Saturday, March 16, 2013

Me again

I have made giant steps in the last week or two toward becoming ME again and not That Girl with Cancer.

While I was enduring the MRI / biopsy endlessness I recently blogged, I also was coping/ denying reality by applying for a challenge program run by the American Heart Association, with fingers crossed.

My husband first told me about the program, and then my wonderful friend who went to my imaging appointments convinced me to go for it, and she helped me figure out how to answer the "why are you applying" section of the documentation.

It boils down to being passive /cooperative during cancer treatments, and NOW, taking back control of my life and health.

The day after I FINALLY got my biopsy results, I got a call that I had been selected, along with ten other women.

I went to a kickoff meeting this week, and definitely felt like I've made a couple of new friends. We shared our reasons for applying and laughed and cried and took "before" pictures together.

The other BC survivor came right over to hug me, and I think she's a sweetheart. She had talked about not knowing if you even HAVE a future, and how nice it is to have to figure out what to do with yourself now, with that future stretching out ahead of you.

One of the other women reminded us that there were many other people who applied and would love to be in our shoes, and we should be taking full advantage of everything available to us.

In addition to nutrition coaching and sessions with a personal trainer over the next ten weeks, I also won a year of membership at a local Planet Fitness gym.

Today I gathered up my courage, called ahead, and went to work out. It was hard to walk in alone and with almost zero self confidence, but the manager was there and she congratulated me, showed me around, and then left me to work out.

Years ago I went to a gym regularly, then quit when I nearly broke my ankle in a freak accident volunteering at a fundraiser. I had two kids under age four, and just lost my gym mojo after that.

But I do enjoy the gym environment, and I liked the way PF has a 30 minute circuit set up, and what seemed like an endless row of various cardio machines.

I walked and jogged a bit on a treadmill, and then did a quick set on everything in the circuit. Somewhere along the way as the sweat ran down my face I remembered what a challenger from last year said to this year's group: "I've never been happier."

It definitely rang true for me. For the entire time I worked out I wasn't the sick girl anymore, just me again.

I went to buy new sneakers to celebrate; my sneakers were new in 2006 when I ran my first 5k. The clerks at Fleet Feet had a gentle laugh at my "vintage " Mizuno sneakers (it was a "they don't even make this model anymore..." type of schtick)

For now... I'm exhausted. Goodnight!

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