Cancer Can’t and Won’t Get Me
I have always been in fairly good shape. I was an active tennis player and runner and had recently started working out with a personal trainer. I was in the best shape of my life, since high school 20 years ago. Then I found a lump in my breast. The doctor who I saw in urgent care told me it was probably nothing, but I should get a mammogram. A mammogram led to a biopsy, which landed me on a call from a nurse navigator telling me I was a 37 year old cancer patient. After a rush of doctor appointments, I found myself go through fertility preservation, a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and now five years of hormone therapy. I was lucky—I know that. I caught my cancer early and had stage one cancer. I thought that after radiation and chemotherapy, life would go back to normal—everything would be the same, I would just take a pill to keep the cancer away. I was wrong. For two years I have been struggling with multiple side effects of my treatment including dry skin, forgetfulness, medically-induced menopause, high heart rate, extreme exhaustion, and weight gain. The combination of tiredness and weight gain has been the hardest to handle. I gained 25 pounds since the end of radiation and can’t get control of it. I have tried different types of exercise—tennis, running, personal training, yoga, running—and I’m struggling with all of them. Carrying the extra weight is hard for me. I’m not used to it and it has put me into a different type of depression. My trainer and I have recently tried to restart my fitness journey and I made a big step by working out three days a week. My goal is to up my working out a little each week until I can get to five or six days a week. My oncologist says that this will help with my exhaustion along with my weight gain. I want to feel better. I want to do better. I’ve heard wonderful things about Peloton and one of the things that attracts me is the sense of community, which is something I need right now.