Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stress? I Don't Need More Stress!!!

Stress and I have become very close over the last year or so....and I'll be glad to see it move on, the sooner the better. It seems that when one thing goes wrong, two or three more have to follow along with it, just for fun.

Right about the same time I found out that I had breast cancer last year, our landlady told us that the house where we lived was being foreclosed on, and we were going to have to move. Fortunately she had two other properties available, and one of them was just perfect for us, so we were able to avoid house hunting, but I still had to deal with packing, moving, and unpacking. The actual move was just days before my first chemo treatment, so I wasn't able to do much unpacking and organizing before I had to deal with the effects of that.

And then, during the first four chemo treatments, I wound up in the hospital every time for several days, fighting off some unknown infection or having to get a blood transfusion. Even though that got to be almost predictable, it didn't become any less stressful. In fact, I think expecting it may have made it more stressful!

The summer was also a time when family members were having marital problems, involving a young child, and I often found myself in the middle of that, offering my best advice to both sides. There were days when the mere ringing of the phone would make my stomach hurt, worried what I was going to hear this time. I'm very glad that things to be looking up for all of them at this point.

Stress also continued when it came to my surgery. We scheduled a date, then I was told we might be able to move it up a week---and then I got a call on a Tuesday, asking me if I could be available on Friday of that week. I was able to say yes, and get it done earlier than I had expected, but at the same time I had to deal with worrying whether family members would be able to be with me that day, with such short notice....thankfully it worked out for the most part.

Moving on to radiation didn't lessen the stress, either. Radiation was a daily part of my life for about two months, and so was stress. First there was the 25 minute drive each way...and listening to my husband rant about other drivers on the road. Then there was the length of time spent in the waiting room every day--sometimes up to two hours past my appointment time. And when it came to appointment times, those brought on even more stress...I can't remember how many times they changed over the seven/eight weeks, nearly always at the last minute.

So, when December 24th came along and I had my final radiation treatment, it was not just the end of cancer treatments I was celebrating. I also celebrated a reduction of stress in my life.  It's now been nearly a month, and I am STILL enjoying a reduced stress life...accomplishing things I had put on hold, setting my own daily schedule, and just relaxing a lot more!!!

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