Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Relief, Rest, & Resilience

Earlier this week, I had my first post-surgical mammogram. I tried very hard to just not think about it ahead of time, but it kept sneaking back into my head. After all, this would be the first definitive proof that all the bad cells had been eradicated through the surgery in December and the radiation earlier this year. I'm delighted beyond belief to report that everything was clean and I'm considered to be well on my way to recovery!

Now, any woman who's being honest will tell you that mammograms aren't exactly a whirligig of fun. They're distinctly uncomfortable but they provide crucial information - the entire reason my outcome has been so positive stems from having regular exams. Catching things at Stage Zero (where, technically, it's "just" junior auxiliary cancer since the disease is so encapsulated) is SO MUCH BETTER than catching it later. So - ladies, make that phone call today. Gentlemen, encourage the women in your life to make that phone call today. No kidding. Call. If insurance and funds are an issue, look into alternative low-cost programs. There are many that take mammogram equipment on the road - a "Breastmobile," if you will.

I'm continuing with my 30 Day Challenge to treat myself like company. It's been a good thing, so far, although I'm noticing how often my "treats" involve sweets and I'm trying to find other rewards. In this, I think the French in particular and Europeans in general are way ahead of us. America still holds tightly on to our puritanical roots - if we're not working, sweating, and exerting, well - we're just shameless lollygaggers. We view pleasure with suspicion. Think about it - how often have you heard a woman order dessert and then say that she's being "bad"? Or that she'll "work it off" at the gym the next day?

There's nothing but guilt in that approach.

As the wise and wry Tasha Tudor would remind us, life is meant to be enjoyed, not saddled with.

So treat yourself well! Eat food that will keep you humming along, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, spend time with friends, delight in your family and quit putting your own needs so low on the list that you have to turn the list over to find your name! Pet a cat, walk around your block, pick up a book, take the time to brew a real cup of tea. Use the good crystal, wear your pearl earrings on a Monday, spend your lunch hour testing perfumes to find your "signature scent."

Frivolous? Not a bit! Who knows? Maybe if we all treated ourselves a bit more kindly, we'd be quicker to extend that kindness to others. So smile at the cashier, let a car merge in front of you, wave at the garbage truck driver who's there to pick up your trash.

To quote Bluto in Animal House, "Don't cost nothin'." Sure, he's talking about something else, but still . . .

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