Last year I was diagnosed with grade 2 lobular breast cancer and was listening to radio 4 a few weeks before my operation. Liz O’Riordan was saying how she continued to exercise through treatment and I decided to try that approach as well. I was already quite fit as I am an active member of a cycling club and had only recently cycled Mont Ventoux in the French Alps just before my operation.
My surgical treatment consisted of two separate operations but was only “off the bike” for around six weeks. I also I made sure I went out walking every day and went back to work as soon as I felt able to. I’m a mobile dog groomer so it was great to chat to customers, and fortunately they didn’t mind when I got emotional or even cried in front of them.
I have subsequently had 20 sessions of radiotherapy and cycled to every appointment, a round trip of around 15miles, which also saved on petrol and hospital parking! I have maintained this regime for all my on-going appointments, including Zoladex injections, Zoledronic Acid infusions, consultant appointments and blood tests. I also do yoga twice a week, which not only helps physically but also helps with mental stability.
I do still have bad days, the Tamoxifen tends to make me very tired at times, but the exercise has helped so much. To be outside in the fresh air and hearing the birds singing just gives me a lift. I swim most days to and have full movement in my right arm where 2 lymph nodes were removed. I manage to go out with my cycling club twice a week, which is great exercise, but also hugely rewarding socially.
I am also very lucky to have the love and support of a great family especially my husband who has been wonderful in his support and tolerance on the bad days. We are also very lucky to have lots of trips planned this year hiking and skiing.