Looking Back, Moving Forward

Lately I have been staying away from Facebook. In addition to the negativity related to the political climate, I am "fortunate" enough to be reminded about how my cancer journey began a little more than a year ago. I even went so far as turning off the notifications on my phone and my computer. I felt as though I needed to take more control over how and when I was reminded of all the milestones (1st visit to the ER, surgery, diagnosis, staging, treatment decision, surgery to implant my port, 1st chemotherapy, etc). 

I have been making some progress handling the multitude of triggers since I began my EMDR and weekly visits to an extremely supportive and insightful therapist. HOWEVER, the step by step replaying of the journey is not something I feel equipped to handle right now. I guess this is something that I need to bring up with my therapist the next time I see her. Part of me worries that I am dealing with the triggers by ignoring them and that probably isn't the best way to deal with things.

One of the things she mentioned to me at my last appointment is that I am dealing with a lot of loss right now: the loss that a cancer diagnosis brings, the loss of my son moving on to the next phase of his life (graduating college and getting married), the loss of my daughter moving on (she graduates high school this year) and the dissolution of my marriage (I haven't written much about this here). She assured me that what I was feeling is normal. We spoke about using my mindfulness skills to acknowledge the sense of loss. I'm still working on that.

So how am I moving forward? I started my half marathon training. I just completed week 5 of a 20 week training plan. The plan has me running 4 days a week along with a specific strength training program 6 days each week. I haven't seen much change in my physical appearance, I am still in the "fat" clothes I was wearing when I completed chemo. But I have seen a tremendous change in my stamina and my fitness test. I took my first fitness test in October, and my VO2 was 26 (moderate). In the middle of December I took a second test, and my VO2 went up to 28 (good). While the gains aren't huge, it's nice to see the number move in the right direction. When I rejoined Weight Watchers at the end of July, I weighed 229 pounds. My weight this past Sunday was 221.6 pounds.  Not a huge loss, but I am hoping that being more consistent with tracking my food intake, along with making sure I am eating enough protein (because of my increased activity) will lead to more consistent weight loss. It truly is my goal to get to my goal weight of 160 by the end of 2017.