I keep a number of running lists, compiled and added to by many conversations both individually and in groups. Yesterday, as I added to one of them, I realized that they might be an entertaining contribution to this blog. Today, I will share three: The Top Ten Things my Children do to Help me Feel Better, The Top Ten Ways to Feel Sexy Again after Cancer, and the Top Ten Ways to Ease Back into an Exercise Program. I always welcome new contributions, so please feel free to send suggestions.
Top 10 most heartwarming things my kids do or say to make me feel better
1. Tell me they love me
2. Hug me
3. Make me laugh
4. Rub my bald head
5. Tell me that my wig/hat/scarf/bald head looks great
6. Put away the clean dishes or the laundry, clean their rooms, do any chore that I normally have to nag about
7. Let me sleep late
8. If they live away from home, call or email me often
9. If they are grown, demonstrate that they are taking care of their own health, including getting annual mammograms if appropriate
10. No matter how old they are, they are my kids, and I feel better just to be in their presence.
Top 10 ways to” bring sexy back” after having cancer
1. Remember that, in or out of bed, it is how you love and whom you are, not how you look, that matters most.
2. Take the pressure off: agree just to snuggle.
3. Shower or bathe together.
4. Experiment with massage oils.
5. Give and receive back rubs, foot massages, as many hugs as possible.
6. Consider wearing a lacy camisole if you are self-conscious about your breasts (or lack thereof)
7. Consider wearing a teddy with a crotch that can be unsnapped.
8. If vaginal dryness is a problem, try a variety of lubricants to discover what works best for you.
9. Go away together for an overnight or a weekend.
10. Watch an x-rated movie, read a steamy novel, fantasize.
Top 10 ways to ease back into an exercise plan after chemo
1. Think about the recent studies that suggest regular mild or moderate exercise may reduce the recurrence rate of breast cancer.
2. Start slowly and set reasonable goals. It will be counter-productive to try to do more than your body can manage.
3. Find a yoga instructor who understands about recovery from cancer. Join an appropriate class that she offers.
4. Make a pact with a friend to walk/go to the gym together. You are more likely to do it if someone is depending on you.
5. Consider adopting a dog—and walk him.
6. Find ways to exercise that are fun: roller-skating, softball, swimming.
7. Remember that small changes can add up: park further from the store, walk up one or two flights of stairs instead of using an elevator, and carry your own groceries.
8. Hire a personal trainer.
9. Buy a new pair of sneakers.
10. Reward yourself: buy a bouquet of flowers if you meet your week’s goals.