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Just like a typical off-kilter day pre-cancer, today I felt frustrated, unable to quite harness my time. The weather was restless, blustery, warm, spitting rain. I had surprisingly good energy but no trust that it would last, nor a clear trajectory in which to burn it off. Rather than plan, I drifted from one "I should do this" to another. Yes, I was crossing chores from my list, but not the ones that required real concentration or determination, not the ones that mattered most, and with good hours squandered along the way thanks to procrastination and indecision.
I rode the spin-bike instead of risking the run I craved in a downpour. Hours later, still no real rain in sight, I took the dog for a walk, only to get caught out in a downpour after all.
I even woke up wrong, to Millie barking in the yard and a bad dream fresh in mind, in which both my husband and I had taken up cigarette smoking. I became aware in turn that his smoking, unlike mine, was more than occasional, and that he was unwilling to address the stress underlying the habit. In fact, he wouldn't even look at me. I began to think maybe I couldn't stay in the relationship, and then it occurred to me that perhaps, unable to tell me he didn't want to be with me anymore, he was trying to drive me away. I saw myself in the mirror as this realization washed over me. My face was gray, my eyes were desolate, and my right breast, the one that no longer exists, was encrusted with boils.
Late this afternoon I bought chocolate, ate too much, felt sick, and had a big, long, overdue cry with one of my counselors. I also talked to my husband, who assured me he is not smoking and does not want out.
1. Make a plan. As an artist and a self-employed person solely responsible for structuring my days (almost), this is especially important. Tonight I will take ten minutes to think about tomorrow, to make some notes about my goals and priorities for the day.
2. Reassess, revise, and release the plan. Regularly. As a cancer patient, I need to do this more than ever. Something may sound right tonight, but tomorrow, the energy may be different.
3. Have fun. An old friend wrote on Facebook recently that she finally figured out how to get everything on her To Do list done: only put fun things on the list. This may not always be practical or possible, but it's worth striving for!