Thursday, February 10, 2011

Regaining power against cancer

I saw my oncologist yesterday for "maintenance." If that isn't what they call it, it should be.

We engaged in the regular checking-in chit chat and, aside from updating him on the status of my meds and general well-being, I told him I was getting 5 hours of exercise a week. "Good!" he said. "But not walking, right? You know, like walking while you're shopping? It has to be VIGOROUS!" Insert visual image of my doctor  pumping his arms with great glee. Vigorous? Let's see. OK - yes, I think it is pretty vigorous, but it is walking. I do the Wii Walk It Out game everyday. It usually takes about an hour (which is actually a total of 7 hours a week) and for the majority of that time I am walking very quickly, pumping my arms and/or flexing my arms with 2 and 3 pound weights. I am breathing hard, my heart rate is elevated and I am sweating (or is that just the hot flashes 'cause I'm going to confess I break a sweat while drinking the occasional glass of red wine I allow myself and I'm pretty sure that doesn't qualify as exercise).

So now I am thinking I need to add in something with a little more, well, vigour. But I cannot get to a gym easily during the day. Dare I float the idea of running? I hate running. Really hate it. I have never been good at it; as an elementary school kid I was near the back of the pack, sneaking in walking and loathing the "natural runners".

A few years ago I was, ironically, an avid Ultimate Frisbee player. That is a sport with a LOT of running in it. Running to catch the disk, running to stop someone else from catching the disk, running away from the amused eyes of the 18-year-olds you are playing against to throw up behind a tree...lots of running.  It was the least fun part of the game for me. But I still remember one magical day when I was running to get away from my defender and I actually accelerated. :-0 The only analogy that comes to mind is I was shooting for going to 10, and instead I went to 11. And it was an incredible feeling. So I guess I am a little nostalgic for that feeling of physical improvement. Improvement and power.

This has been a year and a half of feeling not much but the loss of power, physically, psychologically, emotionally. And in recent weeks, the fear of recurrence has begun to creep around my psyche. The motivation is building and I am starting to seriously look at not just running but a whole range of options to improve my bone strength and physical fitness. I have to start taking my training more seriously. I'm in a fight here.


  1. Cyn, Lots of us are in this fight with you. I gotta get going faster on my treadmill. Then there is that darn incline button...You're getting me motivated! Sort of. Glad your "maintenance" appointment went well and all your "parts" are working. ha.

  2. Thanks, Nancy. Inclines are only fun when they are downhill. Darn those machines! We actually looked at buying one - let me know if you have one you like. Well, I guess like is the wrong word. :-)

  3. One thing I was wondering about was whether you could use those poles to make your walking more strenuos and involve more of a upper body work out. Have you considered that? I meant to aske you about that at Xmas.

  4. They might be hard to hold onto. Right now I use free weights during slower songs (little worried I'd let go during a fast one and disembowel the tv.)