Monday, February 22, 2010

Hanging up the cape - for now...

...the Super Woman cape, that is.
Lymphedema, on it's own, isn't a show stopper. But when I add it (the 3x/week PT and 2x/day home therapy involved) to daily radiation, work, church, family/toddler care and of course necessary healthcare/lifestyle changes, etc., with Bob away so much of the time, things (I) began to unravel last week.
I was certain I could do it all - kick cancer's butt, be employee and mom of the year (ok, not exactly), and so much more. Once that arm swelled up and the radiation fatigue set in, the game changed. The drive, the desire, it's there. The endurance, the energy, the physical ability, the sharp brain power - not so much. No matter how much I try to ignore it, I have to admit that I'm impaired right now.
After several days of agonizing over it, we've concluded as a family that I've been trying to do too much, too soon. I'm not even done with treatment. It would not surprise me if the lymphedema was a sign from above that I needed to cut the crap and acknowledge that I wasn't taking proper care of my health needs when that should be the #1 priority - that I was jumping in too soon in my quest to achieve "normal" status again. I'm listening. I'm grateful. I'm hanging up the cape for eight weeks as I step out of work and focus solely on my health and finishing treatment. I'm so incredibly blessed and grateful that my colleagues and management team at work are fully supportive of this decision. What a blessing! Praise God for answered prayers and the most amazing support network a person could ever hope and pray for. Thank you!
For the next eight weeks my full time job will once again be to finish (radiation) treatment, to establish a wellness routine that resumes my warrior nutrition and supplementation, physical therapy and exercise as my body permits, rest and more rest in between my many appointments, deal with the mountain of paperwork (medical bills, disability forms, etc.), and more rest. Because, I don't want to, and can't afford to, blow past this critical time to get it right.


  1. Hi Julie, love the picture! Sounds like you've made a good decision and have a great support team in place. Keep well, and keep us posted!

  2. Feel strong. Take care of yourself. The rest will fall into place. It sucks, but it is just a blip on the screen of life. This too shall pass...I am sending you strength and love from the east coast!

  3. These decisions are never easy, but it sounds like the right one. Thoughts and prayers coming your way.

  4. Yay Julie! You will have time, later to pick up the extra stuff. Focus on you!

  5. Julie,
    I think you are doing so well!!! You need rest, focus on yourself, Cooper, and your marriage-- exactly what you are doing. You are the strongest, most inspiring Breast Cancer Warrior that I know! Remember, I'm always here to help.

  6. It would take a lot more than an incredibly full plate to dull any of your razor sharp wit woman.

  7. Julie, you have made an excellent, necessary decision. I continue to pray for you, lady! :)
    All my support,