Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Emotions Never Lie

The above quote couldn't be more perfect.  Everyday I need to consciously tell myself, 'this is another great day'.  Each day the fear is lurking, but I rationally tell myself, that I'm doing well.  I have no symptoms to be concerned about, to keep my head held high and keep moving forward.

Lately, I have been training for my first official 5K and its going fairly well.  However, currently, the weather is not cooperating so I have been forced to the elliptical.  But at least it's something.  I'm keeping myself motivated, but when I slow down for a moment, that's when my true emotions surface.

The past two weeks I have been very emotional.  I could cry at any moment and would become angry with myself when a tear would creep down my cheek or several would begin to fall.  I would mentally tell myself to stop and quit being so weak.

This morning I realized it's an accumulation of things. Firstly, this month is the anniversary of my stem-cell transplant and that alone carries so many emotions.  Secondly, I'm training for a 5K for a little warrior princess recently diagnosed with leukemia, and thirdly, a gentleman lost his battle with leukemia after his stem-cell transplant.  And finally, as I was watching the TODAY show there was a short documentary piece of a young girl who battled leukemia, relapsed, had stem-cell transplant and relapsed again, it's just too much to take in and process.

There are so many levels of healing after cancer, emotionally, mentally and physically.  I am taking each one and dealing with each one individually and sometime, all at the same time.  I'm happy to say, that I have been doing really well, but today it just became too much.

But I'm not going to wallow in self-pity or sadness.  I'm going to allow the tears flow.  I'm going to allow all of the negative feelings and thoughts to exit through those tears and move forward.  I'm going to continue to count my blessings and I'm going to continue to be thankful that this is another year, another day, another moment in time, that I'm able to share with my family and closest friends.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In Memory...

Today's post is in Honor and Memory of Jason W.  He passed away today as a result of leukemia and an unsuccessful stem-cell transplant.

My heart is breaking for his wife, children, family and friends.

I have been following his page on FB for quite some time.  I've been praying for his strength to fight and succeed in battling and beating leukemia.

This a very sad day and today my run is in his memory.  Good bless you Jason, may you be at Peace and now may you be a Guardian Angel to your wife and children.  My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and your family.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Couch to 5K, Week 2 Day 3

I'm back...I know I didn't post anything Thursday or Friday, but I was recuperating.  On Thursday, I had a work conference in Philadelphia.  Overall driving time was a little over 8 hours and the conference began at 9 am and didn't commence until a little after 5.  So in other words it was a long day, but a great one too!!!  By the time I got home, the plan I had didn't last long.  I had previously thought I would commit to my planks and P90 100 abs, but obviously that didn't happen and I was way too exhausted.

Yesterday, I had a busy morning taking my daughter to the doctor and picking up my little buddy who I babysit periodically through out the week.  Fortunately, I was able to meet up with my bestie for a run during lunch.  I am noticing that I am having a much easier time for each training session.  The sessions are slowly becoming easier, not much, but enough that I can notice.  At least it's a start and I'm going to continue my training, I can't and won't give up.

Cancer is not going to stop me.  I have allowed myself enough time to rest and recuperate but I can't do it forever.  I will continue to monitor how my body responds and will give it the time for rest and recuperation it needs when necessary, but I won't give in.  I will continue to push and not give in to every tired moment. This is part of the healing process, knowing when to push yourself for the better but knowing when to take a break for the better.

So I'm going to keep moving and rocking on. \m/

Image Source: http://seasonitalready.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/couch_to_5kpic.jpg

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Couch to 5K, Week 2 Day 2

Today was another great day.  I worked at Curves and while I was working I completed the circuit while incorporating some Zumba.  It's always a good time and having such a great group of ladies to do it with is even better!!!

After work, I met up with one of my best friends who decided to try out the C25K training.  It was a very cold night, I think it was the coldest night of the year.  But we didn't let it stop us.  We went to a local driving park that was decently lit, at 7 o'clock at night, and we completed the entire 30 minutes.  I think she enjoyed it and is willing to do it again of Friday.  Yay me!!!  I'm so thankful to have such great friends to laugh with, hang out with and even exercise/train with.

I have a long day of travel tomorrow.  All of the staff from Curves has a conference to attend and we will be on the road for a total of 7 to 8 hours, plus participating at the conference for several hours.  I doubt I will be able to get any workout in tomorrow.  I'll just need to do a couple more planks and two rounds of P90 100 abs to make up for it.

So I'll leave a little food for thought, even though you day may be endlessly busy, even taking 5 or 10 minutes to better your health and conditioning your body will keep you 'moving on and rocking on'. \m/

Image Source: http://seasonitalready.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/couch_to_5kpic.jpg

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Couch to 5K, Week 2 Day Off

Today is my off day from running.  However, just because it's my off day, doesn't mean that I lay around and not do anything.  I pre-planned my meals for the day, which makes life a little bit easier. And, I went into Curves and completed my Xtreme workout on the circuit and I feel very fulfilled with a sense of yet another day of accomplishments.

