Live like your life depends on it

“You are exercising regularly, right?”, my Oncologist asks each time I visit.  My answer is sometimes ,”yes, of course!”, or, most recently, “um, I need to get back to doing that.”  Currently, I’m in the process of getting back to doing that.  I know about the studies that show exercise reduces the risk of recurrence and the importance of a healthy diet to maintain a strong immune system.  I know that I was very, very sick and I never want to go through that again.  But, knowing something and putting it (and keeping it) into practice can be two very different things.  Part of the difficulty for me is that, even though I survived cancer, I still have to deal with having Systemic Lupus.  Lupus makes me super tired and super achy, which makes it super hard to feel like exercising.  The catch-22 is that the more I exercise, the better I feel and the worse I feel, the less I actually do it – which makes me feel even worse.  It’s also easy to become complacent during the times when my labs are coming back good and I don’t feel so bad.  And, other times, I just want to pretend I’m perfectly healthy and ignore my past and current medical issues.  But, ultimately, I have to give myself a reality check and acknowledge that I need to live like my life depends on it – because it does.  I must stay on top of my health, not only for myself, but for my kids and my partner.  So, I’m making a real effort to pay better attention to myself and my body.  I found a great exercise class for breast cancer survivors, switched gyms to a closer, more convenient location, and have started making fresh smoothies every morning.  I’m also taking additional medication for my Lupus, which should help decrease the pain and fatigue so I can keep doing what I have to.  I’ve already noticed a small difference and hope to keep building on that.  So, next time I visit my Oncologist, and she asks her inevitable question, I will be able to answer, “yes, of course!”, and feel good about doing all I can to live a long and healthy (as healthy as I can be) life.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go mix my maca root, chia seed, spinach/mango/banana/soursop/pineapple smoothie then head to the gym – cheers to your good health (and mine)!

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