Lessons Learned with Lisa: Self Care

by Lisa OrrSurvivor, Breast CancerSeptember 12, 2022View more posts from Lisa Orr

Lessons Learned with Lisa: Self Care

You are not alone if . . .

  • No one prepared you for how difficult survivorship would be
  • Cancer crosses your mind every single day, even years out of treatment
  • There are things, places, smells, and phrases that immediately trigger your anxiety
  • You are still figuring out how to incorporate self-care into your daily routine

It feels like I have lived 10 lifetimes since December 2018. A cancer diagnosis in January 2019, turned into nine months of active treatment followed by five months of trying to wrap my brain around what just happened to me before going straight into a global pandemic that has now lasted 29 months and counting. It’s safe to say that I truly do not remember what life B.C.B.C. (before COVID, before cancer) was like. My children were one and three years old at the time of my diagnosis, and I think anyone with children would agree that the idea of self-care with kids that young seems like a foreign language; an impossible task. I was lucky if I got to escape to take a warm shower without a child calling for me. However, when you are forced to stare your own mortality in the face at the age of 31, your perspective changes. The cliché saying of putting on your own oxygen mask before others now rings loud and clear in my mind. I have learned through my experience with cancer that taking care of yourself is not selfish—and while I would have much rather come to that conclusion in a different way, I am glad that I see it now. Am I still trying to figure out what self-care looks like in my life? Absolutely. But you know what? I have been changed by the things I have been through. I am still here, making the effort, one day at a time.

This article was featured in the 2022 Mental Health issue of Elephants and Tea Magazine! Click here to read our magazine issues.

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