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My post-surgery checklist

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

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This March marks 2.5 years since I was diagnosed with kidney cancer—which is funny, when you think about it, because it’s also Kidney Cancer Awareness month.

I’ve spent time, over the last two and half years, thinking deeply about my experience, so far, as a cancer survivor. The volatility, the uncertainty, the speed, the chaos. Everything happened so quickly—and abruptly. I’m still trying to catch my breath.


I only had a month to prepare for what would come next after surgery. Life would not go back to normal—it never could. Not when you lose an entire organ and gain a whole new set of anxieties. So, for me to manage in those first few months, I knew I had to come up with a plan to focus on my recovery with more intention.

Creating a post-surgery checklist helped me put my energy into healing rather than into *how* I would heal. Here are four steps that kept me grounded as everything crashed around me.


🎗Build my circle of support.

I found people I trusted to lift me up, whether by listening or bringing me food.


🙌🏼 Find an accountability partner.

I leaned on my partner and close friends to keep me in check so I wouldn’t try to do more than I *actually* should.


😖 Identify and address potential pain points.

I thought about what worried me most about my post-surgery life, and I actively sought out solutions and strategies to minimize problems.


🏋🏼‍♀️ Create a sustainable fitness and nutrition game plan.

I ordered meal prep for the first two weeks of recovery and came up with a plan to ease back into working out.


Recovery looks different for everyone. Some bounce back quickly; others need more time physically AND emotionally. But having a checklist to help prepare for what’s to come can help ease the process in so many ways.

If you’re undergoing surgery and need advice, resources or just an ear, reach out. I’m here. 🧡



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