Monday, February 17, 2020

Imperfectly Pam Runs

Welcome to my new blog!

I should probably go ahead and apologize in advance for this very rambling, first post. I've always had a difficult time expressing myself in writing. My grammar is far from perfect. My thoughts are all over the place. I've always been one for second-guessing whether I'm even making any sense at all. Heck, I have been known to take an hour (or more!) to write a silly Facebook post! And to make matters worse, these days, I have what is known as "chemo brain," which makes me feel like my brain is covered in a dense fog most of the time. So, yeah....it makes perfect sense that I would start a new blog?? Right??

BREAST CANCER JOURNEY

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2016 and spent most of 2017 in treatment. I started on chemo almost immediately after my diagnosis. My surgeon wanted to shrink the mass as much as possible before he performed a mastectomy.


WEEK TWO OF CHEMO
GETTING READY FOR SURGERY

After healing from surgery, I had 33 radiation treatments. 


RADIATION BURNS

RECOVERY

The road to recovery after breast cancer can be full of twists, turns, and unexpected challenges.

When I first embarked on my personal journey, I thought that recovery meant healing from surgery, getting over the fatigue from chemo, and having the burns heal from radiation. I thought healing would happen quickly. 

Although I am incredibly thankful to be alive today, I am still struggling to find my "new normal" after having my world turned upside down by that diagnosis.

I am still dealing with some ugly after-effects from radiation and chemo, as well as some unpleasant side effects from the medication I am on to help prevent a recurrence. 

CH-CH-Ch-CHANGES

Did I mention that I'm also dealing with accepting some of the inevitable changes that occur as we get older? Some of those changes are just minor annoyances, but some of them just plain suck! I always thought that wrinkles would be the worst part of aging! Ha-Ha!! If only that were true!

RUNNING

I have been a runner for most of my adult life. I have run many races from 5k's to marathons over the years. For a long time now, I have had some pretty significant arthritis in my left knee and lower back, and yet I've always managed to run. Not very fast, and sometimes with a substantial amount of pain, but I did it!  

Some of the lingering side effects of the very treatments that saved my life are now making it even more difficult to run, so when I can't run-I walk.

I know that walking is an excellent form of exercise, but I'm not ready to totally give up on running just yet. It may sound crazy, but to me, giving up on running would be like giving up on life! Okay, yeah....maybe runners really are mad!

WEIGHT

One of the things I'm trying to do to help with running is to reach my optimal weight. That one is tough! I have struggled with my weight over the years. Even when training for marathons, I often struggled with a few extra pounds. Since my cancer diagnosis, though, it has been especially tough to lose weight. Yeah, I'm one of those lucky folks who actually gained weight while receiving chemo!

Getting these excess pounds off would be a big help with running, but more importantly, it could potentially help me with so much more. Since my breast cancer was estrogen positive, and studies have shown that excess weight is a significant factor in creating estrogen in our bodies, losing weight could actually help prevent a recurrence. You would think THAT would be the only motivation needed for weight loss, huh?? And yet I still struggle.

IMPERFECTION

I have spent a lot of time over the years beating myself up over not being able to do things perfectly. I felt like such a failure in so many areas of my life. I now have reached an age, though, where I can more readily accept and be at peace with my imperfections. 

So, as I try to lose weight, eat healthier, run more, reduce stress, and continue healing-I will be a bit more forgiving of myself on those days that I slip and make unhealthy choices. And I will have those days. However, I think the key to optimal mental and physical health is progress-not perfection.

If you have read this far...THANK YOU! I promise to try to make my next post a bit less rambling! 

In the future, I hope to share some healthy recipes, diet, healthy living, and exercise info and tips that might be helpful to some of Y'all!



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