You should eat right and exercise.
While I’m not sure I really needed a guideline to tell me this, it’s great to know that the American Cancer Society has officially issued the recommendation that doctors talk to cancer survivors about maintaining a good diet and exercise because there is sufficient research to show that these actions help prevent recurrence.
You can read about it here (before you hop on that treadmill).
I’ve been slightly obsessed with The Hunger Games the past couple of weeks. I read all three books in a week and a half, and I basically spent several hours sobbing and/or freaking out about what was going on in the books. My boyfriend thought I was crazy, and that’s probably a fair assessment, but the books were such an amazing escape from life that I got absorbed completely! If anyone is going through chemo right now and reading this, PLEASE make The Hunger Games your infusion-room reading choice. You won’t regret it, and you’ll visualize the cancer drugs as kick-ass little Katnisses fighting off cancer.
After The Hunger Games, I wanted to satisfy more of my young-adult-literature yearning, so I moved on to The Fault in our Stars. Wow. Also a great book, for many different reasons. It’s about (wait for it) CANCER, specifically teenagers dealing with chronic cancers, and it is a touching love story, a compelling look at family dynamics, and a profound exploration of how people find strength in crappy circumstances. Read that one as well, but maybe not until you’re finished chemo. It’s… well… you’ll cry. A lot.
And finally, I took an amazing self-defense class this weekend and I wanted to share how empowering it was. We learned all about knees to the groin and punching and getting into a fighting stance, and I felt like a warrior! Then, the next day, I felt like a sore warrior. But it was totally worth it. My 5k is next weekend (!) and I think that, in addition to keeping up with running, I could add self-defense classes into my fitness regimen.
Thanks, First Descents , for making my day times 1,000!
A year ago today…
I was in the hospital recovering from my double mastectomy, which was April 5, 2011. I almost would have let April 5, 2012 go by without a thought but my boyfriend reminded me it was a year since my surgery.
As I sit here now, typing this, I don’t have any sense that April 5th is a monumental day in my life. It probably was when it was happening, but not now. I read about all these young women who have prophylactic mastectomies and achieve peace of mind that they’ll “never” get breast cancer. I’m glad for them, but even after my double mastectomy, I still fear getting breast cancer. Again.
Is this normal? I tell myself it’s just being realistic. People get recurrences, even after major surgeries to remove breast tissue. I hear about it more than I’d like to. In the shower, I still run my fingers over my skin to make sure there are no lumps. Every time I feel a weird soreness or sharp pain or other strange sensation, I have a fleeting fear the cancer has returned.
Peace of mind would be great. But a year after my surgery I’m still not there.
And now this has turned into a really negative post that doesn’t accurately reflect my mood today (It’s Friday! I am going home for Passover! It’s spring! Team Peeta!) so I want to also say that this fear of cancer doesn’t consume my every day and paralyze me (except when I’m crazy like with the dizziness episode) – it just exists. I think it’s something I’ll live with the rest of my life. Maybe that’s just the difference between previvors who have mastectomies and survivors who have mastectomies.