Naturopathic doctor’s orders: Do at least one fun thing each day.
I’m serious. That was typed up in the orders given to me by the naturopath i met with last week. In the days during and following chemo, this order seems laughable. I can barely get out of bed, much less consider the prospect of fun. I noticed, though, that there is a precise timing that i need to (and will!) get down with all of this.
Day before the chemotherapy treatment: FAST
(This seemed counterproductive, but it was discussed in a podcast where Tim Ferris interviewed Dom D’Agostino (bodybuilder, professor, and expert in the field of metabolic therapies, so i am going to give some credence to what he says in his TedTalks [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fM9o72ykww]).
1-6 days following chemotherapy treatment: REST, SLEEP, ISOLATE, and CRY
I don’t have much of a choice, so i might as well embrace. (At least i have over half a dozen animals to cuddle with during this process.)
7-10 days following chemotherapy treatment: START PUSHING MYSELF AGAIN
Exercise, even if it’s only to take the dog for a walk around the block. Take showers EVERY DAY. Write longer blogs, with visuals. Take the time to connect individually with at least two loved ones.
Week before next treatment: ENJOY LIFE
This is the period where i feel like myself again. Today, for example, i felt strong and motivated enough to be woken up by a phone call, told i had 25 minutes to get ready, and then spend the day with Melinda, my hair stylist/friend, engaging in a DIY project involving my kitchen remodeling.
Now, i am not the most artistic or crafty of persons. My mother did most of my art projects in elementary AND high schools. Melinda, however, has a knack for getting interested in a new project where she has to create something artistic, and she immerses herself in how-to-guides, networking sessions with friends, and countless YouTube videos before finally accomplishing the task herself. Now, me? I’d rather pay someone to do the job, while i go read a book about an alternate reality or something … but i didn’t have $10-20,000 to have my kitchen completely remodeled when i first bought the house, so i had to pick and choose what i could do then and what i can do now.
My initial kitchen was a throwback to the mid-1990’s. Hunter green and brown? In Arizona, known for its integration of 3-5 bright, splashy, warm colors? No, this would not do.
Quite a bit of work went into priming and painting that kitchen – a whole week, actually.
later January, 2013
I was quite proud of all the work we had done to transform hunter green into poppy red, but those counter tops and cabinets are awful! Too much brown. So we started with the cabinets.
MOST of us liked the brightness of the red, turquoise, and white kitchen. Not everyone was a fan, but it’s okay that everyone doesn’t see the world the way i see it. I mean, that just provides me with more opportunities to educate society, right? 😉
Now, on to the countertops.
Or not! … after i was sadly informed that i should expect to pay between $3,500-5,000 on marble, granite, or quartz countertops – installation included. You don’t think *i* am sizing, cutting, and installing marble anything – do you?
Then Melinda came across a product that seemed too good to be true:
$80 for the kit; 1-2 kits needed, depending on the size of your kitchen. So, we tried, and we DID it. With Melinda’s artistic flair and my sheer hatred for that brown pattern on formica material, we turned our countertops into something way more aesthetically pleasing.
Kitchen island down, three counter tops to go. The island was literally a two-day project, with all the drying time … but oh, how it was worth it.
I felt like a real person today – a person with friends who want to do something crafty on their days off work, a person who WANTS to spend time with that friend who wants to do something crafty on her day off of work, a person who has the ENERGY and general HEALTH to spend 12 hours priming and painting and drying and sanding and polishing. It’s important for me to remember this day because i need to do whatever i can to ensure that i am “doing at least one fun thing a day” on days 11-19. I can’t be that person who gets sucked into her illness, to the point where that is all that she becomes. I need to be a person who remembers she’s an individual whose life is worth saving.