Goals, Plans, Changes....

I admit, I've always been better about making short term lists as opposed to long-term lists, and making plans, again short-term than at setting goals.  And I've always been better at setting goals and making plans for career oriented stuff than personal stuff.  I spent the majority of my career in outside sales, and it was always a challenge for me to set goals, but I did it: monthly,quarterly, yearly.  One of my favorite supervisors once told me "You can't hit a target if you can't see it, and you can't hit a moving target."  From that point on, setting my professional goals was a breeze.  After all, I wanted to be the best, and wanted to reach for the stars, but there was no way I was going to do that without having goals and creating a plan to get there.

Early on in my career, I would get frustrated because I would set goals, and I would make a plan and then something would derail that plan.  Frustration would overcome me, and the following month I would have a hard time setting my goals for the upcoming month.  I remember feeling that if things were just going to mess up my plans, why bother making them?  It wasn't until later in life that I learned that shit happens, and things will mess up your plans (boy, if I didn't know that before, I sure do know it now.  Cancer is very good at sending that message, and it's LOUD and it's CLEAR!) but rather than focusing on the setback, we have to figure out how to work around it, and get back on the path to our original plan.  It was when I figured that out, that I really began to see success professionally.  As cancer warriors, we all know that there are setbacks and disappointments, and more often that not, they tend to be huge, and very ugly.  But, we have to keep trudging forward...

Moving forward with my life, post-cancer isn't going to be any different than it was with my career in sales.  I have to make a plan, and I have to set goals for myself.  I need to think about where I want to go, and what I want to accomplish.  Most importantly, I think that I need to figure out what things about my life prior to cancer weren't working.  What wasn't making me happy?  What was stressing me out?  What was unhealthy?  Those things definitely need to be changed, and so the list making begins.  The only logical reason that I can come up with for me acquiring cancer, is that I needed to make changes in my life and this was the only way for it to happen.  (Ahh... God, just so you know, the next time I seem to be having a hard time hearing something, you can send a little bird, or if that doesn't work, just drop a boulder, the cancer was just a tad on the extreme side!)

One thing that is crystal clear even before the list making begins, life is to short to constantly be rushing from one thing to the next and enjoying nothing.  We don't really ever know how much time we have, or what life is going to throw at us, so we really should be doing our best to enjoy every day and not waste one single moment.  I know that the past 8 years, prior to cancer, were spent working.  And that was about it.  I rushed from home to work, from work to the grocery store, to home to cook dinner, clean the house, and do the laundry.  Once a year, we would take a vacation, (if we somehow managed to make time) and we would spend the entire vacation answering calls from the stores.  Over the course of 8 years, I missed weddings, baby showers, birthdays, and just about everything else that didn't involve the furniture business.  And then, I've got a huge cancer diagnosis staring me down, and the past 8 years come flashing back to me, and it just SUCKS, I know that I made the wrong choices, and I'm beating myself up pretty hard for making those choices, but they can't be undone.  Going forward, all I can do is not do the same things over again.

I told my husband a few days ago that there is no way that I can return to that life.  I cannot return to a life where I rush, even when I don't have to because I don't know how to do anything else.  I did not just endure what I have endured to go back to that life.  And it's  not only me that the hectic, chaotic lifestyle is bad for, I don't want him to keep doing it either.  That plan definitely needs to be re-written- for both of us.

My overall health is another area that needs serious attention, but with that one, I think it's going to be easier, and I've already taken steps in that direction.  I have always been a pretty healthy person.  Meaning, other than the occasional sniffle, and the hereditary sinus infections, I have not spent a lot of time sick. (Boy oh boy, when I do get sick, I get really sick!  I don't half ass anything!)  I've been in Orlando 2 years and don't even have a PCP here.  I have maintained the same weight that I was when I graduated high school, and have actually even been thinner than that at different points.  I can attribute my skinniness to anxiety, constant hyper-activity, too much coffee, too little sleep, and never taking the time to eat because I didn't have the time.

All of that is no longer acceptable.  I do not ever want to feel this crappy, or this weak ever again.  And lets face it, all of the things that were making me skinny, were negative and extremely bad for my health and my mental well being, post cancer, I can't keep doing all of these negative things to my body.   I want to return to the healthy, fit body that I worked so hard on in my 20's.  So, here I go.  I have embarked on a journey to eat healthier, and strengthen my body through working out on a regular basis.  I have cleaned out the pantry, the fridge, and the freezer and all of the junk has been removed from the house.  I have made charts, and lists, and plans of how I'm not only going to loose my chemo weight, but I'm going to be the healthiest cancer survivor that I can possibly be.  I've got a strong plan, a great coach, and a huge motivation; all of the things that I need to succeed. 21 Day Beach Body Challenge, HERE I COME!

I know there are going to be set backs- I've got a huge one coming up in a couple of weeks.  My mastectomy is seriously going to derail my work out plan, but it doesn't have to completely ruin my good eating habits (although my mother is coming, and I'm sure the first thing she will do is make me something to eat).  But, just like with everything else in life, we have to find a way to work around them to get to our final goal.  I had a long conversation with the surgeon yesterday about daily activity post-surgery.  He reluctantly agreed that I am still allowed to go for walks, but I am not allowed to go anywhere near a treadmill or a weight for at least 6 weeks. I agreed, with serious puppy dog eyes, but I agreed.

I had serious plans and goals for the whole cancer business.  I was going to be finished with everything by the end of the year.  I even had my 11 Herceptin treatments mapped out on the calender.  My 11th treatment is scheduled for December 26th....  Then yesterday, I find out that I cannot have my final reconstruction surgery until 6 months after finishing radiation.  Ugh.  That sucked, but hearing the reasons why, made a lot of sense, and I guess I have to be grateful that my surgeons are actually doing things the right way rather than rushing patients through processes just to get paid.  So, my plan has been mildly altered, but it's for my own good, and I will find a way to work around it.

I am going to forge on.  One step at a time, in the direction that I want to go.  I am going to be accepting of challenges and of set backs and realize that those are just a part of the plan, no matter how unexpected, or how crappy they are.  I am going to be understanding of the fact that sometimes in order to reach their final stage, goals have to be altered or changed completely.   One thing is for darn sure... this cancer business has certainly made me a lot stronger, and I totally refuse to give up.  I will succeed, because I am crazy enough to think I can...

I think I can... I think I can.  I KNOW I CAN! (and so can you!!)

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