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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #1 
OK!
Eat that last Christmas cookie.
Polish off what's left of the egg nog.
Get your chestnuts off that roasting fire.
It is time to get healthy and beautiful.

Fact: Losing chemo weight reduces your risk of recurrence
Fact: Exercise 4-5 times a week increases survival by 50%
Fact: Low fat improves your health and disease free chances
Fact: You can be MORE beautiful after your treatment ends.




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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #2 
This is where we can check in on our progress and get our encouragement and motivation

Three things-

1. Diet is very important in preventing recurrence... so this will not only help decrease your dress size but it will help decrease your chances of recurrence!

2. Exercise is the ONE thing that has been studied and proven to cut recurrence rates by 50% according to the NIH

3. What you eat is important- low fat, whole foods, plant based diets stave off recurrence whereas high fat foods and meats have been shown to cause cancer according to the ACS.


 


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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you Benevolent Dictator! - I am going to take that as an order!   Just the same as "get your blood test on Monday". 
 
I went to the gym after work tonight instead of driving past.  Since menopause, I have felt my body was not my own anymore and baiscally - who cares?  Now I know there was more to it than menopause, and my habits have a lot to do with the way I look and feel and I DO Care!   
 
It's ridiculous, but I get caught in this mental loop of trying not to care because I could be dead soon anyway.  The Warrior (NO SURRENDER!) knows death as a companion, yet  still cares about excellence and the moment.  can we temper the warrior with the soul of a lover?  or artist?  or dancer?  Being alone, I do not process this with someone, but I have to get a foothold on that safe ledge where I can continue to not only function, but grow and thrive.  
 
Gina, I think this is what you greatly embody for us.   

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #4 
Dear Mary,
You are doing so well considering you are in the thick of treatment.
I am alone too. I was alone in 2001 with my first cancer and alone for my second one.
My first cancer I changed my diet drastically to better fight the triple negative disease. But the exercise? Well, I thought at the time I was doing a lot, but not when I compare it to what I am doing now.
I am working out extra hard because not only will it help increase survival by 50% but it is supposed to help with the joint pain of the chemo-pause.
I wish I had worked out like this years ago!

But you touched on something that I have thought myself many times.....
The Warrior IS an artist and lover full of passion. You see, the Warrior does not see you as a science project... the Warrior sees you as a work of art. That is why your Inner Warrior is fighting so very hard. SHE KNOWS what is inside you and she is going to get you there.

Close the door on death as a companion. Don't even let it close to you. LIFE is what you are fighting for. And you never know what can happen- a whole new world may open up for you when all is said and done. I have learned that the hard way. I felt all the same things you did the first time I did this.
But now, this time?
I am settling for nothing less than my own fairytale coming true.
I am quite partial to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jay Gatsby was one of the most hopeful characters in all of literature.

We never know what is going to happen, but it doesn't matter. Believe in your dreams and your future. Don't let cancer rob that from you. Cancer is a part of you right now, but it isn't all of you. And don't lose site of the infinite possibilities that lay before you.

" Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further... And one fine morning ----"

And one other wonderful person to quote is the beautiful and talented actress Ingrid Bergman who we all have something in common with. She was also a breast cancer survivor. She chose to continue to work and live her life to the fullest, even though she had to have radical mastectomies which were so barbaric compared to what we have now. This is what she said about her life as a breast cancer survivor....

"
I would like to live my life as fully as I can until the last possible moment. At some point, you have to make peace with adverse circumstances … you have to bend. Bending is part of life.”

Love to you,

gina



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Reply with quote  #5 

Maybe we need a deep philospophy forum, too Gina.  Your words hit me like opening the suana door - strong and warm and healing.  I cried and took a nap.  Now I wish us a Fenthestic New Year!  And some hair someday that looks a great as yours.  Fondest holiday regards- Mary


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nosurrender

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Mary,
 I wish I proof read it before I printed it! I just saw all the typos!
Sending you warm hugs and wishes for better days... they ARE coming!
Love,
g


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coco

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Reply with quote  #7 
G, you wrote such a beautiful response to Mary that I hope you'll both forgive me for the following bit of irreverence. When you wrote: "Close the door on death as a companion. Don't even let it close to you" I couldn't help but recall a scene from one of my favorite British comedy series, "Red Dwarf."

It is the last scene of the last episode (hate to give it away...) and the sole remaining character, "Rimmer", finds himself in a situation in which death seems certain. In fact, the grim reaper appears and Rimmer (not generally known for his courage) exclaims: "Not today m'laddy!", grabs the grim reaper by the shoulders, knees him in the b___s, and promptly runs away!!

