Inspired by her, I came down this morning to the kitchen and realized that I really didn't have enough energy to make coffee. In fact, I couldn't really think straight enough to decide on what to have for breakfast.
"My wife will do all that for me," I thought.
I laid on the couch. I took a few deep breaths, and they made me cough. "Rough morning," I thought.
As I lay there, my son, who is visiting from college for the weekend, runs up the stairs shouting to his sister, "I have so much energy this morning. I just went and did a bunch of pushups just because I have so much energy."
Then he went out to the car with a friend to get a screen protector for his phone. I thought, "I should do something." I forced myself off the couch for a new workout I read about. It's a 3-minute workout. In this case, I chose deep knee bends. I do as many as fast as I can, then pause for 10 seconds, do it again, and try to keep that up for 3 minutes. I've never made it past two.
In this case, it totally energized me. My youngest son saw me gasping for breath, and he asked if I was okay, but all the deep breathing cleared up my lungs.
Usually, when I try exercise to kick the doldrums out, it fails miserably. I just end up in bed, unable to do anything. This morning, though, I'm up and typing this blog now, feeling pretty good.
Of course, my wife has made me coffee by now, along with a bagel with egg and cheese.
So, my question is, if you've survived cancer, how are you doing at recovering energy, and what are you doing for exercise? How is the exercise working for you?
I was feeling like my stamina was improving. I was walking on the treadmill at the gym and monitoring my heart rate. Over a couple of weeks, I had to go up in speed a little to keep my heart rate above 120. That was exciting.
Inspired, I walked several days in a row, and my body crashed. I slept all day one Friday, and then had little energy all day Saturday. I was on my feet most of that day, so I know it wasn't the result of being lazy and laying around.
So I have now limited myself to 3-4 days per week of walking 2 miles, keeping my heart rate above 120.
So here's the story. Last week, I decided to time myself walking around the block (big block). I started up the street, and I was quickly gasping for breath. By the time I rounded the corner and started down Strawberry Rd, I was wondering if I'd relapsed.
Really. I made myself come to grips with the possibility of relapse and be ready to give thanks to God in all circumstances.
Then I turned onto Dartford, which was downhill, and I realized just how uphill the start of walk must have been. My breath quickly came back, me feet felt lighter than they've ever felt, my heart stopped pounding.
The second lap, I took the uphill much slower. I felt MUCH better.
Earlier this week, walking laps at work, in the rain, I ran a little (very little) just because I felt like it.
Progress is SLOOOOW. But it's progress.
Again, I'd love to hear your plan, your success and lack thereof, and whether you're headed for a bodybuilding contest post-chemo or just struggling along like me.