October 1st. The starting line of that marathon called Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Though if you were to walk through the Pink Door House right now, you could look around and quickly surmise that October started pushing it's weight around here sometime in mid-September.
I felt it, truly felt it, last night. I was frantically digging through our mountain of clean laundry...sure that there must be one more pair of clean little girl underwear...when the puppy peed. On the floor. Right next to me.
And to be perfectly honest, my thought was, meh. At least it's not the carpet.
And bedtime stories.
And All the Other Things.
In a recent Coffee & Revolution podcast, Glennon Doyle (author of Love Warrior) says,
Women are taught that the way to be successful and attractive to the world is to be selfless. From an early age, we are conditioned to ignore the voice within when considering who we are and what our goals are, and instead to look outward—to our family, friends, church, community, and even our critics. In a million different ways we ask them: What should I want? What should I be? And the more our inner whispers fade, the more our bodies speak up, trying to get our attention. We get tired. We get sick. We can't sleep. And we ignore these voices, too. If you refuse to listen to anybody long enough, she'll stop speaking. Which is why one day, we selfless women realize we can't hear our own voice.
With my own health already on the line, I can't afford to be the woman ignoring her own voice. I have to listen.
I already know October is going to be heavy. Last October I was so submerged in Inflammatory Breast Cancer stories and advocacy that I came out on the other end feeling like a pink ribbon dumpster fire.
I don't want to repeat that. And so I need to either tackle less (which isn't going to happen), or listen more closely. Take better care of myself.
To be perfectly honest, I feel like I'm digging out of a hole with that one. I'm the heaviest I've ever been. Even when I was pregnant with twins.
My lymphedema swelling, which has consistently been at a slow creep, has gotten significantly worse since July.
And to season the mix, I have been weaning off antidepressants. It's a good change. But a change.(More on that later.)
When I was in the corporate office at Nordstrom, the women I worked closely with would often talk of turning over a new leaf. On particularly rough days, they'd even make a paper leaf. Physically turning it periodically as if to reaffirm that it was time for change.
Bring on October.
My leaf and I are ready.
Now let's be honest. You guys know me. I'm not talking shakes or boot camp. I'm talking better discipline and sustainable, healthy choices that are realistic for my life.
About 16 months ago I wrote this post about working towards a healthy weight. And for a few months I rocked it. I lost about 15 pounds. I made simple changes, like cutting out added sugar and cutting way back on refined flour. Making sure I ate my 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables. Replacing some of my meats with beans and legumes.
Then I slacked, and found those 15 pounds (plus a few).
Well I can...I will...eat for my health again.
Recently I've been walking the dogs in the morning. It's fun, it's easy, and it feels great.
I have decided to sign up for the 30-day challenge at The O2 Studio. Will I make it to 30 yoga classes in the month of October? Ummm...probably not. But I will make it to more than I did last month.
I'm going to cut back on my media consumption, too. I found that to be a particular problem last October. Posting fundraisers or engaging about IBC Awareness was often derailed by mindless scrolling through FaceBook. Time that could be better spent. You know, eating vegetables. (7-9 servings is a lot of vegetables, guys.)
So that brings me to a few announcements. I've created a FaceBook page for the Pink Door House blog. The blog posts, IBC/Breast Cancer Awareness posts, and even our Instagram shares will start showing up there.
The blog is getting a clean, fresh look too.
If you've been following the blog, I hope you like the changes you see. And I hope you'll follow the new FaceBook page. Please share the page with your friends. Help me extend my reach, knowing it could mean one less person with a delayed or missed diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Or a few extra bucks donated to life-saving IBC research.
October is a long month.
But the stage is pink. All month.
As a survivor, as an advocate, I'm going to use that to my advantage. First thing's first. I'm going to listen to my own voice. Take care of my own self.
If you're an advocate, for breast cancer or otherwise, I encourage you to do the same.
Interested in donating to help fund Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research right now?
Cool. Click here!