celebrate that I listened to my body and sought out a doctor's opinion and thankfully, it was early enough that they were able to remove the cancer and I needed no further treatment. Until this upcoming visit, I have been meeting with my oncologist every 4 months. At this two-year exam I will graduate to every 6 months for another 3 years until we reach the 5-year mark. Another goal to shoot for!
It has been a life-changing experience for me and I'm pretty sure for my family too. There is so much uncertainty when you're diagnosed with a disease between the time of the diagnosis and waiting for the reports after the surgery is complete. You live in a fog basically, hoping that everything will work out to your advantage, but also vowing to yourself that you will fight for your life if need be, and do whatever is necessary.
I look back and see how this has changed me. I have lost a significant amount of weight, although this holiday season has seen some of that returning so I just rejoined Weight Watchers to make sure I can get the maximum benefit from their new program. I have tried not to be so "sedentary". That's not always easy, and although it's not a consistent effort, I still try to be active as much as I can. And one of the other ways that I've changed is to try to avoid stressful situations. We are all good at creating them and getting caught up in them, but they really are not healthy so I've decidedly become more "like a duck" and have things roll off me like the rain. Sometimes that just means giving in to someone or something but not necessarily giving up. Something that is defintely easier said than done, and not always fully accomplished.
Yes, I still have stressful situations, like a breast biopsy last month that had me in quite a state of turmoil, and the uncertainty of retaining my job when the school budget gets defeated, but those are things I can't control. They are brought on by outside forces. The stress I can control is that which I put on myself, whether it be waiting until the last minute to do things, or just being disorganized. These are the things that I've begun addressing in a more aggressive way.
I've joined the Jingle Belles blog with their weekly Christmas Card Challenge which has already helped to relieve the stress of last minute card-making in December. And this month, HWNSNBP and I will be working on getting my stamp castle organized - this being a major activity that will also help with the destressing. I have a plaque that reads "I'd rather have creative clutter than idle neatness" and I live by that, but creative clutter and chaos are not the same and I need to alleviate the chaos to feel more relaxed.
I decided not to make New Year's resolutions this year. Some of them would be the same as they've always been. Instead, I'm just going to try to be as kind and thoughtful to myself as I am to others. I don't think it's selfish to say I'm going to take care of me, because a happier me should be a healthier me, and a healthier me means I'll be around longer to be kind and thoughtful to others. Let's hope!