Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of being told that I had the Big C. It all seems a bit unreal now, although at the time it seemed as though my life had stopped. I’m not out of the woods yet since mortality doesn’t abruptly stop at the 5 year mark, but it still seems like something to celebrate.
Meanwhile, the family and I are in Japan for three months and my challenge is how to eat well and exercise in a strange culture.
Recently I received an email from a reader who wanted to know where to start with this blog. Well, to tell the truth, this blog started as a journal of my efforts to test the widely held belief that Tamoxifen makes women fat and not as a diet and exercise prescription.
In case some of my experiences are helpful to others, this is where I think women struggling with the dreaded T should start.
Sometimes it can seem like you’ve done everything right, you’ve stuck to your diet and done your workouts like a good girl, but your weight doesn’t budge, or worse, it goes up!
How can that be?
My daughter, as I’ve mentioned before, is a sprinter, and I train with her. When we say we run, we’re often asked “So how far do you run?” “Oh, today….about a kilometre.” which usually elicits a look of disbelief from the asker.
On one occasion, after presenting my daughter’s class with a video explaining that exercise makes you smarter, the teacher turned to my daughter, and in front of the class, told her she needed to exercise more; this despite her training diligently 3 times a week.
The teacher clearly had a particular definition of fitness in mind, such as being able to run a long way, or catch a ball, neither of which my daughter is particularly good at.
I’ve had to have an enforced break from exercise for 2 months after injuring my hamstrings trying to keep up with the gorgeous young things at the athletics track, but last week, at last!, I returned to sprint training with great trepidation.
It wasn’t as bad as thought it would be, not all my fitness that I’d gained last year had been lost and with the help of my new best friend, I have managed 3 and a half sessions.
Who is this best friend, that can perform such miracles, you ask. Continue reading
Girls on Tamoxifen know that, once a year, they have to be checked by a doctor. In my experience that means having the remnants of my boobs patted and asked if I feel OK and then I am sent on my merry way.
You would think that such a mundane exercise would come and go with very little drama, but as the day approaches I become more and more convinced that “there’s something there!” or that the Tamoxifen is disabling me in some unfair way that women don’t experience except if they’re on Tamoxifen.
This year the freak-out started early.
Girls on Tamoxifen know that estrogen mediates tendon repair, and the reason we know this is that, after a life time of swinging legs this way and that and laughing at the advice not to over do stretching, with exclamations of “you wimps!”, suddenly it seems we have to be very very careful with ourselves.