?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


Today was the midpoint of my radiation sessions, so I brought cookies for the staff.  I won’t say it’s all downhill from here, but it felt good to reach the half-way mark and still have minimal side effects.

I’ve thought about these past weeks and tried to determine what I did, consciously or unconsciously, that has contributed to my well-being. Some factors are based on my age. I’m retired, so don’t have to worry about job performance. My children are long gone from the home; so I’m not responsible for checking homework, braiding hair, or playing chauffeur. And I’m not doing this alone. Earl has been there every step of the way.

Additionally, I put thought into reducing my activities, consolidating others, and letting some go altogether. For instance, I made a lot of meals and froze them before starting radiation, because making grocery lists, purchasing the items, cleaning and storing them, and then fixing meals is both time consuming and energy consuming. I also hired a personal chef to make meals in her kitchen to supplement the ones I made in mine.

I devised a schedule based on when I had to be at the hospital and planned my other errands around it. On Thursdays, as an example, I stay home all morning and early afternoon; then head to my physical trainer who is less than a mile from my house. From there I go to radiation and run errands after that if needed. This means I have a good block of time each day to do things that feed my soul. Like playing piano, writing, reading, and just relaxing.

With reluctance, I closed my fledgling publishing company and am donating the leftover inventory to less privileged children in the county where I live.

I don’t know how a single mother who needs to work would do it. But if I had one suggestion, I’d say, “Simplify.” Buy healthy frozen meals for your family; skip your children’s school activities where you could be exposed to some mean germ. And enlist friends to help.

It’s just for a few weeks, and it makes all the difference.

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