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Reflections In The Mirror

Life Before Death Or Death Before Life?

I've had numerous personal training clients play the head game of tomorrow....

Next Monday...

When x, y, z happens...

When it's the right time I'm too busy right now...

Then I will change.

Under duress, you will default to what is comfortable, the thought that a cancer diagnosis would spur you to start a workout regime or improve your nutrition is nearly impossible. But I'mPossible spells impossible so where there is a will there is a way.

Since the third day after surgery I have been walking, nothing fancy or fast. I move in the morning light as soon as I roll out of bed.

I am truly thankful that I have felt really good since the first week of surgery. Better energy levels than before and by the end of the first week I was lifting weights again under the 10lb protocol. And have had a full range of motion in my arm.

This isn't a post shaming people who don't workout, one could argue that I've exercised for over 20 years and still ended up with cancer so what's the point?

The point is quality of life, mental health and resilience. I have many coping skills available that have helped me navigate this path. Even the oncologist gave me this sorrowful look and quietly asked "How are you doing" expecting the typical pity party response.

"Great, I'm doing great." Which threw her off guard. Time marches on whether you participate actively in it or not. You can watch the world go by and feel sorry for yourself or get busy living if you weren't already.

This past weekend I had planned to go on the river for a solo paddle weekend. A cathartic paddle. Telling my husband I was going to paddle off into the distance he looked at me like I was crazy (which he isn't wrong sometimes). To compromise I phoned a friend and she joined me for a last-minute "short" 50 km overnight trip on The Athabasca River.

It was a great decision, we had unbelievable weather, scenery and relaxation. The river is home, it's where everything is alright with the world. In my mind, this meant I was healed and capable again 5 1/2 weeks post-surgery. My fear was I would lose the ability to do something I loved from the surgery.

Coming back home refreshed and ready for the week ahead. Planning for a fruitful week of getting ready for winter. My heart test was cancelled until I know if I need chemotherapy or not, this opened up the calendar. But I should know to not sit on my laurels for long because something will come up. Add in an appointment in town to take out my IUD (Mirena) on Thursday followed by a colonoscopy on Friday in St. Albert!

On the way to the oncologist I mentioned to my husband I should get my IUD taken out, as I am aware that it has progesterone in it and my breast cancer hormone profile is Estrogen+, Progesterone+ and HER2-. Meaning the cancer uses estrogen and progesterone as fuel to grow. Prior to this, I was on Hormone Therapy which had progesterone as well and when I asked the oncologist if she believed this could contribute to my cancer she agreed. Remove the fuel, and put out the fire.

What is surprising is no one specifically told me to stop any of these, I asked if I should stop BHRT and my doctor said yes but no one before the oncologist mentioned the IUD. Which intrinsically I knew I had to have removed from the progesterone profile of it.

Remember the first rule of Cancer Club: No one talks about anything!

Ask questions, ask again and keep looking for answers to them.

(Sorry if you don't get The Fight Club analogy love that movie!)

I feel strong again and I'm slowly building up to pre-diagnosis/post-spring hunting shape. This week I decided I would test out how band-assisted pull-ups felt!

Fantastic!!! That's how they felt. The two things I asked the surgeon for at the start of surgery I've now accomplished.

Life is returning to normal, the only hazy part is waiting to know if I will need chemotherapy or radiation yet. The Oncotype test result should be back by next week, I'm manifesting numbers less than 20 which means I'm free from further treatment!

And if not I'll navigate that road when it gets here, until then I'm off to weed-whack the yard, stain the steps and look for the potatoes in the thistles of what I call a garden lol!

Sending You Love N' SUP,

Lisa Stocking

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