I’ve decided to challenge myself to run The Hard Cider Run that’s coming up at Uncle John’s Cider Mill on May 21.
I haven’t been able to run since I first found the lump in April. There was no way I could have run during chemo, recovery from the mastectomy, and now radiation- as they won’t allow me to do any activity that would make my arm rub against the side of my chest (so no rowing machine, no running, etc). I thought about skirting the rules and doing it anyway, but each day my chest and armpit gets a little more tender, so I decided it would be best to wait. 😦 My last radiation treatment (assuming no delays) should be January 26th, so it’s only a couple more weeks.
Right now I am carrying a lot of extra weight from not being able to be very active all this time, and I am sure my asthma will flare up. But I’m not challenging myself to run fast or place like the last run I did a couple years ago (I placed 4th in my age class in that one 🙂 ) My challenge is just to run it. For me it will be one of those “getting back to normal” things. Being me.
Of course, my normal has changed. My life and body has forever been changed by cancer, but I am gravitating towards my new normal. The post-cancer me. That’s the one thing cancer gives you, its “free” gift – a long hard look at your life and who you’ve become. I’ve learned a lot about just letting things be. I get anxious about things so much, and I’ve finally come to some peace with that. I still worry, but I find ways to calm myself and put it into perspective. Another gift from cancer – perspective. Does what is bothering you really matter in the whole scheme of things?
I’ve had people tell me that before when I was anxious, and it never worked for me back then. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m worried about, so putting it in perspective seems impossible. What I’ve done instead is put the fact that I have anxiety in perspective. Worrying = time and energy wasted. That’s enough now to help me release the anxiety (sometimes it requires a little exercise too but that’s okay 😉 ). Like I’ve said before, worrying in May didn’t change that I had cancer – it just caused me a lot of sleepless nights and distracted days. If my life threatening illness ever turns into a terminal one, God forbid, I certainly don’t want to have wasted my precious time sitting around worrying about something that I can’t change.
So instead, I try to spend my time enjoying my life, enjoying my family and friends. I’m working on doing a lot less complaining (except for gripes about feeling crappy and sore… sorry, I’m working on that too!). I play with my kids, read to them, write. Things that I used to feel too busy or stressed to do. I had too many other things that needed doing. Not anymore 🙂
Anyway, back to my original point. After my daily radiation treatments end, I am going to start building back up my running. Obviously, I’ll be slow and have to do short runs, and build up slowly, but it will be good for me both physically and mentally.
So, I am planning to run The Hard Cider Run on May 21st this year and I would love it if anyone wants to join me 🙂 I won’t be running fast, but I’ll be running, which is something I couldn’t even consider for the past 8 months. I’ll be the one wearing the “Cancer is a big fat Doodiehead” shirt (assuming it’s long enough to cover my rear 😀 )