Exercising and running has become the best addiction and high.  I'm already thinking about tomorrow and planning my schedule to assure that I get my run in.  I spoke to another best friend of mine tonight and I think I have her on board with running with me tomorrow evening.  I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with her.  I hope she enjoys it and becomes just as addicted to it as I have.

So in the words of Jillian Michaels, when your exercising or running, just keep thinking "Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving out. Keep Moving"!!! and Rocking on!!! \m/

Image Source: http://imkristina.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/day-off.png

Monday, November 11, 2013

Couch to 5K, Week 2 Day 1

Another great day!!!  I was anxious to see what this week would bring in my training.  Now I will continue with the 5 minute warm-up and cool down, but now will be jogging 60 seconds and walking briskly for 90 second intervals over a 20 minute time-frame.  With this change, I began to struggle for the first half of the training, however, I found my pace mid-way and had a much easier second half.

After my C25K training, I was feeling so great, I decided to get my circuit workout in at Curves.  Now I feel even better.  It's so great being able to accomplish the goals that you have set.  My long-time goal is to complete a 5K while jogging the complete course.  My short-term goals consist of these minor changes and increases of time to slowly condition my body for the overall goal.  I'm feeling hopeful and optimistic that I will meet this goal.

Tomorrow will be my day of rest from my C25K training, but will continue to workout at Curves.  I haven't taken any measurements yet or have weighed myself, I may just wait until the end of the week to do that. I'm hoping to see a difference. I have already seen a difference in my attitude and my energy, and the rest will come.

Remember it's never too late to pick yourself up off the couch, it may not be a 5K training, or running a marathon, but just getting up and keeping your body moving is the best way to keep moving and rocking on. \m/

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Couch to 5K, Rest Day

Today is the day of 'rest'.  Every workout needs it and every 'body' wants it.  'Rest' days do not need to be lazy, unless you really want them to.  There is so much you can do to take advantage of your 'rest' days. Reflect back on your week.  Think about you goals and the ones you have achieved and the ones you still need to accomplish.  If there was a goal that you didn't make, don't get down on yourself, but get motivated and tackle it for the week ahead.

One of the things I learned so far with my training, is that my body still isn't quite caught up to my mind in how much I want to accomplish.  I know from past experiences that if I push myself too hard, my body begins to shut down and I get really sick.  I just need to keep telling myself that just because I'm taking it slower than I would have before cancer, doesn't mean I'm weak or being lazy now.  I'm just adjusting to my 'new' normal and taking it one day at a time.

This day is not only for reflecting on the past week, but a day of a little meditation.  I'm going to steal a few quiet minutes and cleanse my mind, prepare for the upcoming week and keep my head in the game.

And I'm going to keep moving on and rocking on. \m/

Image Source:  http://www.dailyhiit.com/hiit-blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/rest.jpg

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Couch to 5K, Week 1 Day 3

Week 1, Day 3....can I say, BRUTAL?!?!

This was my Saturday to work at Curves, I got up early to get in early so I could have a nice quiet workout. I completed the circuit and my third day 'plank challenge', as well as, my P90 100 abs. Felt completely energized and ready to take on my run on Rails-to-Trails.

I think I overdid it.  I wasn't at my best.  I was able to do the 5-minute warm-up and cool down with no issues and the 90 seconds of brisk walking, no problems either.  The difficulty I faced was the 60 seconds of jogging.  I was able to complete the 60 seconds in the beginning but midway I was only putting in about 50 seconds.  Yes, trust me, those last 10 seconds are brutal.

But one thing remained constant through out my training today, my ambition, my drive, and my motivation.  I didn't give up and quit.  I kept going.  I didn't stop to take a breath or a drink of water.  I kept moving.

I'm very proud of myself.  I will keep moving on and rocking on. \m/

Note:  Thanks 'Avenged Sevenfold' for your song "Scream"...that's exactly what my lungs were doing today but it motivated to keep moving on. ;-)

Image Source: http://seasonitalready.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/couch_to_5kpic.jpg

Friday, November 8, 2013

Couch to 5K, Week 1 Day 2

Well, I just finished my second day of training.  I wasn't able to get my run in this morning, because I slept in and I began babysitting around 8 o'clock this morning until a little after four late this afternoon.  But, I was very excited to begin my second day.

During the warm-up and initial run, I was feeling motivated but once I had to increase the pace I wanted to quit.  My legs felt weak, my breathing became heavy and my heart was racing.  I thought to myself, "this didn't happen yesterday".  "Yesterday felt great".  I began having doubts on whether I could even finish Day 2 which wasn't any different than yesterday.  It consisted of 5 minute walking warm-up, 60 secs of running, and 90 seconds of brisk walking, and alternating that for 20 minutes, with the last 5 minutes being the cool down.  Piece of cake, right!?  Yeah, I thought so yesterday, but I have to say, I had to push through and motivate myself to continue.

This is the hard part of starting an exercise regimen.  I guess anyone could relate to this  But for me it's frustrating because I never had to struggle to get through a 30 minute workout.  My body lost so much muscle during my days, months, etc in isolation, at home or in the hospital, that it takes more energy, spirit, and motivation to get through it.  Add on top of that my diminished lung capacity as a result of my stem-cell transplant and an overactive heart rate due to the chemo and transplant, it takes some getting used to and adjusting.

