Tag Archives: chemo

Tahitian dancing - before I was a Mommy
Tahitian dancing – before I was a Mommy

Yes, you read it right! Thanks to a hula sister who invited me to take a class with her instructor, I conquered TWO hip-switchin’ hours of Tahitian dance training. It felt good to be back on the floor!  I’m grateful my leg didn’t go numb and become a useless stump (I have mild sciatica).

Dance victories: 

  • Danced alongside my daughter again, who didn’t quit or whine. She pushed right through it and enjoyed the music & laughter.
  • Danced beside ohana for the first time in over ten years
  • Barefoot, dancing, energized past 8pm
  • Embraced the way I looked in the studio mirror – all I saw was a woman who was happy and trying her best.

I have tightness in my joints and particularly, my hips. This is a common and lasting side effect from chemo/radiation. Radiation was in the pelvic region so the occasional joint and hip creaking is not uncommon. Neurologists have told me to stay active and that the tightness will eventually go away. My dr also recommended yoga to combat the tightness and to give myself a workout without pounding the dance floor with such fervor.

Notice that the dr’s say “eventually,” and they don’t give a timeline. The majority of data available on lasting effects of chemo/rad is with an older age group (60 – 70s). We are still in the stages of collecting data about the effects on a younger population (under 50yrs old).

In some ways, I might be a pioneer for that. And you are, too, if you’re recovering from something similar. I came across some people who would bark diet and exercise tips to me, as if it were a matter of self-discipline. But it’s not that easy.

We’re dealing with a re-acquaintance process of getting to know our bodies all over again. I know I’m never going to be the same and I welcome that! It’s really about creating your own story of healing and renewal. This time, for me,  it was through dance.

I encourage you to relish in things that you can do now that you couldn’t do before. You need to see how far you’ve come in your healing. I may not be as fit, fast or flexible as I was ten years ago, but I’m better than I was a year ago! 



Victory in Volleyball – Get some!

Victory in Volleyball - Get some!

Volleyball! One year ago, I would not have been able to play four games of volleyball with extremely competitive Baptist women, let alone stand for a long period of time.

This foto is with my daughter at a church gym night. We were on separate teams and even played against each other. I cheered her on when she served. We even had a rally, between mother and daughter, in our last game.

These are my markers of good health:
*Two hours of physical activity
*Staying alert past 8pm
*Engaged in a sport with my daughter

Recovery is a long road. You’ve got to celebrate the small victories. Remember what you couldn’t do and how far you’ve come. The goal is not to get back to what I USED TO BE. Instead, I can create what I CAN BE. God gave me the opportunity to take advantage of this time to experience and explore my potential in very new ways. Lesson for the night: I am at my best when I try my best. 

I hope this encourages you to try something new in your workout or to appreciate your progress at this time in your journey!