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What do you do for YOU?

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

We all know what it's like to go through treatments, appts., more appts., waiting, scans, waiting for results that don't come through quick enough, fear, tears, pain, lack of appetite, nausea and the list goes on and on. It wouldn't take much to find that cancer and it's treatment becomes the centre of our lives because we seem to spend so much time fighting it.

So, what do you all do to put the cancer and all that is involved with it, aside, and then do something for yourself that is a totally normal, wonderful thing that reminds you that you DO have a life to live and that it's worth not thinking about one's fears around the clock?

I'll tell you what I did this weekend (besides the fact it was a picture-postcard perfect Fall weekend) :)

I signed up for a "Voice Over" 2-day workshop. I was curious as to learning more about the business of doing voice overs for radio commercials, TV commercials and cartoons. I didn't think about it really but thought it might be an interesting workshop to take.

OMG! I totally fell in love with everything about it! And there's more to it than just commercials and cartoons... there's audio books, walking tours by GPS, GPS voices, video games. So much out there. The workshop was at a studio and they only took in 6 students in a class so that we all got plenty of mic and recording time.

Well, I'm hooked! Hahaha.. it also didn't hurt that both the sound engineer and the vocal coach/director said that they were really impressed with my voice. That it was a "new and fresh" read and they got really excited when one of my demos I had picked was reading a excerpt from a Children's Book.

I plan on doing many more workshops in this area and see where this may lead in the future. Yep.. IN THE FUTURE!!!

How about you? Anybody else doing things and not putting their life on hold?



dixchi's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

Well, most would not think this is so exciting but I jumped in and started cleaning
out stuff from my house that has accumulated for the last 20 years; giving it to the
trash man and Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul and trying to find an auctioneer for
my collectible glass and pottery and by golly that has energized me. I have been
going to auctions (and walking away without buying) so I can judge how good they are
and that has been fun. I think the idea is to find something that engages your
attention and focus intensely and that is the key. I could not believe I got up
yesterday morning and jumped right into working on this and was able to go through
the whole day with energy and a more positive outlook. So anything that grabs us
is the direction to go. Thanks for your comments; I really identified with it.

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Dixchi... I think you hit the nail on the head! It's not a matter of "what" you do, but what you enjoy doing... and continuing to do the things you have always enjoyed. Hahaha... I wish I had your motivation to get in and clean out my home. I'm only in a one bedroom apartment so you wouldn't think it would be that big of a thing to tackle... but I'm a procrastinator. I'm not sure I enjoy the "doing" so much as I would love the end result of having it done :) But that has now gone on my list of a big indoor project to tackle when the wet weather arrives here :)

But, I think that was what I was getting at ... you mentioned focus. While we are going through all our various treatments and waiting games, we tend to lose focus on our own lives and just focus on the "what ifs" and "fears". I think it doesn't hurt to give ourselves a little kick in the pants to remind ourselves that we are NOT total invalids, that we are more than capable of continuing on with the fun things in life, and that we don't have to give them up. Oh sure, sometimes we find a physical set back so maybe we can't do some things we used to do. For instance, the chemo has aggravated the arthritis in my knees and produced neuropathy and nerve damage in both feet. So I can no longer go on the long walks I used to love doing. But that doesn't mean I have to give up on everything else I enjoyed doing. Hehehe.. this weekend was a prime example. I could be in a sound studio and having the time of my life doing recordings... and I didn't need to use my feet or legs :)

Anyone else with things you love doing and have not given up on?



kimby's picture
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Well, where do I begin? LOL I make every single day fun. I did that bc and I do it now. I make cancer fun and make fun of cancer.

I have three dogs that I adore. I lost my English Mastiff 5 1/2 yrs ago during my first fight with cancer and I missed her so. My youngest son wanted a pug so we got Buddy who is now 5. 7 months prior to my dx this time my bff had a litter of shih tzu's that needed daycare the day they were born....big mistake! But, Gus (now 1 1/2) got me through it all last winter with surgeries and chemo. I had this great idea to get myself an "I finished chemo" present -- an English Mastiff puppy. So now, here I am back in chemo with a 200 lb puppy on my lab. Last night I couldn't sleep so I was on the sofa with all of them physically on me...it was WONDERFUL! Now I'm considering breeding mastiffs.....another great plan...

I attend all my youngest sons basketball games. (He's my superstar...lol) My oldest coach's high school soccer so I love to attend those, too.

Long walks with my husband, girls nite out, chick flicks, shopping for plants with my mom, dinner with friends, and reading the latest Stephanie Plum book all top the list.

And now? I am working with cancer patients and new ostomy patients as support for them and their families. (I'm not a psychologist, nor do I play one on the net) I am preparing for a couple of speaking engagements and generally trying to make this process easier for those that need it.

Life is good!


CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

You definitely have the right attitude, Kimby! And lots of interests!

