A woman relaxes in a bath tub

Take Care of Yourself!

"Sometimes you have to buy flowers for yourself!" my friend said. So she does!  My friend, Lynn, frequently buys flowers to cheer up her office at work. Why not?

I believe after you have received a cancer diagnosis, it changes your attitude. So yes, get the flowers, buy those new shoes, eat your favorite dessert. We should enjoy our life while we are here.

Saying no

I have a friend who scoffs when I say I need to rest, but I would be the one who would regret going out if I became ill and couldn't get back home quickly.

Do they think I am lazy when I decline an office in an organization? Maybe. They don't understand how draining blood cancer is. "You look well," they say. Thank you, but sometimes I don't feel well. I don't want to accept a position that I am not able to perform. "Give me a job I can do in my pajamas!" I tell them. I can make phone calls or address birthday cards as long as you don't rush me. Do not expect me to drive to Timbuktu for a meeting I don't even want to attend.

What task can take priority? Could it wait for another day? How long do I estimate this activity to take? Do I have the time and energy to complete the job? What supplies will I need? Is this the best timing? Will I need help, or can I do it over a few days?

Maintaining balance

If I need to clean off my front porch, the best time would be on a lovely spring morning, but I still take plenty of water breaks. On the other hand, a cold winter day would be best when cleaning out my china cabinet since I am not planning on going out.

We have to pace ourselves. Yes, we should keep active, but when we overextend ourselves, we become overtired and frustrated. Remember, no one will be impressed that you cleaned out the garage in one Saturday if it causes you a great deal of pain. They will think, Too bad she didn't use better judgment. There is a balance. Reward yourself when you have completed some chores on your to-do List. For example, relax and watch a movie after you finish cleaning out your closet. You will enjoy the film even more!

Sometimes I'm not too fond of Pinterest. It is fun to see the cute ideas, but I get exhausted just looking at all those steps to complete an activity! Don't compare yourself to others. It's your home, and if it is comfortable to you, good enough! I am glad they didn't have Pinterest when I was a young and new teacher. I would have never rested. Back in the 1980s, you combed through the teachers' magazines for ideas.

I remember Keri, a first-grade student of mine, wearing headphones for a taped lesson. I was working with another student, and I heard Keri sneeze. "Bless me!" she said aloud to herself. That's right, Keri. Sometimes we have to bless ourselves and buy flowers, too!

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