Be good to yourself

After Monday’s zombie meltdown, I’ve realised that it’s important to look after my own health and wellbeing. It is secondary to B’s but nevertheless important. I’ve therefore instigated an inititiave called ‘Be good to yourself’. Never mind that this is also the name of a Sainburys product range.

Here are the central points of the policy.

Diet.  Now is not the time to slim down and end the world’s 20-year wait for the launch of my swimwear modelling career. Nor is it an opportunity for a blowout. Cosmopolitan has long been advising ladies that ‘your man’s tumour may grow, but don’t let yourself go’ (headline article, 1987). ‘Dont’s for Wives’ from 1913 goes further: ‘When your husband comes home from a hard day of radiotherapy, he will be tired, so don’t annoy him with questions about the big cancer-killing machine. Before he arrives, remove your apron and put on a pretty dress and heels. Fetch his slippers so he can relax until the fish pie is ready for supper.’

We’ll still be eating out occasionally (tonight we are going to Polpo). The most I can do is to eat as healthily as possible most of the time, keep exercising and fervently hope that I remain around the same weight.

Alcohol.  It’s a potential problem at the moment. One glass sounds like a good idea, the rest of the bottle is a better idea and bottle #2 is the finest idea I’ve ever heard. And yet a complete ban seems a bit harsh. I could just stick to the recommended number of weekly units, which I’ve done before (briefly) and is pretty much like not drinking at all.

B can only drink in small amounts, as it can increase the chances of him having a seizure. Moderation is therefore prudent for both of us. Getting him into the recovery position is difficult enough, but after a bottle of shiraz each I can imagine it being less than successful.

Sleep.  Since I wrote the zombie post, I’ve been inundated with recommendations for hypnotherapy and relaxation CDs. I was unaware that my blog readers are such closet hippies. By ‘closet hippies’ I of course mean kind souls who are in touch with their inner beings.

At the moment B’s sedatives are working a treat. I take one, I go to sleep, I wake up, I function. But to those who believe I’m heading down a dangerous path to prescription painkiller addiction in the unglamorous style of Matthew Perry, fear not. I know this is a short-term measure to end the cycle of insomnia. If I’m not back to normal sleep next week I may consider listening to Buddhist chants.

Massage.  B is treating me to a massage at Thai Square Spa tomorrow. I have one irregularly but plan to step it up to once a month. When I was younger and didn’t know much about these things, I would go for the standard Swedish massage. Then I went to Thailand and realised that the Swedish have NO IDEA what they’re doing. A massage should involve pressure, pain and total body manipulation. These days I’m not happy after a massage unless I exit the treatment room on my hands and knees, whimpering into my restorative cup of jasmine tea until I can coerce my pummelled arms and legs to perform the movements necessary to get me home.

Sex.  To the person printing this for my Dad to read, please black out this section as if you are a WW2 censor. It’s an important part of a relationship, most would agree. The patient information on sex during radiotherapy and chemotherapy is very doom and gloom. He’ll be too tired, too nauseous etc. I accept that things may slow down on that front, but we’ll still be doing it much more often than people who have kids, so I’m not too concerned.




  1. Melissa · · Reply

    You should try a Lao hot herb massage if there’s one around. All the painful manipulation a Thai massage offers along with the sneaking suspicion the top layer of skin is being burned off your back. On a serious note I’m pleased that you’re taking care of yourself. B will need you to be in top form for what’s ahead x

    1. I almost went for the ‘Thai herbal healer’ which sounds like what you describe, it begins with the application of a ‘warm Thai herbal poultice’. I’m sure it has the added advantage of making me smell like a laksa for the rest of the day. Next time!

  2. megan crawford · · Reply

    Have been very curious about your sex life but too scared to ask…you go girl!!

    1. You, afraid to ask? I’m shocked.

  3. I know its not the point of your blog, but its as good as a tonic some days!

  4. Now it’s not being posted on Facebook there’s no Like button! I “Liked” that blog entry (but it sounds so boring to write that), it had me smiling 🙂

    1. There is a Like button, but maybe only for other bloggers. You’ll have to start a blog! 🙂

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