My account of life both on and off of two wheels...... "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

Monday, January 31, 2011

Searching for Balance.

Cancer treatments were and continue to be necessary for me to try and ensure a long and healthy life for myself- hopefully cancer free.  Unfortunately, during this process, I lost a lot of time being sick and going to and from doctor appointments or treatments. Money was lost from a lack of ability to work and my body....My body took a few blows.  It is now time to try and get back what I have lost over the last 10 months.  I feel like I have one foot outside of the Cancer Vortex and  I am trying to find my balance again.  I will try to get back what I can but the reality is, some things are lost for good.

Back in April when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was only 5 pounds away from my personal weight loss goal for the 2010 racing season.  I was in "race ready" shape.  One of the  things I kept reading about was how most women gain 10-30 pounds during their breast cancer treatments. It seemed absurd to me at the time as I always thought that people lost weight during chemotherapy.  Wrong!  With all the steroids they pump into you before and during each treatment, weight control was a never ending battle.  I had trouble eating my normal diet so I didn't always opt for the lowest calorie food.  Plus the lack of exercise- even though I still exercised, it was nothing like I was used to and it got harder toward the end of treatment.  Especially since the holidays and bad weather all came at once.  I actually did really well for a while.  But, as determined as I was to not to be part of this statistic, it was a rough 10 months.  I can't say that I have gained 30 or even 20 pounds but I am probably pushing a 10-15 pound weight gain.  So, I am back to where I was about a year ago with  a few more obstacles in my way, but I have a plan.  

While I know I gained the weight, I also know the best way for me to lose it again is race training.  I have been so focused on getting through my big treatments that I had not really put much thought into the upcoming bike racing season.  I didn't want to have too many expectations for myself.  About a month ago, I came across a post on a local bike forum- the Bearscat50.  Interesting....This was a race that I have never done before.  Actually, nobody has done this race as it is the first season it's being held.  It is a 50 mile cross country mountain bike race and on some of the best single track around.  Some might think that I am a bit crazy for even considering this race but I thought about it, discussed it with all my doctors and said, I can do this!  It is scheduled for June 5, 2011 so I have 4 months to get my butt back into shape. G has also registered for this race so we are both looking forward to training together again.

Last Wednesday, I got my stitches out of my stomach and my "all clear" pathology report from the dermatologist.   We didn't think it would be anything, but it is still good to hear.  I am not so pleased with the huge scar that she left but I guess I can't do much about that now.  Most important, it is not cancer and I'm free to go about my regular exercise. 

The woods are buried with snow so we started off our training this past weekend with over 6 hours of snowshoeing.  The snow was so deep especially where we went on Sunday.  Besides the deer tracks, there were no other tracks to be found.  My legs are exhausted but it feels awesome.  We are off to a good start!

Spring is a long ways away.  G- wait up!
So untouched and so peaceful. 

The deer seem to be making do with all the snow...many deer beds to be found.

I will attempt to have a more "normal" week ahead.  Work has been busy and it feels so good to be back full time.  I do have to start physical therapy again for the cording in my arm and some new and horrible chest pains in my left tissue expander.  The radiation caused and is causing some changes so my plastic surgeon suggested I give some P/T another try.  One of the few things that worry me about this big bike race is the physical limitations of my left arm and the pain in my tissue expanders.  The expanders will remain inside me for at least another 6 months.  If I have never mentioned it before, these things are awfully uncomfortable. 

Time will tell and in the meantime, I will train as if I will race.

Have a great week everyone!



  1. The race sounds like a great idea!! I will be rooting you on from afar. :))

  2. 50 mile XC race sounds good? It will be a hard one!