I’ve been meaning to update everyone on my fitness progress, but I’ve honestly been very discouraged so it was hard to motivate myself to blog. I made it through 5 weeks of Couch to 5K training and finished up my LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program as well. Unfortunately, at the beginning of December I started having quite a bit of pain. It began on the skins of my sides around my rib cage. At first my doctor was concerned it might be shingles. However, since it was on both sides and there was no apparent rash, they quickly eliminated that possibility since shingles generally only manifests on one side. I went for my quarterly check-up with my oncologist in early December and consulted her about it. Since my blood work came back fine, she wasn’t overly concerned. The following week the pain had spread around to my chest and back as well, so I went to my primary care manager for a follow-up. She thought it was a compressed vertebrae. Luckily my x-ray came back fine, but she told me to hold off running and doing any heavy lifting for up to 8 weeks. I’m feeling much better now, but I’ve been bummed out for the greater part of December.
I think the situation frustrated me on several levels. I have never been a fitness guru of any kind, and I didn’t feel like I had been attempting anything extremely difficult even by my own low standards. The fact that I had such a major physical set back so quickly was pretty discouraging. I went through several phases of “my body will never be the same” “i feel fat” “why didn’t i take better care of myself when I was younger” etc. These feelings were also compounded by the fact that my body is still going through major hormonal swings due using lupron for six months and the adjustment to being off of it for about three months now. It’s pretty much like going through puberty all over again. complete with zits, mood swings… the whole works. My hair is growing back very quickly (which is great), but its also coming in curley which I have no experience with and am not prepared to handle. I’ve been experimenting with hair product, but let’s just say a bad hair day is not uncommon. I’m also tired pretty much all the time and try to get at least nine hours of sleep so I’m functional. In addition to working full-time and commuting an hour each way, it doesn’t take much for me to
go psycho feel overwhelmed.
However, I saw another Michael J. Fox interview a couple days ago and he said something along the lines of “My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance and in inverse proportion to my expectation.” Although I’m not comparing my situation to his by any means, his attitude really helped me reach acceptance of my own situation. I’m able to see how lucky I am for being alive, for being cancer free and able to even think about doing a half-marathon. My body did get me through cancer, chemo, several surgeries and radiation, so I can’t really knock it too much. So I’m going to take Mr. Fox’s advice and focus on what I can do and not what I can’t.
The team-in-training program I’m participating in has a training program for walkers, so while I’m still planning to do the half-marathon in April, my goal is to finish without putting pressure on myself to run the entirety or finish within a certain time. The team-in-training program starts at the end of January, so that should give me enough time to recover from my wonky back/skin issues and raise some funds to beat this stupid cancer thing. Once the “official” training starts, I’ll be able to have a better idea of what is realistic for me and set some goals accordingly. I spoke with my mentor for the first time over the Christmas holiday and I’m super stoked to meet some of these amazing people soon.
In other news, I was able to go to Kansas for the first time in more than a year to visit my parents and two of my sisters (along with their significant others.) I was so happy to be with them and the visit was way too short (as always.) I was especially happy to make the trip with my husband. Rene missed all the winter holidays last year due to his deployment to the Middle East. We stopped in Fort Sill, OK on our way up to see one of the areas he grew up. His family was stationed at Fort Sill twice while he was growing up, so he spent about 10 years there total, which is fairly unusual for an Army brat. It was very special for me to be able to share in some of those memories with him.
While we were in Kansas, it was extremely cold for this Louisiexan (or Texianian…whichever you prefer.) The majority of our time was spent indoors playing board games, watching movies, wrapping presents, and of course eating. My family couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a National Parks passport stamp though, and we did take a trip to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
While there, we decided to take what ultimately became a two mile hike in 20 something degree weather to attempt to see some buffalo. Sadly, the closer we came to the buffalo the further they would walk away from us. We ultimately “hike failed,” but the boys enjoyed throwing rocks at a frozen pond to see if they could break it (they couldn’t.) They then pondered walking across it (thankfully they didn’t.) I unfortunately didn’t get any photos of these exploits. As I said, it was really cold and my hands were firmly gloved and in my pockets the entire hike.