looking after self: exercise

Some days it feels like all of the messengers in and of the universe are lining up for an intervention. It’s easy to treat them as the enemy rather than signals worthy of your attention.

Yesterday was one of those days. It was Day 9 of the second chemo cycle. My spirit and energy levels were picking up. It was lining up as a fine day, all things considered, until someone near and dear to me, who is reading Jennifer Saunders’ memoir Bonkers, felt the need to let me know that she kept very active during her chemo treatment.

On further investigation, Ms Saunders’ reported high activity levels came as a result of the steroids we take just before and after each chemo dose. This quote about her treatment generally rings more true for me.

“From one day to the next, you never really know how you’re going to feel: some days you can go for a long walk, the next you get breathless after a few steps. Sometimes you stay in bed; sometimes you just have to get up. It is the most frustrating thing: you have the perfect excuse just to lie abed, but you can’t because you feel like you should make an effort”.


Nevertheless other signs about the importance of some level of exercise, as and when the days allow, continued to appear.

Taking a few photographs in the garden pointed to a few balance issues.

I realised that my daily stretching exercises for another condition have fallen by the wayside.

An exercise physiologist named David Miszrahi just happened followed this blog. His work includes developing exercise plans (during and post-chemotherapy) for women with ovarian cancer.

Then last night, I was shocked to notice that the muscle tone in my calves has fallen away considerably over recent weeks. The only real exercise that’s happened thus far is in the final week of the first cycle where I held my own in a clothes shopping expedition.

So the balancing game continues. Do what you can, when you can. Make it a priority. Start slow and build up. And keep the long game in mind. The chemo will accelerate the ageing process. That doesn’t mean it should have all the power.




2 thoughts on “looking after self: exercise”

  1. So glad to hear from you. So proud of your perspective and wisdom. Ride the wave, friend. Go under and come back up to the surface. You’re doing it. You’re doing great.


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