Monday, February 28, 2011

The Long and Winding Road

Those of you who are frequent readers of this post know I like to exercise.  Makes me feel good, it slowly gets me back to where I was before all of this. Before cancer, before side effects, before I knew so many medical terms one of my doctors asked me if I was in the medical industry, unfortunately, no I am just a student of my disease.
So I have decided to try to take up running again.  I haven't run since high school when I ran cross country. I lettered in that. Still have the varsity jacket, and it still fits.

Running will definitely take me out of my comfort zone. I haven't run since high school because of my knees, and well, quite honestly running never really appealled to me, probably because of the growing pains I had with my knees.  I only ran the one year for cross country, and after I lettered I guess I wasn't that interested in it. 

In high school I wasn't much of an athlete.  Didn't participate in team sports after  cross country in 9th grade I believe.  I even recall that many of my classmates were on diets, drinking diet coke and worrying about their weight.  I never did that.   Wasn't my thing.

Back to me deciding to run.  I have my reservations wondering if I will enjoy it.  I know it will be hard at first.  Different than what I am used to doing.  In the summer I love to ride my bike on the local bike path.  Nothing like you and your bike and you and the serenity of nature.
I have a friend who is going to go running with me.  Train me I guess. She is one of the pilates instructors from pilates midwest, the pilates studio where I did the pink ribbon program and where I currently take pilates classes.  I don't even know if that is the right terminology.  All I know is I enjoy going there and she enjoys kicking my butt.
So we did a 5k walk this past Saturday, my friend the pilates instructor, Jan and I walked,while the other pilates instructor ran. It was cold, about 20 degrees outside.  It was good to get outside in the fresh air. 
But of course we know, as cancer survivors, nothing is ever easy.
I have osteopenia.  I need to do weight bearing exercises to keep the osteoporosis away.  So I thought the walk would be a good addition to the pilates and hockey that I do currently.
The next day I noticed my neuropathy flaring up. 
So let me get this straight.
I am trying to get back into shape with the help of one of my friends, and the walk causes a side effect?
The neuropathy doesn't really hurt.  My foot is numb.  Its more of an annoyance, but I would rather it not get back to the point of shooting pain going all the way up my leg to my knee.
I am hoping that running will cause a break through and it will go away permanently, and not have it return doing something that I want to do.
Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday~Friday 10am-noon eastern time on
Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Available on demand and also available on Itunes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Getting back on track

As a cancer survivor I am used to the waiting game.  Waiting for doc appointments, waiting for results from scans.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  I wonder how much of my cancer experience I have spent waiting.  Probably over half of it.

I am used to waiting for other people, but not for myself.

I am used to going all out all the time.  When I had two jobs I would start my day at 5am as a server finish up  around noon or 2pm, get to the radio station, do some voice tracking, go to the gym, then maybe head back to the radio station to work on a Tigers or a Red Wings game. A 5am-10pm day.  I would do this about 2 or 3 times a week.

I am 3 years into my survivorship, and I am still waiting to be able to get back to that level of energy.  Don't get me wrong, I do have energy.  I still get up early, my work day ends around noon -2pm.  I do pilates twice a week, its winter so I play hockey, but I am still not back to what I was before.  I have to nap during the day to be able to do what I need to do.

Its hard waiting for me.  Its harder not knowing if I will ever get back to where I was before.

I am close.

But not quite there.

This is one of the things they don't tell you about when you have cancer.

This is just one of the many charming aspects of survivorship that I have to deal with on a daily basis.  Just one of the many thoughts that go through my head wondering when I will be back to me, or as close to it as I possibly can be with everything that I have been through.

There are some friends of mine that I haven't seen since I moved from California.  Since I was diagnosed.  Since I had cancer.

Sometimes I wonder how much I have changed and if they will even recognize me.  The Me that they knew.

Its a scary thought to think that they wont.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said "All things come round to him who will but wait."

I hope he was right. 

Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday~Friday 10am-noon eastern time on

Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Available on demand and also available on Itunes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I have been feeling great for quite some time now.  I know it has a lot to do with playing hockey and pilates.    Exercise raises endorphin levels.  Endorphins make you feel good.  We all know that.

I think a lot of it has to do with not only working out but knowing that I am getting back to my old self.  Not that I can ever get back exactly to the way I was I know that.  Sometimes that is a hard reality to face.  But very close. 

I still remember telling my hockey team I had cancer.  I still remember what it feels like to be going through treatment and not being able to do anything.  To be tired and weak. To feel shitty and feel like someone else.

Cancer takes so much from you.  So does the chemo. It can strip away feeling like the person you were, to a person you don't even know.  Makes everything about you feel like someone else, down to the very core of your soul.   It took a few years of doing things that I love doing away from me. I When I was going through treatment I would look forward to these days and hope that they would come quickly.  Now I look back and am glad that it is a distant light in the tunnel behind.

Like I said I am feeling good.  I didn't realize how bad I felt until recently when I realized I felt so good. 

I felt so bad for so long I didn't know the difference. 

Now I feel so great I don't want it to end.  I am hoping it wont.

Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday~Friday 10am-noon eastern time on

Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Available on demand and also available on Itunes.