Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Live from the chemo lounge...  Jon just left to go back to work.  Which leaves me with the ipad and my book.  The ipad wins out.

I swam a mile before coming here.  Every day of chemo with probably five exceptions in total I have swum or run.  I have insisted on swimming no less than a mile, and running no less than three, usually 3.5 - 4.5.  I feel like I have to do these things, to feel like me.  I am gaining some weight, probably due to steroids, and that is an oh well.  Jon says it is probably better than losing weight at this point.  Anyway, when running I don't use an ipod or any devices.  I just leave it open to thinking (sometimes dangerous), observing how I am doing, noticing what is around me.  What I am noticing is how much harder it is getting to do it.  It is hard to make myself get ready and go, either swim or run, and it is so much harder to do than it was.  Basically it feels like I am not very fit, and while I don't keep track of time I know I am a lot slower than the slow I have always been.  But I have insisted on doing this one thing, excercising daily.  The days that I haven't I have just felt more lethargic and sad.

My town of Astoria is chock full of brutal hills, all of which I have run, and cycled, over the last many years of training for this or that.  These days I keep it to some variation of the loop around the lagoon by my house, which is flat.  There is a small hill leading back up to my house, which in the old days I did not consider to be a hill at all, and now I have to talk myself up it.  I tell myself I have to run, not walk, up it, as part of the keep going mindset I feel I have to have.  I scold myself that if I can't run up this poor excuse for a hill I will never make it through the rest of chemo, surgery, radiation.  And so, with one exception two weekends ago, I have run my whole runs without stopping.  Swimming is similarly taxing, though it has always been less laborious and more rejuvenating than tiring.  I am always, always immensely satisfied after I swim, even if I am extra
challenged during it.   I am grateful to be able to swim and run.  The yoga never panned out into a habit this time around, but I am happy with what I am doing.  I wonder how it will all go during the last and probably most fatigue-ridden third of the chemo.  I know that post surgery I will not be running for an extended period, and not swimming for a more extended period, and that will be a challenge for me both mentally and physically.  I think moreso mentally, and will have to cross that bridge when I come to it.  For now, I hope to stick with my mileage, and simply keep going.


  1. That hill may be small by Astoria standards or Holden's Hill here, but it is a good solid hill where I had to stop at least once to catch my breath just walking up it at a good pace.
    I think that you are amazing with all the running and swimming that you do. It is no wonder that it is harder each day to get ready to do it.

  2. As Dory says, Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming...


  3. You are swimming a MILE regularly?! I have never done that, EVER, and can't imagine doing so any time soon! You are a rock star! Your running streak is damned impressive too; you've probably been out more than I have in the past month. I understand that it's therapy, but it's also inspirational. Keep it up as long as you can, Laura -- maybe we can run together again, one of these days.