Nowadays I class running around after the kids in the park, or the garden, or even the shops as my exercise.
This all has to change of course, because a sprint after a child down a supermarket aisle does not really count as sustained cardiovascular exercise (it also probably does more harm than good, given the raised blood pressure levels).
As part of my recovery, I have realised that exercise will play a large part. It’s just that I am very good at putting it off that’s all..
The Moon Walk it seems, was a ‘freak’ event, in that a serious amount of adrenaline and determination got me through the 15 mile course. You see, I had received a dose of chemo on the same week of the walk – and I may have underestimated the effects that it would have on my body.
In fact, I think I may have seriously underestimated chemotherapy full stop.
It reminds me of a villain in a cartoon that does a long exaggerated laugh when it has achieved it’s wicked goal. The goal to screw your body up.
Although I have tried to see the positives with my treatment where I can – I have to say that chemotherapy seems to have succeeded with it’s plan. This can only be a good thing of course, in that it has hopefully killed off any rogue cells in its wake – however in doing so it has left behind it a trail of destruction.
Physically, I am lucky that I have come out of it all with minimal ‘fall out’.
By some small miracle I kept my hair – although it did thin somewhat, especially after the final dose of chemo (something I am thankful for). My eyes tend to look bloodshot most of the time nowadays from the disrupted sleep. My back and shoulders ache and feel bruised (I often flinch when the children hug me), and well, my legs don’t quite work like they used to.
I have also gained weight which is battering my self-esteem and my tummy often feels swollen as a result of the hormone tablets that I am now taking – but I am kind of hoping that all of this will fade over time.
I have done a lot of research lately, and one of the main areas recommended for reducing the chances of secondary breast cancer – is to get active. They say that activity helps to control hormone levels, it helps to get your blood pumping, it helps to maintain general health and it also makes you feel good.
I remembered recently that I got into a really good routine of swimming a year or so ago, and I really enjoyed it – so I think I might start with that. It’s a good a place to start as any.
Water is relaxing and you can start off slow and build up gradually at your own pace. As a mum, I found that swimming gave me a little bit of ‘me’ time, just to relax and think, and let the worries of the day just float away..
The only small problem is finding the time for the exercise.
I realise that this sounds ridiculous, but in my defence – juggling two demanding children, ‘trying’ to run a home, going to work, and making time for a brief chat with your husband in the evenings, pretty much takes up my whole day and it seems most of my energy too.
The key might be to perhaps treat exercise like medicine, so that it becomes a necessary rather than an option. There are ways and means to make time for anything in life, and I know that better than most..
I could always go out for a jog around the block straight after the kids bedtime (best not to sit down & just do it). I could allocate one night a week to go for a swim. I could even do a few floor exercises and build them up slowly bit by bit, which would help to strengthen my arms and chest.
I am not so good with boredom either so ‘mixing it up’ with other types of activities might also be the way to go. I have been asked to join a netball team which has amused me greatly. Back in the day (many moons ago) I used to be quite good and I enjoyed the team element of the sport. So, after giving it some serious thought I have said ‘yes’ to attempting some training sessions at the local leisure centre.
I am probably not fit enough. I definitely have no confidence, and the anxiety of meeting new people may threaten to take over my attempts at joining – but I will give it a try nevertheless.
It might very well kill me but then I figure, ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ and I seem to be well and truly living that mantra these days.