Survival Mindset


Survived Chemo treatment one!

Developing a survivor’s mindset is important.   So I started doing some reading on this topic while I am resting.  There are 5 common themes that I thought I would share.

  1. Positive Attitude– Positive mental attitude is preached at nauseam and it’s tough to master.  If you can have this attitude, it will help next time you are lost or stuck in a disaster.    I actually hate when people say think positive because I am more of a realist.  So I guess it’s suck it up and try to stay as positive as you can, while maintaining a grip on reality.
  2.  Mental Toughness- This is really the strength of your will and toughness of your mind not how much pain you can take.   To be mentally tough, you must overpower the desire to give up.  This can be tough because you need to monitor yourself and other survivors for depression, anger, frustration, and any irrational behaviour.  I can be irrational at times! Basically do whatever you can to avoid “shutting down”.  Don’t give in!
  3. Motivation-What motivates a person to stay alive when everything has gone wrong? Everyone is motivated by different things. Some people turn to religion or a higher power, others for the love of their friends and family.  Maybe their dog! Sorry Minnie!  Basically you just can’t lose hope!
  4.  Work Ethic-A survivor has to have a strong work ethic and stick with the “job” til it’s done.  I think this is my strength.   It goes a long way in making up for things that luck isn’t always going to provide.  So I guess it means don’t be lazy!
  5. Adaptable- This is being able to adapt to changing events, situations, and environments.  I am fairly adaptable but I know I can also be headstrong and stubborn.  This isn’t bad because I am way too stubborn to die.  Stubbornness can also be the refusal to adapt and can hurt you.   I guess don’t be afraid to change. If something is not working, change it up.

Back to me and the update, I have to say I was a little nervous and mostly because of the unknowns.   Wasn’t sure what to expect!  It didn’t help that when I got up, my ill-fated boobie, my Bessie, was red, puffy and inflamed.  Strangely no pain.   Geez, I hadn’t even gone to the appointment yet.  I am like what the hell is this?  Did I overdo it at the gym..was my bra dirty?  It didn’t feel warm but it was definitely not right.   I want to add I have been told by Doctors that I have high pain tolerance.   Not sure if I really do, I don’t want pain and maybe, I just will it away.

I told the nurse upon my arrival to the clinic about my tainted titty.  She immediately paged the oncologist before starting the chemo cocktail for a consult.   He felt me up comparing Bessie to Jessie.  It was the most action I have had in a long time.  I wanted to say maybe you can compare the temperature with your tongue…I am sure it would provide better accuracy.   Ok, I am being bad.   He said he didn’t think it was infection but would prescribe me some antibiotics that I can take if it gets worse.   We continued with the chemo treatment…it wasn’t too much of a delay.   I had to wear “ice mitts”.   This was a surprise!  Apparently there is a risk of losing my fingernails but the ice mitts tend to be a good remedy.    I was thinking what about my toenails..I like my paw-di-cures.   I think  because the IV is in your arm and closer to your fingers, the risk is greater at losing your fingernails versus your toenails.    It was approximately a 3 hour expedition.  The nurse was very attentive, brought me a pillow, warm blanket.   A volunteer brought tea and cookies.   Visualize a spa day with a gentle breast massage in a recliner!  It was ok!


When I got home, I felt fairly whacked, mostly drained and tired.  Not bad today, no nausea at all.  You just don’t feel yourself and I would say everything seems to be in slow motion.   Went off to see my GP to consult on Bessie the Red to see if I should start the potent antibiotics.   She debated as well, but because she felt it was hot, she agreed for me to start the antibiotics.   Yup got hot boob!  No pain but it is swollen and red, and warm.  Hot sounds sexier!  Probably too much information for you blog readers!  But that’s me, no holds barred!

Anyway, next stop is to the Community Care Access Centre.  These centres provide health care services to support you at home.  In years past, they use to send a nurse to your home but I think resourcing is tapped given the health care problems and we have to go there.  Mike my partner in crime will drive me over.  Basically part of my regime is to take needles after chemo.  I have a 7 day protocol.  These injections are required to prevent or treat neutropenia (low white blood cell count) during cancer treatment.   I asked them to teach me how to do this because I really don’t want to drive out to this place every day.    I have things to do, like sleep!     Plus it may come in handy knowing how to inject needles and I don’t think it is to difficult because the needles come pre-filled.   I am sure if I don’t want to jab myself….Mike could easily do it when I throw the usual sarcastic remark his way.   Truth be told I love information and learning new things so part of my survivor mindset is to visualize an adventure.  It is just another life experience I get to talk about.   I obviously don’t get out much.

Feel like singing that Destiny’s Child chorus..

I’m a survivor (what?)
I’m not gon’ give up (what?)
I’m not gon’ stop (what?)
I’m gon’ work harder (what?)
I’m a survivor (what?)
I’m gonna make it (what?)
I will survive (what?)
Keep on survivin'(what?)

Til next blog!

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