Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The mummy lives!

Well, here's the report on the experiment so far: that's more or less a month of Pilates and gym workouts, three or four times a week for an hour+ per time, and I'm happy to report that I'm feeling a lot better. I'm starting to get less stiff in general and more stretchy; my back doesn't hurt any more when I wake up. Today I wasn't tired at the end of the Pilates session and it's nearly eleven now and I'm not stiff or achey or tired. Stuff that wore me out and was really difficult or close to impossible is now too easy. So much so that I think I'm going to have to step it up a bit.

I was on the treadmill yesterday for 35 minutes, just walking but really fast, and on the recumbent "bike" for 20 minutes (9.5 km) plus did a bunch of weights and crunches and whatnot. It wore me out plenty, I won't lie, and when I got home, I was out like a light for 2 hours. But naptime ended naturally and was only two hours, not my usual disastrous four. And I was able to think clearly enough after to get some work done. And today I was fine. Perky, even after Pilates. Back for PE class tomorrow, so we'll see if it's any better.

One thing that's really obvious is a general improvement in strength and cardio endurance. I've been riding my bike around town a lot, at least 20 minutes a day most days, and simply, there are hills that I sail up now that I had to get off and push before. Biking is just plain easier and more fun, less work. I've been amazed that I can handle 35 minutes on the treadmill at 5.8 - 5.4 km/h without any trouble.

Something I noticed right away was that all this jumping around, while fun and good for me, just makes me sleeeeepy. Like I've been drugged. And it was coming in these weird attacks all of a sudden; I'd be home from the gym and putting groceries away or getting the tea on, and all of a sudden I'd have to just about crawl off to the nearest horizontal surface, as if someone had hit me with a dart. It was like that for the first couple of weeks after starting just the Pilates three times a week, and then got better. Then I started the extra PE class that is a lot harder and it started again. So I expect I'll adjust again, and maybe will see this effect each time I jump things up a notch. We'll see. And meantime, there ain't nothin wrong with naps.

Is it possible to come back to life, and get to a point where you're generally healthier and stronger than you were before All That? I don't know yet, but it's starting to look pretty hopeful. I haven't stepped on the scale again, and won't for a bit yet. I'm with you all, I don't think it matters very much. I'm quite interested in boosting metabolism, though, which takes a considerable amount of work.

I'm also getting pretty concerned about bone density which is something really affected a lot by both chemo and (h-word), so I'm looking now for a few videos of high impact aerobics. As far as I can tell, there isn't much that can be done for postmenopausal women, but what there is seems to be just a hell of a lot of exercise. Which is fine by me. The other thing is the drug I'm on, and will be on for years and years... basically for the rest of my life. Its main function is to help stave off osteo, but the exercise and green veg rule can't do any harm, I figure. I haven't been tested yet for bone density, but we've got to wait now until the end of the summer (medical things in Italy don't really happen much in summer). Which will give me enough time to see if the high impact thing can work.

I've also, finally, totally cut out sugar and grains. I was cheating regularly, with an ice cream here or there, a bit of bread with dinner in a restaurant and I was having a lot of honey. I've found a place that sells stevia and the only thing I use it for is my yogurt/cream/fruit/egg milkshake in the mornings. No more honey at all, and the big jar I bought over a month ago is still in the cupboard. I'm still guzzling fruit like it's going out of style, but I think it's OK as long as the exercise level stays the same or increases.

And every day, as I'm carrying my bike and a bunch of grocery bags up the stairs to my flat, I remember that two years ago, at the end of third chemo, I couldn't make it at all, and had to be carried myself. I couldn't walk around my apartment and had to have a chair in the bathroom to sit on while I brushed my teeth.

So, win.
"Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.


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