In memory

September 30, 2009
Dear friends, I received the following letter today from a blogfriend, C.E., who walked with me in the Komen Race for the Cure two years ago, during my chemotherapy treatment.  It meant so much to me that day, and the memory still makes me smile.  But her letter didn’t.  Please read it, and leave your comments for C.E. for the loss of her friend.
Dear Susan,
My friend Simcha Esther (Shari) Gershan just lost her battle with cancer last night at the end of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of our year.  She made a documentary about her life, and was planning on attending the film’s premiere on October 22. Unfortunately she will not be there (but of course, will in spirit).
Perhaps your readers who live in the NY area would be interested in attending this event and learning from this inspiring woman.
Your loyal reader

What’s next?

May 23, 2009

Well, now that I’m finally out of pain, enjoying the springtime (almost summer!) with my kids, and getting back to work (naps/nights/weekends), the big question is … what’s next?

The answer is, I’m not sure exactly.  I feel good, but oh, so tired.  We think it’s a side effect of the tamoxifen, which I have to take for 5 years (it’s an estrogen inhibitor, locking up any remaining estrogen so it doesn’t feed any stray cancer cells).  But it doesn’t matter, because I have to take it.  I’ve kind of slacked off on the iced tea lately; looks like I’m back to it.

And exercise.  Must start exercising again.  It’s important, to reduce risk of recurrence and restore energy, but I am so not motivated to do it.

Cancer to 5k … my way

October 8, 2008

As you may remember, near the end of chemo last year, my legs stopped working.  I couldn’t walk at all because of the bone pain.  When that subsided, I was still very weak.  When I finished chemo, I had to go to surgery.   When I recovered from surgery, it was time for 7 weeks of radiation.  Recovery from that took time, and then I was hit with the large ovarian cysts and pain, and then surgery again.  What a year, huh?

But I’m done with that now.  It’s over. I’ve been to my oncologist (for my regular 3 month checkup: clean!) and she has cleared me for exercise.  Any exercise.  Every exercise.  And she says that if I don’t start soon, I’m facing serious bone loss because of the tamoxifen that I have to take every morning.  So I’m taking my calcium, lacing on my running shoes, and getting down to business.

I started walking last week.  First a mile.  Then two.  Then, by Sunday, 4 miles with my friends.

I bought a wii fit.  This is an AMAZING help, as it records and charts all kinds of things for me — my weight, BMI, and balance results; the minutes I spend doing yoga, strength exercise, aerobic exercise like step or running in place, and the hilarious balance exercises that it offers as well.  (And how else would I get my morning hula hoop or snowboarding time?)

I’ve been working at it every day.  This is day 5.  I know, it’s a tiny bit.  Not even worth mentioning.  But to me, it’s everything.  It’s a way for me to FIGHT BACK against this beast and all that it’s taken from me.  A way to strengthen my body so that it can fight off the next attack.  A way for me to feel better, more in control, and more energized for those long days with two active preschoolers.

Oh, the preschoolers.

We’re having ever so much fun these days, taking walks, playing tennis, scampering around on the playground.  I haven’t been writing, because I’ve been playing and working out.  It’s going to get harder and harder to get out and run, I know, both because my demands will increase and the weather will chill, but for now … TODAY … I am active, and getting more fit, and fighting back.

I didn’t hear back from the Cancer to 5k trainers … but I’m determined to do it anyway.  I have a 5k picked out, and I’m working my way towards it.  Anyone else walking/running this Fall?  I’d love some tips!

Edited to add: Laurie is running too.  She just did a 5k with her kid!  Whoo-hoo!