Away to Focus on Self-Care

Photo of a Brown woman dancing and smiling in a blurry photo. There is a Brown man, whose face blends into the darkness, behind her.
Photo by a Friend

I have been away from my blog to focus on self-care. Do you see this photo above? That was me focusing on self-care nine years ago in the form of dancing and smiling at a friend’s birthday party. It is a blurry photo, but I am glad I did not delete it like I do with most blurry pictures. The details might not all be clear, but the joy in this photo is evident. This is definitely not a posed portrait. The birthday girl is not in this picture, but there is another old friend dancing behind me in this photo. I was looking through photos from this birthday a few months ago because I was reminiscing about this old friend. Unfortunately, he passed away. If it was not an intentional suicide, the few details I was given about his lead me to suspect it was an accidental self-inflicted death. Why? I knew from many conversations with him that he had a lifelong history of trauma, mental health issues triggered by the trauma, and suicide attempts.

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My CVS Customer Experience

Photo is of a Brown woman taking a selfie of herself. She has an ice pack on her shoulder. She is wearing glasses and a pajama top with a navy blue and white plaid pattern.
Photo by L. Laguna

It has been a long time since I have been on this blog post. I have been managing many responsibilities and practicing self-care as much as possible.

This is a photo of me from today. I also am sharing screenshots of an email that I wrote to Karen S. Lynch, the CEO of CVS Health. If you are someone who needs or wants to hear the email, I am also providing the link to the latest episode of my podcast for Unfiltered Snapshot. It is also titled My CVS Customer Experience.

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More Than Transactional

Photo is of a small stone chapel surrounded by trees mostly without leaves and one tree with yellow leaves. It is autumn. There are orange leaves covering the ground.
Photo by L. Laguna

This is the second anniversary of my mastectomy. I wrote about the day of that surgery on my anniversary last year in the post aptly titled My Anniversary. My life’s journey has had no shortage of excitement for better or for worse. I wrote about this in Funding for Myself, Mixed Messages, and Neighbors. I also have spoken about this in my Unfiltered Snapshot podcast episodes Tsundoku, Dancing on My Own, and Bubble Girl. On this second anniversary of my mastectomy, I am acknowledging my desire to move forward with a life that is more than transactional.

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Funding for Myself

Photo is of American bills and cents.
Photo from Flickr

When I was growing up, I was no stranger to fundraisers. When I was in grade school, I sold chocolate bars for class fundraisers. Then in junior high and high school, I raised money for centers that supported pregnant women. As an adult, I raised funds for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a. Super Typhoon Yolanda) in the Philippines and for survivors of sexual violence in Greater Boston. This is just a sample of initiatives for which I did fundraising.

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Under Reconstruction

Image is an abstract image of brown and purple hues.

Photo from Flickr

I have not written on this blog for almost four months because I was preparing for, underwent, and have been recovering from reconstructive surgery. I was waiting for a moment to be inspired to write again, but maybe inspiration is too strong of a word.

When you are working to fulfill your basic needs, engaging in an activity that you normally love is not always the best thing. Sometimes when you try to do something and encounter restrictions or discomfort, reconnecting with the activity becomes more work than leisure.

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The Consequences of Authenticity

Photo is of a person in a striped, multicolored shirt, hat, pants, multicolored shoes, and bag around the shoulder. The person is posing in front of a stone wall with doors on both sides. The person is posing with the right arm stretched out straight along the wall and the left arm bent so that the hand is touching the face.
Photo from Flickr

Yesterday I was talking to a colleague, and she admitted that she feels like she has felt a “wall” in this pandemic among other crises in the world. She certainly is not the only one.

Recently, I was scrolling through social media and saw a forum from the Harvard Kennedy School titled Three Wednesdays in January: insurrection, impeachment, inauguration. I paused and smiled to myself. As a writer, I was impressed with the combination of alliteration and accuracy in that title. Whoever named that event deserves a raise.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Parenting and Working During a Public Health Crisis

It has been seven weeks since you heard from me. Since I last wrote on here, I have been so busy that I recorded my last episode of Lunch with Lindsay in late August; however, I did not get to share it here until today. If you read my post on my other blog, you know that I am Forcing Myself Off of the Hamster Wheel in order to make time to blog again.

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Proving Your Pain

Today I called an airline for a refund on a flight I had scheduled prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was quite an ordeal.

In November 2019, I bought tickets to travel to Austin, TX, in May 2020. I had no clue that I would be diagnosed with breast cancer weeks later, how expensive cancer be as I worked to improve and maintain my quality of life, how challenging it would be to interact with medical providers and loved ones, how much pressure it is to take care of others even when I needed care, how the COVID-19 pandemic would intersect with my cancer and fertility treatment, how emotional freezing my eggs would be, and how George Floyd’s murder would place the United States’ racism under a magnifying glass in ways that reminded me of the ways others and myself have experienced racism in this country.

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The Patient and Family Advisory Council

Photo by L. Laguna

This summer, I had an appointment at my hospital. I had a negative interaction with a medical provider. It was not the worst in the world; it was not the best either. Initially, I decided not to share my feedback with the hospital, but I later opted to call and share my experience with its staff. My intention was to take a developmental approach to the situation. As the environment of this country has evolved in the past couple months, I felt responsible for doing what I can to make it better. The following is a statement I wrote as part of my application for the hospital’s advisory council for patients and families.

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What You Can Learn from Cancer Survivors

Six days ago, I went on a long walk to the beach and green space in my community. Consistently, I was frustrated by the people not wearing a mask or social distancing when they came near me. I vented my frustrations in an online group for breast cancer survivors and wrote this:

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