Archives for posts with tag: family work balance

As I mentioned in The Hours, taking care of myself as a breast cancer patient is time consuming. For example, I still need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. I walk an hour to an hour and a half nearly every day. My wheat allergy coupled with the diet I eat to help maintain good health means that I eat very little prepared or processed food. Cooking from scratch takes time. I still find myself in health providers offices 2-3 times per week. And I work for a living. Right now, I bill about 18 hours per week. Twenty hours per week is considered full-time for a private practice psychologist. I used to bill nearly twice that much but admittedly, that was pretty unhealthy. The way I explained it to my husband was, “Imagine that you lost four hours of every work day and had 2-3 doctors’ appointments every week.”

And it’s not just trying to find time for work. It’s trying to find time for a social life, to spend time with my husband, and to spend time with my daughter. I have been looking at what I can give up to free up my time. There are some things like blogging and walking that take time but I will not give them up. My blog writing ebbs and flows in frequency. When I have a lot of ideas, it is because I have a lot on my mind to process and it is helpful to write about it.

I stopped seeing my naturopathic oncologist several months ago. I follow continue to follow her recommendations. We had transitioned to a maintenance schedule, anyway. I was also on a maintenance schedule with my acupuncture appointments. I was getting them every three weeks, traveling to a different city to get them. I told her I wanted to see if things continue to go well and check back with her as needed. I have decided that I am done with reconstruction and have no scheduled appointments with my surgeon. This means that I have scaled back to medical oncology appointments every three months, onco-surgery follow-ups every six months, massage every three weeks (I have been doing that for 13 years to manage chronic pain and stress issues), an annual mammogram, an annual MRI, a yearly physical with my internist (I am now one month overdue), psychologist visits every 2-4 weeks, and a trip to the dentist twice per year. I am still figuring out how to work in a dermatology visit as well as a trip to the eye doctor.

I have also opened up more work time by working on the weekends. I don’t work more than an hour or two each day but I don’t really like to do that. Due to logistics, cutting back a little on my practice means cutting back too much, due to the number of hours each of my testing patients requires. So I’m stuck between working a little less than I want to, which is boring and strapping us for cash or to work a little more than I’d like to. I talked to my husband earlier in the week and told him that I wanted to try to build a week off into my schedule every quarter. Because he is awesome, he quickly told me that he thought it was a wonderful idea. So, I’ve already taken off a week for New Orleans and have a vacation coming up in the summer.

I am so grateful to have flexibility in working all of this out and I will keep working on it since my energy level and responsibilities are still somewhat of a moving target.

My professional (two reports to write), domestic (three loads of laundry to fold), and family (father-in-law is arriving soon) worlds are colliding with my blogging world! I need more blogging time.

And yes, it is funny to have too much normal life interfering with my cancer life. I guess it’s one of those kind of problems I want to have. That is to have enough room in my life as a cancer patient to be able to cram in too much non-cancer living.

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George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (


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