Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Three Words

During the most recent #BCSM tweetchat, each participant chose three words that would guide him or her for 2012. This excellent idea came from Philippa at Feisty Blue Gecko, who has been doing this exercise for each new year since 2009.  My fellow bloggers have followed suit, and now so am I. My words for 2012 are:


I am discussing these words together because, in my mind, they are intertwined. As I enter into a new year of new doctor appointments, I hope and pray for peace of mind. I plan to better to quell some of my health-related fears and pains that plague me day and night.

Last year found me celebrating my fifth year post DIEP-flap surgery. As those who read my blog know, the surgery has left me with abdominal and back pain. I hope for the courage to better cope with the pain -- and I found great bath salts (chamomile, eucalyptus, and rosehips) that temporarily keep the pain at bay.

Placebo effect?


But then, again, who cares?

I'm in less pain when I soak in the tub and for a few days afterward. I hope to keep up the momentum when it comes to self-care. I must continue power walking, swimming, getting enough sleep, and eating right. Self-care leads to a sense of inner peace. And inner peace helps fuel my courage and perseverance.

I'm ringing in the new year with my tried-and-true doctors, as well as new physicians. Not looking forward to my first colonoscopy. I'm going to tap into my courage bank and get the rather unpleasant procedure, knowing full well that that a new C club to join could be lurking. But I must stare this fear in the face -- and act in spite of my fear.

Through perseverance, I was able to obtain a new primary care physician, whom I am seeing for a "routine" exam tomorrow. After a breast cancer diagnosis years ago, nothing really is routine anymore for me. I'm still aggravated that my hospital terminated its contract with my former primary care physician, but I am moving on and picked up my medical records, which was a fiasco to be discussed in a future post.

Overall, I am trying to embrace this new year of doctors' exams with a new daunting challenge: Scheduled around the exams, I will be treasuring time with my daughter, as well as oil painting, exercising, writing, reading, and keeping busy. I want to prove to myself that I can endure the doctor gauntlet without breaking down. That I can continue coping with life's hurdles. 

That I can still find peace and be centered.

Seeing doctors is a crucible of gigantic proportions. I am already tense at the thought of seeing my new primary physician and rehashing all the years of physical and mental hell.

But I know that when I am courageous and persevere, I tend to achieve peace.

To further give me peace, I will also be integrating Tai Chi into my exercise routine this year. When I was in China, I saw people of all ages participating in this activity in public parks everywhere. It looked, well, peaceful and relaxing. 

I achieved a great sense of peace -- and pride -- when I finished my manuscript for my book last year. This year, I will be searching for an agent and publisher. I know this is a long, arduous road and publication may not come to fruition this year.

But I dream hard and work hard. 

And that will serve me well in this endeavor. 

Finally, I feel a great sense of peace being part of an awesome blogging community. I enjoy reading postings from the best, most insightful writers in the blogosphere. Most importantly, I feel a kinship with these individuals I have met virtually and consider friends. Affected by breast cancer, we became a support community. I am lucky to have crossed paths with each one of them.

I am looking forward to a new year of awesome blogs from these remarkable people and am eagerly anticipating a new year of blogging.

Happy 2012!!

I'm writing a book titled Calling the Shots: Coaching Your Way Through the Medical System. Please feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the orange subscribe button. I am a professional writer and have published numerous academic and magazine articles, as well as an essay on my breast cancer experience in the anthology Voices of Breast Cancer by LaChance Publishing. I can be contacted at and


  1. This has been a great exercise hasn't it? It's been fun reading everyone's choices. You picked some dandies! The first two can be pretty daunting at times can't they? It's hard to be courageous. It's hard to keep persevering. But being/doing both can indeed lead to finding peace even if we don't succeed at stuff because we know we gave it our best shot. I love your statement, "I dream hard and work hard." I hope your dreams do come true, especially that certain book dream! I'm looking forward to another year of blogging too. Happy 2012 to you!

  2. Hey Nancy,

    Yes, this has been a wonderful exercise and has really given me focus. I'm seeing my new PCP today and am tapping into my courage bank. Thanks for your support, as always, about my book dream. I am planning to make it a reality. I'm so looking forward to reading your work this year. I have fallen behind on my reading blogs but am planning to catch up soon. Can't wait to read yours!

  3. I hope all your new doctors work out well, Beth. It's such a stressful process you are going through. And feel free to contact me for colonoscopy tips! I feel like an expert now. ;)

    Hope your 2012 is peaceful and creative. xoxo

  4. Thank you, Kathi, for your encouragement. It is so difficult to find good doctors, and I've been under a lot of strain lately from all this medical sh*t. I'm sure I will be contacting you for colonoscopy tips. Very nervous about the whole thing.

  5. Beth,
    It sounds like you're doing all the right things to stay healthy. I'm impressed.

    I hope your doctor's appointment went well. Don't fear a colonoscopy. I'm sure you've heard this, but the prep is the hard part... It's down right rude and awful. The colonoscopy itself is a piece of cake. More than likely they'll give you Versed, a fabulous drug, and within a very short time after your procedure, you'll be back to normal.


    1. Hi Brenda,

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. Yes, as always, I'm doing my very best to maintain my health. It's all anyone can do, right? Thanks for the pep talk regarding the colonoscopy. I know that the prep is bad, but I will just have to get through it. That's all any of us can do....

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog posting.

  6. You are a very courageous and confident person.
    Nice sharing. Keep posting.

  7. I love your three words, Beth. Wisely and carefully chosen verbal gems. The exercise of finding them is extremely cathartic. I do wish you total peace for the new year. XOXO, jan

    1. Thank you, Jan. Yes, finding these words was very challenging, but very cathartic, as you say. Peace is the one that is most elusive, but I'm trying....

  8. I love your choices! Interesting exercise. Aspects of my recent Africa trip have me re-evaluating lots of things. I'm thinking this exercise might be a useful part of that re-evaluation. thanks.