Breaking newsPosted: April 12, 2011 Filed under: breast cancer, pets, Surgery, tennis | Tags: cancer battle, exercise and breast cancer, family, golden retriever, kids, leopard gecko, post-mastectomy, reconstruction, recovery, riding bikes with kids, survivor, tennis, workout after surgery 6 Comments
We interrupt the “All Napa, All the Time” marathon with breaking news. Imagine the tornado sirens going off right now (or maybe that’s just in my head). If you’re looking for news of Day 2 of our recent Napa adventure, you’re gonna have to wait.
Yesterday I did something I haven’t been able to do since The Big Dig. I’m very excited about it. It’s been 5 weeks since the excavation that gutted me like a fish in an effort to restore my post-mastectomy sunken chest. 5 long weeks. There are lots of things I’ve been unable to do, and y’all know I’m a very impatient patient. I tend to rush things and push the envelope, and sometimes that results in a set-back, or at the very least, a lot of frustration for my handlers. I’ve been trying, really trying, to be patient, to not rush things, and to avoid any potential set-backs. I’m not much of a people-pleaser by nature, but I do try to keep my handlers happy. They make a lot of noise when they’re unhappy with me.
I rode my bike.
Yes, that’s the breaking news.
Hope you were sitting down, because it’s really big news.
See, I’m one of those weirdos who loves to exercise. I’m restless and have a strong “productivity” drive. Like how some dogs have a high food drive, or our crazy dog Harry has a high “must have something to carry in my mouth” drive, I have a high “productivity” drive. I also like to eat. And drink. But don’t like when my clothes don’t fit, a wonky equation to say the least. Some people don’t care much about food, and I don’t understand them. I’m usually planning my next meal as I’m eating the current one. Different strokes, people.
I’ve mentioned before in this space that I’m not good at lying around, being lazy, and doing that thing called relaxing. What is this practice of which people speak? Apparently I missed the memo, because I’m no good at it.
All this to say that being grounded for the last 5 weeks has been hard for me. I’ve really missed my daily exercise. Whether it’s tennis, the gym, or riding my bike, I miss it. And yesterday, I rode my bike.
Macy and I have a routine of riding to the pet store every day after school to buy crickets for Cincko, her leopard gecko. He’s got a big appetite, and I’m always afraid he’ll start banging on the sides of his tank if he doesn’t get fed. He eyeballs Pedey, our little dog, and puffs himself up as if he’s going to attack that dog the way he pummels the crickets who are dropped into his tank. Thus, the need to procure crickets is a big one, and I haven’t been able to ride with her since my surgery.
Yesterday after dinner, she wanted to go for a ride. Not to the pet store, but just around the neighborhood. After proving to myself and my handlers that I could keep up in Napa last weekend, I felt good about giving it a try. I told Macy I’d do a lap down the driveway and see how it felt. A test run, of sorts. If it didn’t feel good, I’d concede. She reminded me not to push it, that we could wait until I was more healed. That child knows her mama well.
The test run down the driveway felt fine. Felt better than fine: it felt awesome. Other than a little tightness across my abdominal incision, it felt like old times. It’s true that you never forget how to ride a bike, and my muscles remembered how to fire their pistons to propel me forward. I wanted to get down on my knees right there in the driveway to thank the great gods of healing for bestowing their kindness upon my beleagured and battered body. But that would have caused Macy to roll her eyes at me and say that I’m embarrassing her, again, so I refrained.
Instead, we made a 2-mile circle around our neighborhood, dodging pedestrians, watching for bumps in the road, and intentionally riding through sprinklers. We enjoyed the drier-than-normal Houston air and rejoiced in the birdsong. We admired the neighbors’ yard work and noticed how lush and green everything is in our part of the world.
It was a very good ride.
Ok, this is the part that my handlers should skip over. Y’all don’t want to read this; I worry about your blood pressure.
As I reflected this morning on yesterday’s ride and conducted my mental inventory of how much my various hotspots hurt, I realized that they didn’t really hurt. Not any more than usual. Maybe I really am healing after all. Finally!
Satisfied, I ran through my workout options for today: I could ride my bike again, I could take Harry for a long walk, I could go to the gym for cardio or for strength training. Then I realized that it’s Tuesday. It’s tennis drill day. I haven’t drilled with my team in 5 weeks. I could go to drill! Yes, I could go to drill. I may have to dust off my racquet, but I could go to drill.
Ok, handlers, you can start reading again.
Then I realized that I’d better settle down. I’d better take it easy. I’d better ease into it and not go head-long, full-speed into resuming my normal life.
Maybe next Tuesday.
You better slow down lady! I’m not picking up the pieces if you overdo it. Biking is a lot different than tennis, what with all the torque you’ll generate through your middle while trying to hit a winner down the line. Just pedal for a while and enjoy being back in the saddle.
“not picking up the pieces” as he stands by with a broom and dustpan. I’ve got the duck tape (or duct tape or whatever). Enjoy yourself while I’m gone – but not too much! I better not find out you flew Walter in to Texas for a private tasting.
Ooh, I never thought about flying Walter in. I bet Jill would go halvsies with me on the air fare!
How cool!! Not that I’d EVER EVER go biking or anything related to excersising (that is not a class of some sort accompanied by music turned up way too loud) but, that is SUPER duper news, nonetheless!
How fantastic it is to be able to do something that you may have wondered when you’d be able to go do again? I’m so happy for you, I got goosebumps!
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