This is the image of death I prefer, lol!! (Sorry!)

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #8 
Coco! I love brittcoms. They are my absolute favorite.
I have to look out for that one!



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Reply with quote  #9 
I guess the thought train was that I had to be friends with death like an indian warrior - but I am not going out there asking for it everyday like a samuri.  I have to make friends with life again. I was feeling defeated long before the double dx; and believe me, the mcl is a lot worse in print than 3n.  Honestly (and I see this over and over in the posts)  this site is a clear deep well of living hope and encouragement and facts that has put me in a better and better frame of mind as I face this day-t0-day. 
 
My mom had an exercise book, "New Bodies for Old" (in a deco font), written by Dorothy Nye,  who was a forward-thinker for the 1930's and a trainer of the Rockettes.  It is mine now, with little scribbles in it from when I was 2-3 years old.  I shall quote at length, because it is very inspiring:
 
"If these exercises did no more than awaken you to a realization of this joy of body motion, they would be well worth while.  But they can do more - much more.
 
While they refashion the body to this new functional pattern, nerve strain and muscle tension are relieved.  Degeneration of the muscles is prevented.  Digestion and assimilation of food into blood, tissues and energy are produced.  The function of glands and organs are regulated, and the thorough elimination of wastes by the lungs, intestines, kidneys, and the skin is quickened.  .....  meanwhile the perfect functioning of your organs and glands will begin to show in your skin, hair, eyes, and nails.  For just as they are affected by sickness, so, too, do they mirror improved health. .....
 
But function is not enough.  It has value only because it opens the doors of life.  And a weak body is a barrier.  Remake your body on this functional pattern and then you will know that glorious zest for living which comes only from complete fitness, internal and external. 

Its youth prolonged, its beauty admired, guarded from sickness, your Functional Body will really live.  And so will you!" 
 
(pp14-15) Funk & Wagnalls Company, May 1940 printing.
 
She is big on long-stretch movements, much like yoga, and has chapters on posture, weight loss, constipation, post delivery exercises, etc., with a lot of accompanying advice that was worked out with top physicians of the day.
 
Exercise can be a temporary letting-go of the mental commotion that has a blessing of its own.  Having said all that, I am going for a bike ride~ 
 
Love, Mary
 
 

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coco

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks for the inspiring quotations, Mary. That book is clearly a treasure. Thank you for sharing it. I hope you had a lovely bike ride today.

Speaking of which, I've decided to make some specific fitness goals this year as opposed to the generic "work out more!" resolutions of years past.

For instance, I discovered that a couple of new friends are big mountain biking enthusiasts. Currently I am in no condition to join them, but I want to be! So that is my goal: to get in condition so I can keep up!

I also want to climb a challenging mountain trail near my home. It can take about 6 hours to do (then you ride the tram down). I've never done it before and friends have offered to go with me when I'm ready. Sometime in '09 I'm gonna do it!!!

So I'm trying to apply some good advice I've heard about getting specific with goal-setting, AND to do it in increments.

One more thing. A dear friend gave me a beautiful necklace for Christmas; it is in the shape of a triangle and on each side is inscribed a word: "Live, Laugh, Love" -this is now my new motto!!

And speaking of laughter...Gina you will love "Red Dwarf" (the reference is space-related)!!! It may be hard to find; I splurged last Christmas and bought the series on Amazon. You might check Netflix if you have that. Another FAB British comedy series that I'll bet you know is "Absolutely Fabulous." My friends pitched in and bought that series for me when I went out of town to have my surgery last year. Laughter is the best medicine!!

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Reply with quote  #11 

Right-o on the specific goals, Coco - One that comes to mind for me is improving my "body age".  I had an evaluation at the gym, and they said that based on my heart rate, flexibility, etc, I had the body of an 80 year old!  I would at least like to improve this to 58, my chronological age.   The hike sounds more appealing.  M


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coco

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Mary,

A few years ago I slammed my finger -HARD- in a door jamb. It was excruciatingly painful and the nail eventually came off and when it started to grow back in it looked twisted and strange. I thought I would be "disfigured" forever! I remember thinking, "If everything happens for a reason, then WTH....?" But with time the nail grew back in perfectly and today I'm not entirely sure which finger it was that got whacked.

I cannot tell you how many times I thought of that incident while undergoing treatment, especially chemo. It was such a perfect example of the body's miraculous ability to heal itself, and gave me such hope about my body's ability to handle bigger "hits".

