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Archive for the ‘Exersise and Cancer’ category

Since entering this netherworld, I am being coerced into a place I never thought I’d be. Of doctors offices, hospitals, treatments, supplements and meds. My days are now spent getting myself built up for the battle ahead which includes the heavy workout schedule, eating the correct cancer fighting foods, taking supplements three or more times a day and researching what other measures I can take to fight this disease. And when I am not involved in those activities, I am making doctor appointments, constantly on the phone often on hold for long periods of time. Visiting the doctors offices is a whole other subject. I love how they expect you to be on time and charge you when you aren’t, but when you get there it is okay in their world to keep you waiting an hour or more.  After all they are busy and you are not is the inference.

I spend an enormous amount of time planning, searching, gathering food from various sources. Organic is the key work here and the stores do not carry that much organic produce and very little if any organic meat. My next foray will be the farmer’s markets around town but they are far apart and require considerable drive time. And then when I get the food home, storing it is a problem because I have a small eighteen cubic foot refrigerator; I would like a new side by side, but can’t afford it at this point. So I have produce in various places in my kitchen. All of the foods need to be fresh. And then there is preparation. I am juicing once a day which requires getting the ingredients together, some prep time, then the actual juicing and of course cleaning the machine; every day. Shopping for food had always been an afterthought in my life, more like a drive by to the grocery store, load up and get on home as soon as possible after a busy day at the office.

I’ll have to admit that as I have matured I’ve fallen in love with food. It never used to be. As a younger person I seldom ate deserts, didn’t go for the highly caloric foods like French Fries, ate beef only occasionally and of course I was very skinny.  But in the last couple of years that has changed. And this past summer, my food fetish was getting out of hand. Pies, cakes, brownies, cookies. And dairy, milk in the morning on my cereal (organic milk), yogurt smoothies for lunch, a cheese snack or chips and sour cream in the afternoon and ice cream for desert after dinner. I still ate reasonably healthy foods, salmon, broccoli, salads, whole wheat breads and cereals, but overall my diet was not good. I had gained fifteen pounds over the last five years and my blood pressure was becoming border line high. Me a person who had always had low blood pressure; 110/70 now up to 150/90.

Another factor here is that two years ago I injured my Achilles tendon on my right foot and was unable to run, in fact could barely walk at times.  I compensated by working out with free weights and attending water aerobics classes but it wasn’t enough.

Enter Cancer with a capitol C. A rather rude awakening. Time for a major diet change. I cut all sugar, all dairy products, I now put soy milk on my cereal. Oatmeal every morning with half a banana, juicing mid morning, and veges for dinner, although I am eating some fish and organic chicken. Was it difficult to make such drastic diet changes. No; my life depends on it. But I’ll have to say I sometimes drool when I see people walking around with ice cream cones and I have trouble walking past the cookies and pies in the grocery store. We as Americans are so accustomed to an abundance of rich foods and it is killing us. I read labels as never before and sugar is everywhere even in Campbell soup; the ever present fructose syrup, corn syrup.

I was a not that big on alcohol in recent years, but I have cut back on that as well. I do love good beer and treat myself on Saturday night occasionally. And a glass of wine once a week, but that is all. No more coffee, this is hard, I love good coffee. But I drink black and green tea, now. It’s okay. And I also make sure that the water that I drink is fluoride free.

I know this sounds austere, but I am reaping the benefits. My blood pressure has dropped to 130/80 and going down.  Much of this due to my exercise  program; Monday climb mountain, Tuesday run four, Wednesday work out at YMCA elliptical and weight machines, Friday and Saturday run four. And another bonus, I can feel my body tightening, my tummy is getting smaller and I am losing weight. But another benefit is that even though I have had no treatment for my cancer, it seems to be shrinking. I might be imagining this phenomena but there is no pain where there was before. At any rate I will keep to this regimen probably for the rest of my life.

I have to mention here that I am taking supplements, flax oil three times a day, COQ10, selenium, magnesium and some other vitamins.

Piestewa Peak

Monday is usually my day to climb Piestewa Peak, but I waited until today, Tuesday because it was a holiday yesterday and there would have been too many people. The mountain is not very big, about 1,500 feet in elevation and the trail a little over 3.5 miles, but it is a good workout. I get my heart rate up and I am taking in oxygen which is good for fighting the cancer cells. I also get a workout on my quads, in case I am able to go skiing again. And it is a nice hike with a lovely view of the valley. I hike up 6/10 of a mile and then stop and drink some water, stretch, and then I go on the rest of the way up. I have also met some interesting people and sometimes I sit and talk with whomever is on the trail that day. There is a group that hikes every day of the week. To me that would be repetitious and boring. But they are doing a good thing for their health.

I have ramped up my exercise program. Wednesday’s I go to the YMCA and do the elliptical, two miles in thirty minutes. Then I work out on the weight machines, the bi-ceps, tri-ceps, pectorals, and more. I always feel good and relaxed after a workout. Another benefit is that sweating gets some of those toxins out of your body. On Thursday I run, jog four miles, Friday is water aerobics, Saturday another run and then on Sunday I run with the dogs on the canal, about a mile.

I know that since I have started this routine I feel so much better and it is helping me to fight the cancer in my body.

I also practice the three L’s every day; Live, love and laugh. Each and every day is precious.

The Race for the Cure was held in Phoenix this morning. I ran the 5K for survivors and, for me it was an uplifting experience. It brought back fond memories of the many foot races I have run in the past. And I talked with other women who have had cancer, have recovered and are living quite normal lives. Some asked how long I have been cured and I had to tell them that I am a cancer patient, soon to take this journey.

I talked with a young woman named Julia who told me that she had a double mastectomy five years ago and that she is doing well today. But then she told me that her husband had testicular cancer and they believe that their cancers were due to where they grew up, in a mining community. And even though Julia had a history of cancer in her family, she still thinks it was caused by environmental factors.

I did the race in about forty minutes; slow compared to what I used to do in my younger years. But I ran the whole way, never walked and I feel great for doing it. And I plan on being there next year with another story to tell, one of success in overcoming this new obstacle in my life. Cancer is my unwanted visitor and I want it gone.

Elaine