• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 68 (Still Running)


    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Day 68 of 100 Days of Good Karma.

    I went for a run after dropping the kids off at school.  These days running has become less about fitness and more about the joy of living.

    Running helps me deal with a number of cancer related problems.

    It offers stress relief.

    A lot of stress from cancer is found while waiting.  And there’s a lot of waiting when you’re diagnosed with cancer.

    You wait for doctors appointments.  You wait for test results.  You wait for chemotherapy to start.  Wait for it to end.  Wait for the next chemotherapy appointment.

    Running keeps me from going crazy while I wait.

    Running helps with side effects of chemotherapy.

    I know it seems counterintuitive, but regular physical activity helps me manage the fatigue associated with chemotherapy.  This is the main reason my doctors have encouraged me to stay active.

    Thirty minutes of activity and I can get through the day with a quick nap.  On the days I don’t run I lay around all day and feel worse than if I’d gotten up to run.  It also helps me sleep at night.

    Staying active seems to help the neuropathy.

    I sometimes get tingling and numb spots in my fingers and toes.  This is nerve damage from the chemotherapy drugs and an expected side effect.  The neuropathy I’ve experienced is very slight.  Some people have neuropathy so bad they have to stop treatment.

    I’ve found that the tingling or numbness is much less after a run.

    I try to be flexible when I set my daily fitness goals.

    For me, this means ignoring both pace and mileage.  Instead I focus on how I feel.  I listen to my body more now than I ever have.

    If I feel good, I run.  If I want to move but don’t feel like running, I’ll hop on the elliptical machine or I’ll walk.  If I’m really sore and tired, I take a day off.

    I get tired a lot faster than I used to so I take more walking breaks.

    My perfect workout these days is walking one minute and running two minutes, repeat ten times.  Five minutes of warm up and cool down and I’m good to go for the day.

    Today’s silver lining:  I am grateful I can move. 

    Some days are harder than others, but I’m never sorry for running.  Running is a gift.  It’s a small celebration of physical freedom made all the sweeter because I know cancer can take this away from me.

    It’s a hard pill to swallow, but at some point I may not be able to run because I’ll be sick or because of surgery.

    So I’m holding onto the freedom of running for as long as I can.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!


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5 Responsesso far.

  1. Mom says:

    Going shopping for my grand son, Calviin. He’ll be one year one on Thursday, Sept. 18th. such a big boy he’s getting to be. Tripper tells me he’s walking some now. Can’t wait to take pictures. I also found some stuff for grandson, Connor and granddaughter, Hannah. So much fun until you get to the check out. Ikes! But it’s worth it all the way around. Love them so so so much, even their folks! Imagine that! Love ya, Mom

  2. Cindy Smith says:

    Keep on running! Keep on running! Keep on running! Did I say that strongly enough? I know you already know this because you do this, but as long as you are able to, keep moving! Being diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) at age 11 and being yanked out of all PE classes and given a list of things I couldn’t do because my fingers were in such a fragile state at the time and they didn’t know how it was going to affect my internal organs (JRA & RA can do a lot of damage) middle and high school was not always fun when kids would find out I didn’t have to take those classes. But one day my mother gave me that one little piece of wisdom she rarely showed and I have always tried to follow it. When I can, I get up and go or do or whatever. It helps so much to move around and feel productive and when I am having bad day, it can help so much to move around. So even after 2 hip replacements, it is such a good thing to be able to get up and walk every day.

    I sincerely hope you can always keep on running or at least walking! You love it so much and I have always admired how you were able to run and will admit to being quite a bit envious of that ability. It has been such a silver lining to me to be able to share some of my story with you because it helps to remind me to continue on no matter how I feel and not to let the bad days get me down.


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