But, I am happy to say, I fought through it.  I didn't give up.  I pushed through the work out and completed it.  I know that as time goes on, I will begin to rebuild what I lost.  I may have a few more health barriers than I did before cancer, but it doesn't mean that I can give up.

I just keep telling myself..."I'm doing this for me, I'm doing this for all those fighting their fight and I'm going to keep rocking on". \m/

Image Source: http://seasonitalready.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/couch_to_5kpic.jpg

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Couch to 5K, Week 1 Day 1

Today is a New Day!!!

I had my "low" day yesterday and one thing I learned about low days, they MOTIVATE ME!!!  I can only allow myself so many low days.  It's not to say that I won't continue to have them, because I will.  I know myself enough to know that I'm an emotional person and I can be very affected by my life's circumstance/encounters, good or bad.

Yesterday, while I was at work, one of my best friends told me about an app to help motivate me to run a 5K in March in recognition of a little princess warrior who is fighting her fight.  So, here I am feeling so lucky to have such an awesome friend that keeps me motivated and has given me the incentive I need to become more fit & healthy, and all the while doing it for that sweet little girl.

I was hesitant to begin, but last night I posted on FB my plan to hold me accountable to begin this journey.  It was a little slow in the beginning and I wasn't quite feeling it.  But once I got into it, I didn't want to stop.  Afterwards, I felt so alive and exhilarated. It was a good training and I already can't wait for tomorrow to continue.

Today was the first day of my "Couch to 5K" training.  I walked a total of 10 minutes and ran 20 minutes, broken up in intervals.  During my training, I broke down crying for so many reasons and I can't even explain, other than it was for my circumstances with cancer, Livi's circumstances, and all the others so personal to me who keeps fighting or has lost their fight.

This training is not only for me, but for all those others who are fighting or who have lost the fight of the dreaded "C".  I will be posting daily, my feelings before, during and even after my training.  I hope that my high's and low's may motivate someone out there who just needs that little push and motivation.

Below is my 'playlist' for today's training.  Music motivates, and for those who know me, there is nothing better than some hard rock for a hard workout.  Rock on \m/

Todays Training Playlist:

1. Egypt Central - Kick Ass (this song was my theme song for fighting cancer and now gets me motivated)
2. Metallica - One
3. Hollywood Undead - Undead
4. Skillet - Sick of It
5. Avenged Sevenfold - Scream
6. Halestorm - Here's to Us
7. Rev Theory - Hell Yeah
8. Deuce - America
9. Nirvana - Lake of Fire

Image Source: http://seasonitalready.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/couch_to_5kpic.jpg

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Having an emotional morning.  Many thoughts running through my mind.  This time of year many people think about the "holiday" season.  Some think of Thanksgiving and the traditions that come with it.  And following Thanksgiving, it's all about the Christmas season.  For me that is part of it, but mostly November becomes the anniversary of my stem-cell transplant.  I know that its been almost 3 years since my stem-cell transplant, and even though I still suffer from mild forms of GVHD, overall I'm doing really well and have much to be 'thankful' for.

But there are times when something occurs or the anniversary date of a particular incident through my battle of cancer that triggers a not so fond memory.  It's just not a memory of remembering, its a memory filled with all the emotions of what I was feeling at that time.  Being scared, being weak, even the feeling of being a burden.

Recently, I have learned of another whose young life has been recently affected by cancer.  Hearing all of the same terms or familiar treatments hits close to home.  Also, a close family friend is struggling with the 'will' to survive.  His form of cancer is an aggressive one and from the people who have been with him through his ordeal are seeing his will to survive becoming less and less, which also is all too familiar.

With the best of intentions, some people say to me to not allow that fear.  Not to look at the negative.  To remain positive and see the strength within me.  And I do allow the positive and the strength each and every second of each day. But, occasionally, more some days than others, I have those low moments.

Today is one of those low moments.  Combined with knowing a few individuals fighting their fight and the anniversary of my stem-cell transplant, it's all building up inside me right now needing to be released.  I've said this before, but one of the best emotional releases for me, is through my blogging.

And, yes, I know I'm in remission.  And I may be stronger (physically) than I was even a year ago, but  it's still a daily reminder.  Every day when I get up, I'm putting on that disguise, the wig.  It's such an oxymoron of feelings.  It allows me to feel more normally with my appearance, but mentally, its a burden too. With or without the wig, I still haven't dealt with who I am and how cancer has affected me.

I find my strength through blogging and writing.  There's just something therapeutic to see my thoughts and my feelings in written form.  Maybe it's the acknowledgment from others who have had a similar experience and tell me they feel the same way, which helps me feel more normal and not such a 'head case'.

This month may be a month of many postings, while I try to process where I am now, and where I was 3 or 4 years ago.

Emotionally and physically, I'm still 'healing'.

And I'm grateful and thankful for the love and support, and of course patience, of the family and friends who continue to offer guidance in my 'new' journey.

Image source: