When patients come first, they live longer, fuller lives. Our five-year survival rate for patients with metastatic cancer is nearly five times greater than the national rate. See the data and learn what the gift of more time means to the people we care for.
Last week, we talked about taking a vacation from cancer and gave ideas to help you plan your getaway. But if travel isn’t a possibility, you can still take a break from cancer treatment with a staycation in the comfort of your home. The tips from our previous post apply when it comes to choosing the right time and protecting your health.
To truly get away, you need to check out from your normal routine. For starters, this means no doctor’s appointments. Reset expectations with friends, family and co-workers by treating this time as though you were going out of town. Clear your calendar and to-do lists. Turn off the ringer on your phone and add away messages to your voicemail and email. (You can check messages once a day, but only if YOU choose to.) Consider stepping away from the news; you may even want to hold your mail. Making time for you means getting rid of your regular commitments.
This goes for meals, too. Can you assign dinner to others for the week? Get take-out or go to different restaurants? How about a mixed grill on Day One so you can enjoy the results all through your downtime? A fridge full of grilled meats, fish and veggies, a few nutritious sides, fresh vegetables and fruit will let you dine in style for days.
Settling in at home can provide a simple retreat. Here are some ideas for making the most of it.
Pull out the board games from your childhood or break out a deck of cards. Ask friends and family to bring their favorites. Let everyone choose or draw from a hat. Don’t forget the Pie Face!
In Linn County, we’re blessed with a first-rate library system. Head over to the library or order books online for pick-up. Choose from top summer reads, the classics or the latest from your favorite author. Consider re-reading beloved books from your childhood – they’ll transport you back to a simpler place and time.
With all the new streaming services, it’s easy to spend a day at the movies without leaving your house. You can also rent DVDs from a video store (yes, there’s still a few) or the library (a free source with a big selection). For a real treat, break out the home movies and a big bowl of popcorn.
If you’re a morning person, the sunrise can be pretty spectacular. Or plan to watch the sun set every evening, then wait for the stars to come out. This stargazing resource can help you see the stories in the sky: One Minute Astronomer. For a guided tour, attend an open night at the Eastern Iowa Observatory.
Around here, we’re minutes away from all kinds of activities and adventures, many of them low-cost and fun for the whole family. A few suggestions to get you started:
From boat rentals at Lake Macbride to baby animals at Bever Park, our local parks offer many opportunities for escape. Check Cedar Rapids and Linn County parks to discover everything from fishing spots and frisbee golf to geocaching and botanical gardens.
You’ll find plenty of places to nurture your inner artist. Here again, parks and rec departments are a great source for summer activities. Learn to make jewelry, dip candles or throw a clay pot at local arts and crafts centers.
For the ultimate relaxation, schedule an afternoon of pampering from head to toe. Massage therapy can work wonders to release tension and restore well-being. For the best prices, consider salon schools, such as Capri College, where students get credit for caring for you.
Sometimes, the biggest joys come from the simplest pleasures. Plan a tour of local ice cream shops, stopping once a day for a scoop or two. Sea Salt Caramel? Strawberry Swirl? The choices – and delights – are endless.