When I hear fit, I clearly imagine people in shape, running in the coolest sport outfit available.
Basically, not me. I am not sporty, not in “that” shape and I would only consider running in case of fire....
In fact, the only physical activity I like is yoga and I practice it for the peace of mind it brings me.
How does that make sense relate to a website encouraging people to keep moving during their Cancer treatment? Not much, I admit. Nevertheless, these months of chemo and radiations post lumpectomy where the first ones in my life when I felt the urge to keep my body active.
Living in UAE, due to the limited annual paid sick leave days allowed, I worked full time during the treatment. I also tried to maintain a mini social life and ahead of the priority list, I tried to be a mum of my three kids. That kept me busy though I didn’t have the strength to attend yoga classes.
So why do I say I felt the urge of keeping my body active? Well, I intuitively realized that my side effects (joint pain, neuropathy to mention few) were more bearable if I had walked. And I “forced” myself to go for walks daily even in the post chemo days. Even for 20 minutes. Even if these 20 minutes would exhaust me and result in a 2 hours nap. My body aches were less intense. Also, besides the benefits of keeping my brain active, working limited my immediate chemo brain impact. It forced me to remain organize, do lists, set agendas, plan and basically keep going. I don’t know why but intuitively I know that’s these walks helped my focus. Don’t ask, I just know it.
As soon as I finished the treatment, I attended a Cancer recovery yoga session lead by a fellow cancer survivor. Gosh, that felt good. I was sore, stiff, had lost my balance due to the neuropathy but week after week my body woke up. In 2 months time, I could attend a normal yoga class. I cried being back. Moving like a beginner but I completed the 90 min despite my giraffe legs. Two months later, I still feel I move like a beginner but with 10 years experience and much more wisdom and respect for my body.
We all have our own ways to help our body during these tough moments. No matter what we choose as activity, the main point here is not to give up. To follow our instinct. To honor our body. To prepare for the recovery. To be body and soul.