Being a Diva

One of the best pieces of advice I received after being diagnosed with breast cancer, was to be more like Mariah Carey – a diva.  At first I didn’t quite get it – was this really the best time in my life to be strutting around in fancy clothes, demanding only the very best.  My friend Clare explained to me that it was about taking care of myself, and using this time in my life to be number one.  Don’t be a people pleaser, don’t think of others needs, just think about yourself.pexels-photo-276064.jpegApparently one of the common symptoms of people who get cancer is that they are often ‘givers’.  I don’t think of myself as selfless by any means, but I had stopped looking after my own needs, and was definitely feeling a little lost.  Clare had told me to be selfish and to make sure I had a ‘healing ‘ environment at home.  So after my operation and before the chemotherapy started, my husband and I had a checklist of items to complete:

  1. Make sure you are warm – put an extra heater in the bedroom
  2. Your bathroom should be a little more luxurious: put Epsom salts in the bath after each chemotherapy treatment; soak in the bath with a pillow to rest your head and put in a wireless speaker so you can listen to healing music while bathing
  3. Change your bedlinen regularly, and make sure it’s lovely crisp white cotton
  4. Have a scented soy wax candle next to your bed
  5. Put a pile of books or/and Kindle next to your bed – you’re going to have plenty of time to read
  6. Have some sort of screen in there to watch films and TV series on
  7. Wear a beautiful pair of pyjamas or nightdress in very soft cotton
  8. Have your room cleaned thoroughly before your ‘healing’ retreat starts
  9. Have a notebook next to your bed, to write down your thoughts – light and dark
  10. Use the best face cream you can find, as your skin is going to need nourishment

If you’re wondering why there isn’t a picture of Mariah Carey, it’s because I couldn’t find one without royalties.  She’s very easy to picture anyway in your mind’s eye, and a little mantra for me whilst going through my recovery was always ‘What would Mariah Carey do?’  It’s just a little reminder to make yourself number one during this trying time.


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