There comes a time when even the most people-pleasers of people-pleasers (me, I am their queen, hi nice to meet you) realize it must stop. That giving and giving to people who don’t appreciate it and would only give once to you no matter who they are must be turned down.

It’s hard. Really hard. I learned though that I need to focus on me, my husband and my kids. I need to stay healthy, in fighting form and I can’t do that when I’m bogged down by other stuff.

Some of that other stuff in addition to people-pleasing is the run-of-the-mill fear of dying and not keeping my promises.

I promised myself during chemo last year that I would change my ways. That I wouldn’t be a crazy helicopter nah shirt-mom. I wasn’t in the helicopter, I was like in the children’s shirts and not allowing them to be on their own or with others. I promised I would be more focused on what I need in my life. That I would take risks. That I wouldn’t settle for what I thought was being a “good mom” and putting myself last anymore.

And you know, so far, I am doing it little by little. I have learned to let go and let God in ways I never ever thought I could. I am, like, chill af now, as the young kids might say. … I do not get ruffled often. I do not panic anymore. I have a routine and a plan for managing most of these types of issues. As someone who always worried about everything I don’t worry anymore. Occasionally I get scared and spooked, but I just roll with it by acknowledging the fear letting it sit with me for a few minutes and then dtmf down after the five-minute mark.

I listen to a hypnosis by Seth Deborah called “Victory Over Cancer,” and it’s a great visualization technique to see my body healing or to help my body heal.

I also do mindfulness meditation, a novena every night before bed and exercise or at least walk 10k steps every day.

I eat well and have found that taking 3ml of melantonin helps me sleep like really sleep … like life before kids sleep. I found post surgery, chemo and being put in immediate menopause almost one year ago meant that sleep was now a challenge a real big challenge. I would lay awake for hours, despite being so tired. I wouldn’t dream much. I would wake up too early and not be able to rest again. I was taking one to two 0.5mg anxiety pills (have to check the name) from my oncologist every night to try to get sleep. Now, after a half-hour of laying down, I am out cold. I get up at like 3:30 to pee and then boom, right back to sleep till 6.

It’s amazing. I was born tired, so getting to rest is huge for me.

This weekend, I worked on doing something really new. Both kids slept out and my husband and I took a surprise drive to Atlantic City, a place we spent lots of time at before kids. We had a fancy dinner and also met up with an old friend of mine from grammar and high school!

I got home at 2 a.m., friends!!! And woke up at 7 a.m. because I had to get to my son’s basketball game at 9! I am finding it’s ok to balance the different parts of me. I got some good news about some exciting opportunities for me to maybe just maybe be able to use my writing and social media skills as an income generator—more on that soon.

I volunteered to be part of the planning committee for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk for Staten Island, and there’s more to that, too, coming soon! And I’m stepping wayyy out of my comfort zone again soon in February a few times—can’t wait to tell you all about that too!! You got to keep reading ????.

I continue to try to exceed expectations on this new normal. I have so many ideas and plans to help others adjust to this “new normal.” I am here and I plan on making the most out of whatever time I have left and I hope it’s a long-ass time—what about you?