Monday, August 6, 2012

Shifting into a Lower Gear

A while back I read a book (well, most of a book, before it was due back to the library) called The Journey Through Cancer.  In this book, I found a new way to view my body.  The author laid out two options:

1)  Think of your body like a machine.  It runs and runs and when something breaks, you fix it and get it running again.  Go, go, go!

2)  Think of your body like a garden.  It needs light, energy, oxygen, and nutrients.  It takes a little nurturing every day.  When you find something wrong (a weed), you can catch it early because you are tending the garden every day.

I realized that I have been treating my body as a machine for as long as I can remember.  So many of us do!  Right now, though, I have the opportunity and the incentive to try the other tactic.  Through the beauty of FMLA, I have the option to work less right now to try to take care of my body.

Managing work and family is tough enough when both parents work full-time.  Add in managing cancer care and, well, let's just say it's MORE.  I don't have the option to cut down the time I spend being a cancer patient.  I don't want to spend less time with my family.  But work is one place I could slow down.

So, as of the beginning of July, I cut down my hours.  I now work 3 days/week.  Luckily, my boss and teammates were incredibly supportive (When I told my boss I felt the need to reduce my stress by cutting two days/week out of my work schedule, her first words were "Are two days a week enough to reduce your stress?"  Awesome, huh?).

I don't know how long I'll stay on this schedule, but for now it's helping. Every other week I'm in treatment and the two days I'm off are Treatment Day and My Tired Day.  But the opposite week, when I'm feeling good and I'm off, I get to do yoga, go for walks, and drink green juice to my heart's content.  It's lovely.  

My chemo is scheduled to end in a few weeks and then I'll see what the doc says is next.  Things with my schedule may change and that's just the way our world rolls for right now.

I AM SO THANKFUL FOR FMLA, GREAT CO-WORKERS, AND AWESOME HR STAFF WHO HAVE GUIDED AND SUPPORTED ME THROUGH THESE DECISIONS!

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