Lisa Chatwin - Routines for treatment

New Westminster BC

You are a warrior, and you can do this.

Routines for Treatment

I am definitely a creature of habit.

When going through something as terrible as cancer treatment, those little routines and rituals were things that I would use to get me both pumped and calmed all at once.

Anything to make it feel easier.

Have a nice bath or shower before bed the previous evening.

Use your favourite lotion, and get all cozy.

Have a nice, clean sleep that night, and when you wake up, you will feel refreshed and ready for battle.

Usually before a bigger treatment, (when such routines are more necessary), you likely won’t be able to eat breakfast in the morning, because you will probably be getting drugs.

In that case, make sure you get excited about what you WILL be eating, once you can eat.

Make sure you have all of your pre-treatment stuff in place.

Freezing creams should be applied with lots of time to do their freezing, any anti-anxiety pills popped, or pain relief administered.

Wear your favourite comfy clothes. Preferably just-washed, and fresh.

Don’t wear anything that could get uncomfortable.

Be calm.

When you are driving to the hospital, stare out the window, (as long as you aren’t the driver), and watch nature.

Look at the leaves, look at the sky. Feel the air and the many breezes.

Be one with the universe in those quiet moments, and meditate on how you are a warrior.

When you get to the hospital, it is time to be a patient.

You must go with the flow.

There will be delays, and waits, and confusion and set-backs.

There will be times that are painful, and scary, and uncomfortable.

These are all reasons why being a patient sucks.

This is when you must be a patient.

Find a cozy space, and make it yours.

Bring all of your gear with you, like a magazine, your phone, have music and videos to watch. Bring your headphones. Bring a journal and some nice pens or pencils to write with.

Close your eyes.

Look around.

Be calm.

This is your warrior work.

When it is time to have your procedure, get into your zone.

Everyone will have a different way of getting into their zone.

I always preferred to be alone in my zone, with only my doctors, nurses, and me.

I didn’t want to be distracted with loved-ones’ concern or sadness.

Those emotions would take me away from my zone, and would jeopardize my warrior work.

This is the time when the warrior is strongest.

I had a very specific routine, and would even request specific doctors and nurses to be my regular supporting cast.

This is not totally wise, because sometimes those doctors and nurses might not be available, and an alternate (yet equally capable) other cast would have to take over instead.

You have no other option but to allow for such flexibility.

Warriors must be flexible.

I had a song that I would have played on repeat in the procedure room, Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.”

Back in the times of compact discs, and cd players.

Over and over, on repeat.

Procedure after procedure (the serious ones I mean).

Time after time.

“I want to celebrate / see it shining in your eyes

Because I’m still in love with you / I want to see you dance again

Because I’m still in love with you / on this harvest moon.”

It became my hymn.

During your procedure, try to stay calm and relaxed.


You are getting drugs to help you, but try to also stay aware in a way, of how calm and peaceful you are being.

You are a warrior, and you can do this.

It became my hymn.

After the procedure is over, you can celebrate.

You can be comfortable and at peace.

You did it.

You can fall into a nap, and anticipate your lunch.