Not many years ago, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. We had no family history and as a collective family, we were stunned. My sister had had a mammogram just a month before that had come back clear. Then, she found the lump on her own during a self-exam and fortunately caught it very early. The treatment exhausted and depleted her physically, but she is healthy and cancer-free today.
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Once a member of your family is diagnosed with breast cancer, there is an automatic family history that extends to every related female member. For my next check-up, I was put through a barrage of screenings to be extra certain that I was healthy.
After the tests all came back clear, my doctor took time to ask me about my lifestyle and my levels of stress. At the time, I was working way too much and playing way too little. I mentioned that many of the things that gave me pleasure in life, sewing utmost among them, had slipped away from my day-to-day activities.
I so clearly remember the doctor saying to me: "So all you do is work, and you've completely given up the things like sewing, that relax and give you pleasure?"
When I was in the middle of working so many hours, I couldn't see it. But sitting there in her office, looking at her face as she mirrored my life to me, I could see it very, very clearly. Something had to change.
I started drooling over sewing patterns and fabric, and sewing clothes for myself again that weekend. Within the year, I had changed my life and my job, so that I had the time to do what gave me pleasure. It was one of the most important and healthy steps I have ever taken to take care of myself.
Has sewing played a part in your self-care? I would love to hear if you have had experiences like my own.
Happy (and healthy) stitching!