I want to finish my book and get it out to agents and publishers. Been writing a lot. That is good. This tiny paragraph is not a shining endorsement of my skills and the book to come. Wah wah.
I want to get through radiation treatment breezily and with flying colors (pink, purple, green) — I started March 22, end May 3. I go every weekday for six weeks. When I tell people this they say, “Every weekday? Or just once a week?” Every weekday, I tell them. Cancer’s a pain in the boob. It’s cancer, people. Not going to the goddamned supermarket. Wink!
I have already begun outlining my second book. It’s about this breast cancer experience and other really fun stuff. Really!
I want a house in nature. I have my eye on thirty acres in the Berkshires. (Postscript: 30 acres was ambitious and now we're not doing that. Going up there to stay in a cabin whose main heat source was a wood stove, and then having snow, made us realize that we're not up for it. Also I wanted the quiet and nothingness so bad but trying to sleep in that level of quiet just made me wonder whether I was hearing people sneaking around just beyond the auditory bounds of my tinnitus.)
Here’s a list of things I’ve been doing and will do to take care of myself before, during, and after breast cancer treatment:
•My morning routine of yoga, morning pages, Desire Map planner, reading Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening every day, meditation when I feel like it, womb anointing oil (externally, but I’ll try most things once)
•Found a new acupuncturist, love her
•Had flower/plant/tree/gem essence made (which I’m already taking) and on-phone healing session with Lorin Purifoy, who rocks (and blooms and flowers and grows)
•Herb recommendations from my herbalist friend, Steph Zabel (violet leaf cold tea, ftw!)
•Restorative yoga before bed on the bolster
•Meditation — my own quiet one for mornings when I feel like it
•Juice — Suja brand
•Nurturing myself, asking for help, asking for my sisters’ help, husband’s help, least self-absorbed friends’ help, saying yes to this
•Saying no to as much as I want to say no to and bringing that with me
Letting people show me my light and remembering my light
Letting myself feel my feelings
Consulting with my niece who is an RD and talking to nutritionist on staff at the hospital
Qoya / Dance / Movement
Shadow work — fire rituals (burn that which doesn’t serve me anymore — writing it down on paper and burning it, because literally burning stuff and people would be too much)
Massage from Sophie (she is an oncology massage specialist) and Thai massage from Sandy
What I’m calling “intentional creaming” — breast balm with violet leaf — TENDERNESS
Aloe juice in the morning with wheatgrass/barley/alfalfa powders
Various creams for my boob — Aquaphor, calendula cream, organic pure aloe vera, and emu oil (not sure if it’s from actual emus but I heard it’s good for potential radiation burns) (Postscript — the emu oil got lost in the mail and I never ordered more. Using a cream called My Girls instead, which has 10% calendula and is made especially for women undergoing radiation therapy
Ordered necessities like soft sports bras
Big water bottle comes with me to hospital, which I drink from like a chalice of healing after every session and call on Thor and a as-yet-to-be-determined female deity perfect for this journey
STRETCHING, which includes Breast Cancer Rehabilitation videos by Miranda Esmonde-White (haven’t done these videos)
Archangel Michael’s help
Various tarot and Doreen Virtue’s uplifting oracle cards
Reading “Women Who Run with the Wolves” and then anything else I feel like reading
Young Living’s Peace and Calming essential oil blend on feet, touch in ears before bed
Seeing new OB/GYN/Oncology Surgeon to talk ovarian turkey for the future (oophorectomy would lower risk of ovarian cancer, also “oophorectomy” is just a fucking rad word) (Postscript — recommendation is NOT to get an oophorectomy at this point)
Boston Organics for fruits and veg, cruciferous vegetables
Fuck guilt in its ass
Cutting down to 3 drinks a week (I’m more like at 5 right now but I don’t drink most nights)
Swear as much as I want
Other things I’m considering:
Getting back to Pilates
Forearm tattoo that I mostly have designed (since I already have little india ink tattoos now from the nurse for radiation laser placement accuracy)
2nd opinion though my friend Julie and my brother’s ex-wife at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (they share information with Dana Farber)
Gerson diet plan, which includes coffee enemas (at least I could write about it) but this includes no salt, no water, just…ugh. Though it really helps people with advanced illnesses
TAKING IT AS EASY AS I WANNA, which means half of these things can go out the window any time I want if I want and sometimes that’s what I want.
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It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.