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My small steps & how they helped
After cancer, some of us have to learn new ways of doing even the most basic of things. In my case it was to learn to eat and build up my strength.
I had had Stage 3 cancer in my stomach and had the lot removed –no pouch, no sleeve, just nothing. My oesophagus has been stretched and stitched to my re-routed bowels.
I'm told my cancer is an old person’s cancer that is usually diagnosed too late. Well, not for me. I've lost five stone in the process and had different infections along the way.
I’ve accepted that I will never get back to the old me. In the years before, I even ran a marathon whilst I had cancer (but didn't know it). These days, running is out, so I learnt to set myself little goals through my treatment and carry on with them now.
My Little Goals
My prime focus to begin with was all around food. I needed energy to move. I told myself that if I could have one more bite of something or an extra sip of my drink then that was a great success. If I couldn't do it and it made me sick I would give myself a day’s break and try again a different day.
Now, after learning I cannot eat a normal meal, I constantly snack. I do miss some food, and I can become very upset about that, but snacking actually suits me better. And I’m finding with the goal setting things are improving. It means I set more goals which improves my motivation.
For instance, I couldn't stand for long in the early days but wanted to help cook. This meant my hubby would open a tin of beans and I’d tip them in a pan. Cooking together like this made me feel successful.
Setting small goals meant I kept things basic. When I jumped ahead too much and tried to do cooking from scratch, I literally couldn't take in the info of a recipe.
I have two little dogs who give me something to get up for, so walking was another goal focus. I so wanted to go on a walk with them. First, I would go outside the front door, then add a little further to the end of the garden wall, then to the car… then a bit further until I could walk to the end of the street. In the early days, it might have taken me more than half an hour for a normal five minute walk, but I felt the success. Again, I stopped to rest anytime I needed with my hubby's support.
Day by day, I got that little bit further in each area of my recovery. My overall goal at the end was a few days away in London to see Pink preform live. It was an amazing tiring experience, but I did it.
So my advice to you is - don't beat yourself up because you can't do something today. There is always tomorrow. And if tomorrow you still can't do it, ask for help and try again another day, or another… set small goals and don't ever give up.
Hi there, my name's Michelle and I'm 44 years old. I've recently been on the cancer journey and am happy to say I'm in my 1st year remission. It's been tough and still have bad days.
I'm also a type 1 diabetic so sometimes life can get complicated but i have a positive outlook and live and cherish every day I get.
I've been happily married to a wonderful man for 15 years, together for 27, and he was and still is my rock. Can you believe we met on an old fashioned blind date!
I'm a mum to two young adults, one who is on the spectrum and has struggled at times but is finally finding himself, and the other starting her journey at college this month. Although at times it's challenging, I am immensely proud of them both.
I'm also a doggie mummy to two little girls. We rescued them from a puppy farm and they rescued me right back when I first got my diagnosis.
I enjoy walking (health permitting) and visiting new places to enjoy the scenery. But most of all I love my family and friends and spend as much time with them as I can. My motto is 'enjoy life you only get one shot. I'm here for a good time not a long time, but if I get a long time it's a bonus!'
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