So as many of you can imagine or you may already know, there are many things that go through your mind when you have a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis such as mine. With the holidays approaching I have tried to stay ahead of schedule and really savor the moments to enjoy thgem more. I could easily give in to exhaustion and feeling of being overwhelmed during this busy time of the year. Still, attitude is everything and I am trying to stay positive. So a few weeks ago I started jotting down the up side to what I am going through because there has to be something to laugh about with the crazy changes of what has happened to me. Here is my 12 Days of Christmas list that I appreciate right now:
(1) I don't need to wear a bra! For the first time, after 3 babies, I have a new set of perfectly perky breasts that look half my age:)
(2) I save time in the bathroom getting ready. The shower is quick when you have hardly any hair on your head and no need to blow dry and style when you can quickly drop on your favorite hat or wig. Good to go in minutes!
(3) No need to wax or shave my legs! Baby smooth all the time and no sign of stubble as of yet:)
(4) More time with girl friends! When I go mid week for chemo treatments I always invite a friend and we actually have fun together. How often do you have a large block of time to just talk and laugh together?
(5) Make up is easy. I keep it simple since mascara is out, and just do a little under eye concealer, brow pencil and lip stick. My skin for some weird reason looks radiant.
(6) I give myself permission to slow down and "under achieve" taking restful breaks when I need to which includes binge watching episodes of Nashville and The Voice on demand as needed:)
(7) Things that used to stress me out or seemed like a big deal seem small now. I've learned to laugh in the face of stress and chaos... it cancels out anything negative which includes laughing very loudly when people piss me off. It makes me look crazy but it works and feels awesome!
(8) I don't have to floss my teeth! My dentist always used to bug me to floss, but now they say don't do it because it will cause bleeding and swelling. Good thing I had a cleaning just before starting this process. A gentle brush and rinse is all I need before bed.
(9) I actually get perks from the hospital in Exeter as a patient in oncology. For example 8 free 50 minute massages at Synergy, the local hospital where I am finishing out my treatments under the direction of my MGH doctor. I had my first one this week:)
(10) I am in the best shape I have been in since having children. Even though I still work out, the strict diet of no refined carbs, starches or sugar helped me to drop that last 10 lbs. With the holidays I now have a cheat day on the weekends to enjoy and relax a bit, which is nice because I need that as well.
(11) I have reconnected with old friends and made more time for friends in general. People have reached out and made time out of their busy lives to get together for coffee or lunch, yoga or shopping too. We forget to do this for ourselves and bond as women. It's too bad it takes something like this to realize it, but it's a lesson. It is so good to recharge and support ourselves so we as women can be more present with our own family and have more to give.
(12) I have learned so much about cancer, prevention, and research and been able to meet many new amazing people like my dedicated medical team and other patients and we have shared our stories and worked together to get though these last 8 months. I am a changed person and have grown more than I thought possible.
So that is the silver lining of all of this. I will share what I have not enjoyed and the things that surprised me for those who are going through this or plan to start treatment to let others know what to expect as well, but just not today. Hopefully you got a laugh in reading this list. Happy Holidays everyone! Sending love and hugs...