How To Navigate The Start Of The School Year (with breast cancer!)

I used to think that August was one of the hottest, most humid months of the summer. But this weekend proved me wrong. Boston was overcast, high 70's, no humidity, and actually a bit chilly. A sign of things to come. 

Can summer really be over? Are we already in the mindset of the next school year? For some of us, that means our kids are getting ready to return to college. The move-in process is starting several weeks earlier than usual enabling students to return home by Thanksgiving and not having to risk traveling in November/December during a health pandemic. For others of us, we continue to attend PTA meetings and town halls trying to figure out what our school district will decide. 

In a given academic year, we try to coordinate school pick up and drop off while we attend chemo and plan for surgery. But this year is overly complicated. Does it have to be? Are we over thinking this because it's new?  We can remember many other obstacles and challenges that we overcame and yet somehow this fall, we are facing the tallest and steepest mountain yet.

Let me reassure you, you will scale this mountain! It will not be easy, but you have the ropes, carabiners, helmet and an entire team of supporters on the ground belaying so you won't fall. 

How to Scale Mt. September

  1. Map the course. Write out your list of essentials and tasks that must get done leaving aside all of the "nice to haves" for another time. We just need to focus on the path of least resistance.

  2. Pack your hiking bag accordingly. Hand sanitizer is a given, along with mask. Then add your fruits and veggies because you know you'll need fuel. Healthy proteins like beans that you know will not go bad. 

  3. Choose your belay team accordingly. These are the people that will have your back as you begin to ascend Mt. September. Who is in your inner Covid circle? Who are the friends and family you can trust to come to your rescue at a moment's notice. Put your list together and let them know they are your team! They'll feel honored and even take extra health precautions knowing they could be called upon at any moment.

  4. Synchronize your watch and activate your GPS. With all of the health apps out there, we know technology is playing a larger rule in our day to day. Speak with your doctors and learn what appointments you can attend virtually via telehealth. This will certainly save you time on the commute and needing to secure child care and even save you a few buck on parking!

  5. Start your hike.  One foot in front of the other. Do not try and tackle the entire fall season at once. Take it one day at a time. Be willing to adapt. Be kind to yourself and know that it doesn't have to be perfect. You need to take care of you. If you get off the trail and into the "puckerbrush", no problem, readjust that compass and carry on! 

Most importantly, you are not in this alone. If you are looking for community to talk about everything you are going through, now is the time to reach out. Join one of our Thursday Night Thriver Calls and we will all get behind you and hoist you up Mt. September

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