Who else wants to stop taking showers?

Who else wants to stop taking showers? | Sedruola Maruska

I used to take a wonderfully long shower every day. Even when we moved to California and my skin started to tear because it was so dry. I bought better lotions and kept showering every day. I never imagined I could stop taking showers back then.

Then I had a baby.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? The baby’s small, so you shower only when someone else is around to make sure they’ll be fine. Or when they begin to walk, you want to be sure they don’t kill themselves, while you’re jumping into a 5 minute “shower” so you won’t smell bad at the end of the day.

Less Showering

I got used to less showering and realized my skin was happier. So, I’ve kept a schedule of showering every other day or two (except if I’ve had too many hot flashes, worked out, or it’s summer). It really depends on how yucky I feel or smell.

Who else wants to stop taking showers? | Sedruola Maruska

Anyway, after chemo and surgery, when things started to get back to normal, and I had less down time for self-care, I started to wonder how I could keep a self-care schedule that worked with increased activity.

As I looked around my bathroom I noticed pampering products that were languishing. Languishing because my self-care was always on the back burner. After all there was never enough time. So one day I decided to take more than ten minutes in the shower.

The scrubs and oils finally started looking used. Then, in December, I received the dry brushing brushes that were on my wish list. To say they changed my life would be an understatement, they have transformed the way I shower!

I still don’t take showers everyday (don’t judge me) even though my kids are old enough to leave alone. But when I do take a shower, it becomes a full blown spa experience that I’d like to share with you.

Shower Spa Recipe

Let’s start with the ingredients:

  • Dry Brushing Brushes (for face & body)
  • Shower Gloves
  • Shower Gel
  • Sugar Scrub
  • Coconut Oil (or any natural oil)
  • Shower Process

    Step 1: Use your dry brushing brushes to brush your whole body. My brushes came with a diagram, but if you don’t have one, just be sure to brush toward your heart. Starting from the soles of your feet all the way up to your face. Do at least 10 – 15 brush strokes on each area to make sure you’ve loosened up the dead skin.

    Step 2: Get in the shower and rinse right before using your shower gloves and shower gel to remove any last bits of dead skin left behind from the brushing. Rinse.

    Step 3: Use a gentle sugar scrub on your skin (hopefully one that uses a natural oil) and rub all over your body.

    Step 4: Pat dry then rub the coconut (or your natural oil of choice) all over your body.

    The Result

    After my first spa shower my skin was incredibly soft, smooth and smelled so lovely! I suddenly didn’t feel weird not taking a shower every day because it was now a getaway. A respite from everyday and a great way to:

    • stimulate lymph drainage which builds your immunity
    • unclog your pores
    • clear blemishes faster

    So, not only am I enjoying my shower more, I’m also helping my body stay healthy! Talk about a winning situation. Here’s a quick DIY Sugar Scrub my daughter and I made up a few months back, hope it works for you!

    One last note. . . enjoy the process in anything, that’s where the real fun is! Whether it’s a shower or planning a huge event. . . the fun is in the details (not the devil) enjoy it all.

    What’s your favorite thing to do in the shower? Whatever it is, I’m here for it so do tell.

The Beauty of Chemotherapy

The Beauty of Chemotherapy | Sedruola Maruska

Oooooo I know the moment I begin talking about the beauty of chemotherapy I’m opening myself up to all sorts of judgements. Thing is, before I had cancer, it was easy for me to judge too. All I ask is that you take a moment and hear what I’m saying.

The Beauty of Chemotherapy | Sedruola Maruska

Going through chemotherapy is not a fun process. It requires patience, stamina and a whole lot of understand on the part of those around you. Chemotherapy is a toxic poison that anyone not going through cancer can judge all they want. Now that we’re done with that, let’s get to the beauty of chemotherapy.

My Story




On January 2, 2018 I went in for my first chemotherapy infusion. I had no idea what to expect, but it was the course I’d decided on so there I was. My husband and I went to the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Waltham and started my four month journey on chemotherapy drugs. That was also the first day I met my nurse, Jennie (who would later be known around my house as ‘my Jennie’). My veins did not cooperate on this first visit. They were hard to find so several nurses came in to help ‘my Jennie’ in placing the catheter. Everyone was so kind.

At my first chemotherapy appointment my husband accompanied me. After that appointment, I had someone new with me each time. Only my mom & sister/cousin Rose came with me twice. There were specific reasons, but the most prominent was that I enjoyed having the company. I also think it helped me keep front and center the support I had. By my third infusion I began to look forward to chemotherapy. I looked forward to seeing my Jennie, my Mary (the wonderful nurse who did acupuncture & acupressure for me and relieved my nausea by her third visit) and interacting with my hero of the day.

The cancer journey can be rigorous and lonely if you allow it to be. However, mine was always filled with love, support and lots of laughter. Although I felt frustrated at times, I never felt alone or lonely. Falling in love with my nurse and nursing staff made every visit an adventure.

Read my article: Working Through Chemo a Survival Guide

The Beauty of Chemotherapy

Now for the beauty. Chemotherapy, as much as we may hate it and consider it a poison, it works. I felt my mass melt away after the first infusion so that by the 5th infusion, we could barely find it. It shrinks tumors and helps give people back their lives.