I want to urge you not to be discouraged about your "body age" evaluation. You really can turn back the clock with time, effort and patience. It may not be reasonable to expect great feats of athleticism while on chemo, but it will a HUGE morale boost for you to keep moving and it will re-energize you. I remember a nurse telling me that and I found it to be true. So if you can keep exercising -especially during winter- you will be so ahead of the game. And hey- how many 80 year-olds do you know that ride bikes?


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Reply with quote  #13 
Coco, you are awesome - you have Attitude Extrordinaire that comes through in your posts.  I knew I was seriously out of shape - I had not felt good in a few years, blew out an ACL in my knee, heat was mowing me down, etc. - But really, something has shifted and I am re-claiming my responsibility to the life and resources (body) I do have.  Now I am impatient. 
 
My finger hurt reading your window story.  But it is so true.  I look at my son Robin, who was at the brink of death's door from horse-dose chemo  for his whole 18th year (osteosarcoma).  I have heart-breaking pictures of that time, but he is strong and able and dashing now at 26.   I am so proud and happy for him.  His Aikido philosophy helped him through that, and the practice of the moves after his recuperation. 
 
Thank you for the encouragement.
This is the glorious time of year in south Florida - breezy and really fine, so it is easy to get on the bike and ride.  Do you live in a cold place?  What are you doing to strengthen?  Mary

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #14 
hiya girls,
When I started back to exercising in earnest after the chemo and rads were done, I started on a bike. I bought a hybrid bike/ part mountain/part road.
At first, I thought I was the cat's pajamas because I could go down the back way by the creek and was back home again in less than 15 minutes!

Then I thought, hmmmm..... maybe I should try going the other way.
The other way took forever and a day. It took me about an hour.
By the end of the summer I did the same route- but took a longer road on the way back- and completed it 30 minutes.

I also added swimming, since that is the best exercise all over- especially if you have LE. The first time across the Olympic sized pool I thought the life guard was going to have to call 911 AND I USED TO BE A LIFEGUARD!
Now I make it across that same Olympic sized pool without taking a breath.

it all takes time. I went slow and pushed myself gently. But as I saw results, I became more excited. Then when my clothes started melting off me I was really happy to get back on the bike and in the pool!

I started with babysteps - but I slowly go there- You will too!!!


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Reply with quote  #15 

Gino, why did you wait until after treatments to swim, etc.?  You can hold your breath all the way across the pool??  M


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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Mary,
I was walking and using an elliptical trainer at home while in treatment.
Then the company that made the elliptical sent me a letter telling me they were recalling it because the foot peddle falls off and people get injured! So if I sent them the peddle back they would give me a refund. So, I got the refund and used the money to buy the bike and join the gym.
I had a lot of complications with my expanders and swimming wasn't really an option while that was going on.
I THOUGHT I was working out with the walking I did during treatment- but it wasn't until I got on the bike and started to set goals for myself and pushed myself that I realized I wasn't really exercising BEFORE but NOW I am!


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Reply with quote  #17 
OK - Seems from what I'm reading that the walking is good (aerobic) and targets the belly fat right away, Gina, so it surely counted for something. 
 
Counting is not a forte of mine, being more of a random and spontaneous person, but I see the beauty in measurable goals.  Now I need to write them down.

Report:  Chemo today and a 15 minute walk tonight.  This is my exercise in accountability - maybe someone will join us here  -

Fondest -M 

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Reply with quote  #18 
Is this where I go to be held accountable? My GP added BP meds today to my ever growing home pharmacy. By March she wants me walking 30 minutes every single day. I have a Curves membership I was using last summer so I am going to try going there 2 times a week and walking 2 times to get started again.

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Reply with quote  #19 
Great Brenda B-
 
I know women who have been able to toss the BP meds after slimming down and exercise -one has now become a WW leader herself.
 
Yea, mommy, let's do it.  I get bored walking, so I got a little sony ipod thing and put music on it - it makes the time fly.  Must keep it low, though if you are outside exposed to cars or wild animals.
 
Gina said something about goals............  touch my toes easily and weigh 158 by Feb 11, burthday present to myself.  No mo candy from the candy bowl or machine, and no more starbucks death donuts. 
 
Having said all that, I am going out for a little walk before bed - Good to have another comrade to sitr things up - Mary

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jenni__ca

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Reply with quote  #20 
dh and i are supposed to be back home next week (whoohooo!!!) IF of course we don't get flooded in here in western washington state .... major floods due tonight through friday .... but a lovely weekend is scheduled so we have high hopes of leaving on monday ...
i would love to join you all in the FINE IN 2009 group ... see you next week !

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