Women are lovers, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends. We are natural nurturers and think we can keep going and going like the energizer bunny. When faced with a cancer diagnosis, this is NOT possible. Some days just getting out of bed will be challenging enough, and there no shame in rolling over and simply going back to sleep.
Friends and loved ones will want to help, but keep in mind that they are feeling emotional too and may need you to let them know what to do. Some will simply not know what to say or do. Let them know what you need and how they can help. This is difficult at first since we are used to being the caregivers not the receivers.
This is a time where a “secretary” may prove helpful. Select someone close to you who can help organize meals, arrange childcare if needed, run errands like grocery shopping, and even clean your house or hire someone to do it. Creating a calendar will help set your mind at ease knowing that your family is being taken care of. They can also let others know how you are doing and assemble and organize your “recovery team.” Don’t assume they will know what you need…ask! Having it all laid out in an organized way on a calendar will help relieve stress.
The physical burden of healing is enough to handle; let others help you with other responsibilities. With regard to stress – your goal is to remain as stress free as possible during treatment so your body can focus on the job at hand – healing.
If sleeping is an issue, ask your doctor for a recommendation. I take melatonin to sleep as it also has been studied to prevent breast cancer. Rest is a cherished ally in your recovery. Take one day at a time and try not to get overwhelmed. Baby steps will get you there…there is light at the end of this tunnel.
Quote of the day, “Many hands make light work.”