wide-eyed at 4am

Coming Back

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This is a process. I knew it would be.

But the summer heat made it even worse.

I’ve been able to start running again but after spending a year doing mostly walking on a treadmill, actually running any distance at all in an outdoor environment is challenging.

This summer has been brutal – whether you’re trying to develop a workout rhythm or not.

And with my situation, it’s actually pretty amazing that I’ve even been able to tolerate running outdoors at all.

I’m a little stubborn. Don’t laugh. I know that is not very informative to most who have actually send my stubbornness in action. So telling me that trying to make a workout comeback in June, July and August with heat and humidity at record highs was useless.

I’m improving and – as the weather becomes more tolerable – I continued to run easier and push my stamina.

One of the most difficult aspects of this is breathing.

I still have considerable tightness in my left shoulder. And when you insert an implant under the muscle, the tightness is way beyond noticeable. It can be downright painful.

So deep breathing  – like when you’re running – feels hindered and is uncomfortable.

You sort of just can’t do it. You can take slow deliberate breaths but quick deep breathing is almost impossible.

Running isn’t the only activity of mine that has been affected. Singing is another challenge.

Earlier in my treatment (during chemo and radiation) I was experiencing difficulty in breathing because of lung capacity issues that are a direct side effect of these treatments. Some people experience severe issues. The side effect can even turn into permanent debilitation. My side effect breathing issues were minimal but enough to impact singing. (I wouldn’t know if it affected my running because I was too weak or sore to run during these treatment steps anyway.)  It was more that I got light-headed when trying to hold notes out and I had to take lots and lots of breaths to get through lines that could normally be sung using a single breath. The most recent issue is more physical as far as the tightness in my chest just won’t let me pull the air in quickly enough for it to be useful.

So coming back has to do with several things:

  • Flexibility
  • Strength
  • Hair & Fingernail Regeneration
  • Stamina/strength/flexibility for normal activities (cleaning house, yard work)
  • Getting back in shape
  • Finding my new normal
  • Mentally believing that I’m getting the best of this disease

It’s challenging and sometimes frustrating. It’s amazing and fun. It’s difficult and sometimes overwhelming. But I can do it. I AM doing it.


Author: jillpurdy

A few months ago I wasn't but now I'm a statistic. That doesn't define me. I'm a daughter, a sister, a wife, a step mom, a grandmother, a friend and a Christian. I will continue to love exercise, music, cooking and food, and my family and friends. I'm stubborn, energetic, giving and too OCD for my own good sometimes. And I'm going to stay this way - despite cancer and the treatments that it takes to give it the royal beatdown.

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