It doesn’t take having cancer to be tired, but having cancer will seal the deal in becoming tired. Maybe you’re at the point in treatment or recovery where you’re tired of being tired, and are pushing to do more. It’s time to ask, what’s truly important in your life? If everything’s a priority, then nothing’s a priority. Don’t allow the small stuff to throw you off course. And don’t worry about the big stuff, because there’s a 50/50 chance. It will—or won’t happen.
If you’re overwhelmed, write down your To-Do list. It’ll keep you focused, and you may feel a surge of success when checking off the completed chore. Or, at very least, a wave of peace. Plan on getting 1-5 of the chores done on your list a day—not 25 of them. If you write down 25 things, just know the list will roll over for about a week.
Keeping a list helps when memory is challenged with medications and chemo fog. A list can also help people who come over wanting to help you. They’ll see: trash out, send birthday card, make dinner, buy yogurt, pay bills. They can take out the trash, go get the yogurt, or stamps for sending the birthday card or bills. Maybe they can take you to the store and help you shop.
I remember mopping my small kitchen floor for the first time after chemo. I went to ring-out the mop and didn’t have any strength to push the metal lever against the sponge. I used my knees to squeeze the lever as tight as I could, realizing the floor was going to look more like a flood occurred than anyone having mopped. That was the only thing I did that day, but it got done. I cried in shock for how weak I was, and laughed as I trudged off to bed, leaving a swamp behind me to dry on its own.
Bottom line. It’s your time to heal. Worry doesn’t heal. Being overwhelmed doesn’t heal. Regret or resentment add to what needs healing. Focus on the important stuff. It’s seldom getting today’s mail, or having vacuum lines on the carpet for guests. If it’s important to you, don’t complain about it. If it’s not important to you, it’ll wait. Even pre-cancer, I had affirmations, quotes and uplifting reminders around my place. One I’d anchor into during treatment is a quote from Lou Holtz, Notre Dame football coach. He’d ask his players, “What’s important now?” (W-I-N). Sometimes, W-I-N means getting up and eating a few spoonfuls of food, or taking in liquid because it’s on the hour, not because you want to.
what’s truly important in your life?