I started reading a book that had parts of it quoted during my "Step Up to Survivorship" materials a couple of weeks ago. The material that was presented was useful, so I asked my local library to locate a copy of it for me to read. It is called "Picking Up the Pieces:Moving Forward After Surviving Cancer." I have included the book on my list of helpful resources. After only a few chapters, I have decided to get a copy of my own so I can make notes in it. I checked the local Half Price Books, and they don't have a copy of it. But I was able to order it from their website for $10 less than Amazon had it. I will keep reading the copy from the library until my own copy arrives.
I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book, but so far, the authors have made 3 very helpful suggestions. The first is to start a Recovery Journal. The journal starts with a "self scan" meant to assess the state of my physical being. This is done by answering a series of 24 questions about sleep, fatigue, side effects, etc.
A second suggestion the authors make is to do a "Five Question Check In" each day. The answers to these questions should be recorded in the journal, along with the date. This will provide a glimpse into the recovery process.
- What's happening with my body?
- How am I feeling emotionally?
- When I let my thoughts wander, what do I find myself thinking about?
- Who did I connect with today?
- What gave me a sense of peace?
The third suggestion the authors make is to practice attentive walking every day. Their description of attentive walking is very similar to mindfulness.
- Set aside 20 minutes to walk alone every day.
- Pay attention to your breath.
- Notice what's happening in your body.
- Pay attention to sounds, colors, and smells as you walk.
- Notice the feelings that come up as you give your attention to the world around you.
- Come back to the present moment whenever your mind wanders off.
Since today was just a blood work week, I was able to gather the strength to run some errands after I was done at the doctor's office. I made a point of buying a journal that I can use as my Recovery Journal. I found a great notebook. It's purple, and the front of it says "When it rains, looks for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars." I thought that quote was pretty appropriate!