I can particularly relate to your love of the dogs. I only have one dog.. a very spoilt, pampered miniature schnauzer (Bridget), who is used to the world being at her beck and call. What I love about having a wonderful dog is... just because I may not be feeling my best, life goes on and the dog needs her walks every day, needs to be fed, needs lots of attention. She pretty much comes with me everywhere.. if she's not welcome, then I don't usually go there. Ok, I'm not totally obsessed with my dog... I realize there are places that she just can't come -- the grocery store, when I go off for various medical appts./treatments, etc. At those times, she is perfectly content to stay home and can usually be found on the bed, deep under the comforter :)

If I had a house with some property, I would LOVE to breed miniature and Giant schnauzers :)

I think, overall, I'm pretty upbeat, positive and ever since the DX, have really appreciated the good things that happen during the day. I love everything I do and am blessed by the friends I have, so it's pretty hard to be down and sad on an ongoing basis.

There are just those times when I think and feel as healthy as I was before the DX and then one of the doctors or surgeons says that something is not what we were expecting and makes it out to be quite dire. I don't take any of that lightly because I really do value my life and plan on living it for a long time... and hope I'm not fooling myself by believing that.

Good for you!! I love that you are working with cancer patients. I bet you are going to make a huge difference in a lot of their lives. I'm still working on where my niche would be in helping others... so I love hearing what others are doing when they give of themselves!



msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I love to take care of my daughters (even though the youngest is 21, and the request doesn't come up much!) and friends instead of them having to care for me! I crochet prayer shawls, chemo caps and make food for others who are needing help. I LOVE to get massages; they are a wonderful rejuvenator! As far as planning to be around a while, I love to paint (as in walls, not artwork!), and I have 3 rooms that haven't been touched. As soon as I get back home I will be getting paint for the bedroom!

trainer's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Sep 2008

Where was this voiceover workshop held, and does it have a web site? I'm curious about it after reading your email. I was diagnosed with cc on 9/9 this year. Am scheduled for surgery Friday Oct 3 and had a cat scan last Friday. The cancer was in one of the two polyps (1 benign, the other not). Apparently it was found relatively early and the surgeon is doing a colon resection, hopefully by laparascopy. I had no symptoms, just my first colonoscopy. Surprise, surprise! i will be in recovery on my 61st birthday. Chicken broth for my horses and men!!

Thanks for any info you have.

ADKer's picture
Posts: 150
Joined: Aug 2008

Once I recovered from the colon resection last March, I resumed coaching youth soccer. At the beginning, I made sure that I had a reliable assistant but chemo has gone well and I did not need much help.

I have also kept busy taking care of things that I have neglected for years due to lack of time as a working mother. I scraped and painted a summer shack on a lake that we own. I also removed old rugs and linoleum tile from a couple bedrooms in our house, painted the ceilings and walls and contracted to have new laminate wood flooring installed.

The work on the buildings gave me projects to focus on while the chemo was working on the tumors in my liver. Also, if my battle is unsuccessful, I will at least leave things in better order for my husband and children. The coaching soccer is just fun and totally gets my mind focused on something enjoyable and rewarding.

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi Trainer :)

The Voice Over workshop that I took was here in Vancouver (B.C.)... well, in North Vancouver to be specific. Their website is http://soundswrite.ca/ but my guess is that you and the others who do not live in Vancouver are not about to commute up here to the west coast of Canada . I think you'll find there are Voice Over or Voice Acting workshops all over North America (and other countries as well). It's a booming industry and rather than shrinking, it's growing more and more every year. As technology grows, so do the opportunities for Voice Actors (IE: internet games, video games, audio books, voice overs in movies, television, radio, etc).

So if this is something that would interest you... by all means, google your area for Voice Overs or Voice Actors.

I'm still buzzing from this weekend's workshop :)

trainer's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Sep 2008

Thanks for the quick reply. Vancouver is one of our favorite cities. It's a fairly short flight from Phoenix and the weather can't be beat. I was curious about the workshop for the GPS tour you mentioned, not for myself, but to pass on to some writer friends of mine. I run a marketing communications agency and have created and syndicated 5 radio programs. I have two that are on a combined number of stations about 500 altogether. I definitely intend to run some screening kind of PSAs on the shows. Thanks again.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

I love to sing, but had never had the courage to step out from the choir alone and sing a solo. I did it first at my Relay for Life team's talent show. Then I sang in church, which scared the pants off me, but I got lots of compliments and actually enjoyed the experience. My family doctor is a friend and goes to our church, and now we're talking about doing a duet in church. This man is so talented! He plays several instruments and sings very well, so it will be a major honor for me to even stand up there with him. I also consider him to be the man who saved my life, so it'll be sort of like performing with a hero. I would never have believed even a couple of years ago that I would have the courage to get up and perform in front of people, but I seem to be losing my fear now, and I believe it's because it's always connected to the depth of emotion cancer brings out in me.

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