Friday, February 5, 2010


i had a great meeting with K yesterday, but that's not what i want to blog about right now. maybe later.

i am SO OVERWHELMED by my to-do list, to the point of feeling paralyzed by it. it's too long and unmanageable, and i am having trouble prioritizing.

for starters, my room, and the whole house, is a total DISASTER. i should be taking care of that before i do anything else - i can't concentrate on my computer work when my desk is like a tornado aftermath, and i can't cook healthy meals when there's not a single clean dish in the kitchen, and i can't achieve inner peace through yoga if i don't even have enough floor space to roll out my damn mat. so i NEED to be cleaning. but there's a part of me yelling, WHO THE HELL CARES ABOUT THE DISHES, WHEN I'M TRYING TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO KEEP MY BREASTS!

i need groceries, but first i need to make a list of the Anti-Cancer Foods i am limiting myself to. i need to bring the OVERFLOWING boxes of recyclables to the recycling center. work has been so stressful it puts my stomach in knots, but i don't have the time or mental energy to address that right now. my car registration and inspection are both overdue, and tonight, my "check engine" light just came on. i have to pay the february bills, but first i need to get my roommate to pay for half of january's bills and also buy stamps. i have to photocopy all my paystubs from the last 10 days and mail them to my caseworker guy, so that i can keep my health insurance. i have to try and interpret my pathology reports, and make lists of questions to ask both oncologists next week. i have to do the meeting minutes, and return emails, and GRIND THE STUPID FLAX SEEDS, which sounds like a silly thing to have on a to-do list, but i've been putting it off for over a MONTH. i have to do my taxes, and do laundry - but first i have to buy more laundry detergent, and change the brita filter, and buy more of the supplements i'm out of, and complete overdue work paperwork, and find enough change to fill a jar and put it in my car so that maybe i can stop getting parking tickets, and figure out how to stop losing weight and maybe buy a belt in the meantime, and OH YEAH, call the hospital back so i can schedule my next surgery!!

ohmygoddess, how do i even have time to do the basics, like shower and sleep?? i don't know what to start with. so instead i do nothing other than complain to the internet!!! friends are calling and emailing me and wanting to hang out, but i'm feeling like not only do i not have the time, i don't even have the time to call back to say that i don't have the time. :(

i think the problem is that all of this stuff is happening simultaneously, which is not usually the case. i mean, we ALL have to buy stamps and laundry detergent, do the dishes, pay the electric bill, do taxes, re-plenish the supply of coins for parking meters, take out the recycling, etc. but usually these stupid little things are spaced out! why are they all clustered together NOW?!? arrggghh.


  1. Britta, I have free time tomorrow afternoon and I can help you with some chores if you'd like. Just let me know! xo! Cathryn

  2. OK hon, I hear you. That is a LOT to deal with. I encourage you to take a slow, deep breath. Three actually. The first thing that popped into my mind is: your taxes don't need to be done for another two months, so that is something you can shelve for a while. Maybe your mom could help you with those.

    It sounds like, instead of hanging out with friends, what you need is for them to come to your house and help you do dishes, clean your room, cook for you, shop for you or with you, etc. It's OK to ask for ALL of that. Instead of calling people back, maybe you could send a mass Email to these people explaining the situation and give them time slots to come over. You can also ask someone to coordinate that for you. We love you. I love you. Are there people you can ask to help with these things? I asked several people to cook for me, so I didn't even have to think about food all that much. They were great.

    I may be coming up to Brattleboro on Monday to go to your circus school for a juggling jam. If I come up I am more than happy to come over and do all of your dishes, and clean a space on the floor for your yoga mat. I will call you.

    It is SO much, Britta, and you are doing so well. I know I had these meltdowns amid everything. It's totally natural and normal. Just remember that you can ask for help with ALL of this. Here are two sources of money:

    CancerCare financial aid application:

    The Ellie Fund


    The other thing is, you can ask the oncology social worker to help you prioritize and take care of some of these things. That's what she is there for: to help you navigate this crazy time.

    I'm thinking of you and sending you my love and a big prayer as I type these words. I love you Britta. Remember, one thing at a time, even if it is putting one shoe away every hour. That's enough.

    I love you,

  3. Hi Britta,

    Sue has some great ideas! I'll be up next week on Saturday in the AM (before the show) and am happy to help with whatever you need. If there's anything I can do from a distance before then, just let me know.

    In the meantime, know that I'm thinking of you and sending you love!!



  4. I'll take care of the recycling tomorrow when I get to town. Call me and tell me where to come get it. I'll also take a look at the car and see if I can fuligure out the check engine light. I used to be good at that.

    As has been said, we love you and are more than happy to help!

    Love and light,


  5. sue's ideas for getting your friends to come help you clean are great. wish i could stop by. it would be way more fun than cleaning my own room. i'm in the same boat as you as far as being unable to work because my desk has been struck by a tornado, and thus all i do is refresh the internet because it's all too overwhelming.

  6. thank you, sue!!
    yeah, i guess i can put my taxes off for a while... it's just that it will be helpful to have my tax return money ASAP, to make up for the work i'll lose during the 6 weeks of radiation. (yes, i'm leaning more twds radiation than mastectomy, but we'll see.)
    cathryn came to help me with stuff today and it was GREAT! and i did email a bunch of other people to say that i just don't have time to hang out right now, as much as i wish i could.
    oh, it is so hard to ask for/accept help. it's a constant struggle/practice for me.
    cooking feels more manageable now that cathryn did all my dishes for me!! so nice!
    i would love to see you if you're in bratt on monday! :) i'll be at work in keene till approximately 6:30...

    thank you, margot!! :) i can't wait to see you next weekend!

    and thank you, arlie, for your offer to help! xoxo! cathryn and i got the recycling taken care of, though... and as for my car, the registration and inspection were due in january, YIKES, so i think on monday i'll just bring it to a car place for whatever repairs it needs...and hope for the best...

    thanks, megan! i wish i could help you clean your room, and you could help me clean mine. it's so much better that fact, i might try and do chores like this more often - i'll offer to go help a friend with her dishes, if she'll come help me with mine! i am really liking this combination of social time + productivity. while doing dishes with a friend, you can have the same wonderful conversations you typically would...except instead of having spent an hour and $3.50 in a coffee shop, you have a beautifully clean kitchen!!

  7. Brit Brit,

    Did the check engine light in your car come on right after you filled it with gas? Mine does that a lot, apparently it's a Mazda Protege thing. Otherwise I guess you should check it out :(