Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Taking Care of Me

It is Sunday night and I am getting ready to go back to work tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting back to my "normal" schedule but I need to make sure that I continue to prioritize myself. This became very clear when I met with Dr. Maki this past Friday before I started chemo again. I asked him how much longer I would be on chemo and his answer was "long". I asked him the question that I have been thinking about the most lately; "Since the tumors were removed with surgery and you can no longer 'see' any cancer cells on a CT scan, when will you know when to stop with chemo?" His answer was honest but not cut & dry. He basically said that he would like to keep me on the chemo for up to a year...based largely on how well I handle it. If I get run down, tired, have bad side effects etc., he will lower the dosage or take me off chemo completely. The good news is that I have already tolerated a great deal of chemo and there is no reason to believe I shouldn't continue to do so. However, I am acutely aware of the fact that now, more than ever, it is REALLY important for me to take care of myself. I can't control it if I have bad side effects due to the chemo regimen but I can control my general health (what I eat, how much I sleep) and my stress level (how much I work etc). I made a vow to myself tonight that no matter what is thrown at me as I get back to work, that I will make myself #1. This entails:
  • Sleeping well (between 8-9 hours a night). This means in bed by 9:30PM
  • Eating well - healthy, "pure" food with nutritional value and smaller meals more often rather than big meals that give me stomach aches.
  • Exercising - listening to my body and tailoring my workouts to my energy level rather than what my head wants to do
  • Manageable Work Hours - This means leaving work at a decent hour, learning to delegate more, and realizing that "not everything needs to get done immediately"
I am really hoping that I can keep my word and manage my health and my stress levels. Cancer is quite's hard to believe that I made this vow to myself so that I could continue with chemo for as long as possible. But, I want to make sure that I have done everything I can to beat this disease for once and for all. Please help make sure I am keeping my word!