Chemotherapy brings people together. I met amazing nurses, I’m thankful for my great doctors, but mostly my friends, family and community banded together to give my family the help we needed in going through a major medical crisis. Every call, card, flower, package, meal, blanket, text etc. served to help keep our spirits high and happy. Chemo lets you know who will or will not be there for you in the end. We all need to know that information.

Finally, the thing that chemotherapy did for me, that it seems nothing else ever could, is it gave me time to take time for myself. It knocked me down so that I could take time to allow my body to fight and heal. It taught me how important self-care is no matter what and gave me time to explore what that means to me.  Taking time out for yourself is beautiful, chemotherapy taught me that.

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Each Decision is Personal

How someone decides to fight their battle with cancer is highly personal. For anyone to berate someone going through chemotherapy is highly ignorant, insensitive and rude. We make choices based on what works for our lives. Whatever someone decides to do, as long as it’s the best thing for them, they should be allowed to do it. Chemotherapy is scary, but if you allow it, chemo will take you to a new level of respect for your mortality. There is beauty in chemotherapy, just as there is in anything that is trying, but you can overcome. Never feel guilty for choosing life via chemo. Those who don’t understand have never stood where you stand, they can’t.

Gratitude

Thank you to Myrna, my Jennie, my Mary and all the nurses at the MGH Cancer Center for making my process one to look forward to every two weeks until we were done. To my Oncologist, Jeff, thank you for being easy to understand and relate to. Finally, to my Jenna, who took over when Jennie had to change shifts, thank you. You all hold a special place in this survivor’s heart because you helped with the battle!

The Beauty of Chemotherapy | Sedruola Maruska
Lisandra, Gail, Myrna, Rose, Dr. Jeff, My Mary — My Angels

Disclaimer

Please know that this is MY experience with chemotherapy. I am a cancer survivor who knows and understands that there are as many stories as there are people fighting cancer. My goal is help someone going through or anticipating chemotherapy treatment know that they can do it. It’s not all bad and keeping a healthy mental attitude does wonders. I’m sure you have opinions, feel free to voice them in the comments, but do so in love. 🙂



You Are A Badass – A Badass Book Reveiw

“If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.”

It was December 17, 2017. We’d landed a day earlier in a magical place and I was ready to get my vacation on!

Four days earlier I’d gotten the news that I had breast cancer. Three days earlier I’d gone in for a CT Scan, Bi-lateral MRI and a bone scan. Two days earlier I’d learned that all my scans were clear. On December 16 we got on a plane with great friends and landed in Turks & Caico. I was primed to forget the past few days and focus on loving life.

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The Book

I’d picked up You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life at the Massachusetts Conference for Women because I loved the title and the bright yellow cover grabbed my attention. Little did I know what kind of ride I’d just decided to take.

The “You Are A Badass” book is written by Jen Sincero who is, among a ton of other things, a success coach. It’s a New York Times Bestseller so I’m sure you’ve seen it displayed at your local bookstore. I bought the paperback version which was easy to pack and enjoy on vacation. You probably have an electronic reader so you can pick up an electronic copy here, however, I still love the feel of real books.

When I opened the book I noticed it was separated into five sections each with their own overall theme. Having sections makes is easy for you to choose where you’d like to start if you don’t want to read the full book. Personally, I’d encourage you to go through the whole thing the first time, then pick and choose your second, third or fourth time around.

You Are A Badass - A Badass Book Review | Sedruola Maruska

The Voice

Jen speaks in a very down to earth conversational tone throughout the book. I think it’s one of the things I enjoyed most. She shares a ton of content in a way that makes you feel she’s your wiser older sister who really wants you to succeed.

I’ve started and put down a number of books that seemed to be talking at me and not to me. This book, You Are a Badass, was not one of them. I flew through this book as if my life depended on it (which after a cancer diagnosis, I felt it did). It was almost like having her across from me at the kitchen table, with our wine glasses between us, hashing out why I need to embrace all that is me.




The Message

Just as the title implies, the message of the book is that You Are A Badass but until you embrace that fully, you’ll keep living a life designed for you not by you. She wants you to learn to love yourself fully. That way, when life happens, you’re ready to meet it head on and decide how you want events or situations to unfold.

The book is full of butt kicking advice because it’s what we, as readers, need. If we didn’t she wouldn’t have had to write this book. However, the butt kicking is done with compassion and understanding. That’s not always easy to do, but she does a beautiful job.

What is Authenticity and are you Authentic?

My Conclusion

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life and enjoy the ride read. Depending on where you are on your personal journey the content will bring out some emotions. Don’t be afraid to feel what you feel because it’s all a process.

My second read-through is happening with highlighter in hand (the reason I love books) so I can now work on internalizing the information and change my life. Even those of us who love and are infinitely grateful for the lives we have can use some adjusting and tweaking every now and then.

Your Turn

Have your read the book? What prompted you to read it? What was your assessment of the content. Please leave a message in the comments. I’d love to hear your perspective, especially if it’s different than mine on what you thought about this book. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.