It’s that time again folks!
I have been so inspired and thrilled by the responses to the Shittytittie Chemo Cut Reveal Challenge! Almost 90 different people have contacted me and made a commitment to themselves to live better lives, contribute more, treat themselves with more respect, embrace their community and environment. The inspirational list of things goes on and on! Yet it occurred to me that I hadn’t made my own personal commitment to the Challenge.
So I am going to share my challenge with you. It has been partly inspired by my friend Dawnybob’s ongoing achievements and commitments. I had actually given up on the idea of this. But after hearing of her goals and achievements the flame has once again been ignited through all of the uncertainty of future treatment. A little voice in my head says “but you can’t do that you’ve had cancer, and lymph node surgery, and one breast amputated and the other breast to be amputated and radiotherapy soon, and poison pumped through your veins, and years of crazy hormone drugs and blah blah blah…” And another voice is my head says “Just watch me!” So thank you Dawny for being awesome and sharing with me your challenges and bringing to the surface my competitive streak. Dawnybobs wrote…
I am doing my first open water triathlon on Sunday! (750m river swim, 25k bike, 5k run), then in June I am doing an Olympic distance triathlon (1500m lake swim, 42km bike, 10km run). This is all in the hope that I can do a Half Ironman triathlon (70.3) in August (1900m swim, 83km bike – 21km run). Not bad considering I couldn’t run a mile in Jan-March (with a dodgy knee). Lisey does this get us a new haircut? Oh and another change in my life is I am applying to join the fire service and I am halfway through a massage qualification! Phew I didn’t realise quite how many changes I am making! x
Dawnybobs is an amazing role model to her 3 young sons and what strikes me about her is since I have known her, her attitude has always been positive. She is such a ‘go getter’, having taken up running after having her children several years ago, she has now completed so many fun runs, half marathons and marathons it is ridiculously inspiring! Late last year, we joked about how we would do a Half Ironman triathlon together even though we live on opposite sides of the world. Plans changed for me a little this year. So these kinds of goals had been swept under a rug.
I have recently (and very publicly thanks to this blog) been wallowing through the murky waters of chemo and was in doubt about what my future holds. But I have set myself a goal and this has helped switch the light on. It has helped me see that this year is just a temporary blip in the scheme of things.
So once chemotherapy is done, and radiotherapy is done, and the scars from 4 surgeries in 2013 have healed, once I am understanding the side effects of tamoxifen and my potential early menopause at 38 years old, I will begin some serious training for my first Half Ironman Triathlon (also known as a 70.3 which refers to total the miles covered) 1.9km swim, 90kms on the bike and a 21.1km half marathon.
Yes, by spring 2014, I will be close to crossing the finish line in a Half Ironman Triathlon chute. I might even wear lycra. And I will do it with two fake breasts (or possibly none if the radiotherapy damages the plastic surgeon with the hairy face and tie’s handywork!). And in that finish chute, I might even stop to kiss Mr Cool and the kids. Unless I’m worried about getting across that line seconds away from ticking into a new hour. In that circumstance I might be compelled just run on by.
This seems like a ridiculous goal to have at the moment, with so much treatment ahead and unknowns. But life is pretty ridiculous isn’t it?
Since I am continuing to run (slowly) through chemo, I figure a fitness goal will help me immensely in both physical and mental respects. So what have I got to lose? I get such a lift after walking and running. It is so beneficial for fatigue management and mental health. I figure that integrating some swimming in the pool when the weather warms and I heal from radiotherapy will be great for my arms and lymph node surgery scaring issues. Plus I love riding my road bike and it’s something I can do right now.
The key will be having realistic expectations. Circumstances are different now and my body will have been through an incredible amount of changes this year. One step at a time!
It’s a long road ahead as I lose fitness, gain weight and suffer the effects of the chemo drugs and radiation, but I hope to heal and work at getting back to where I was pre diagnosis last December where I had done three triathlons and was absolutely loving the challenges and achievements I had set myself. What I accomplished last year was amazing and showed me that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. No one is permanently stuck in the same tracks. We can all head in new directions.
So that is the shining light ahead for me.
On that note, here is Shittytittie Chemo Cut Nine.
The final cuts where done at home a few days after Punk Chick worked her magic. My hair started shedding on about day 14 after my first dose of FEC chemo. Hair from other parts of my body surprisingly went earlier as I embarrassingly blogged about here.
It was important for me to shave the hair before I started losing great volumes of it all over the house. In the days before we shaved it, there was hair dropping onto the kitchen benches, falling onto my dinner plate and getting stuck in my tooth brush. So it was definitely time to take control of it and have some fun.
It was also imperative for me to involve our young children in the final cuts and shave. They watched and took pictures as our good friend Mr D documented the whole thing on his camera. We laughed as the hair fell and there were some tears. It was a very emotional process but empowering as well.
Introducing to you Shittytittie Chemo Cut Nine – Mr T. Remember him from that 1980’s show “The A-team”? Incredibly, Mr T was treated for T-cell Lymphoma in the 1990’s. He said lots of crazy stuff back in his prime. But one of the most sensible things he ever said was…
“Everything started as a dream. You gotta have insight, know what you want. You gotta have a plan. Like I tell anybody, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. I’ve been planning ever since I was a youngster. You’ve got to start from somewhere.”
And start from somewhere I will!
Please join the challenge! Only one haircut to go! Lets get to 100 peeps in the Shittytittie Chemo Cut Reveal Challenge!
Take it from me…
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