Mondays Are for Chemo, Tuesdays Are for Sleep

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Intro by: Mary Brolley, Staff Writer

Adelea Ibsen was just 30 when diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. At the time of diagnosis, she was living in East Germany with her husband and two young daughters. Because of her illness, the family immediately moved back to Texas so she could be treated at MD Anderson.

Ibsen now commutes from her Austin home weekly to participate in a Phase I clinical trial under the direction of Richard Theriault, DO, professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology.

Today's post begins an occasional series on her experiences with cancer and treatment.

adelea_couch_edit.jpgPost by: Adelea Ibsen

Tuesdays are my sleep days. My nap-on-the-couch -- until the very last moment I have to go get the kids -- days.  The days the laundry is not done, dinner may be cottage cheese, crackers, tomatoes and bananas (for the kids) and I may or may not shower.

See, I have slowly started to give myself breaks as "The Great Cancer Experience" unfolds. Things such as allowing myself to eat crappy food on Mondays (chemo days) -- Hooters, Doritos and ice cream.  On Tuesdays, the days after chemo, I just lie down and nap for as long as I want to.  As opposed to how ever long I am allowed by my 2- and 4-year-olds, who see naps as accusations versus privileges.  

They may seem off, my self-indulgences. But for me, the queen of self-discipline, semi-organization and consistency, they feel a little care-free and dangerous.  

Most people had to tighten up their sails when they discovered they had cancer.

Eat better, stop smoking, exercise, attempt positive outlooks on life, etc.

I was the opposite. I was wrapped a little too tight. I needed to slow down, give myself a break, live a little bit on the edge.

And yes, eat Cheetos, take naps when I can and not keep my house spotless. These things were always accompanied by guilt for what I should be doing and the example I was setting and what others might be thinking, blah blah blah.

They still feel a little bit like cheating -- but now, who cares?

They feed my soul and give me a much-needed rest.

1 Comment

Brilliant, love. Cheetos and naps ARE good for the soul.

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