New Year Resolutions Can Bring Surprises (Part 2)
If you read Part 1, you know I decided to make walking my New Year’s resolution. You also know that there was a surprise coming. Here is the conclusion.
I have two reasons for writing about achieving the goal of walking every day for 2020. The first is, I was really proud of myself for not only completing this goal but also increasing my mileage to a point that kept challenging to me throughout the year. The second and biggest reason is the reports I received from my doctor this year. I have a different type of cancer than all of you, but if this will help (and I don’t think it will hurt) then I felt the need to share.
Achieving my goal
In May, I had my first scans since starting my daily walking routine. They showed no growth!! I was diagnosed with stage 4 thyroid cancer in 2013 and five years ago I found out the cancer had metastasized to my lungs. Since then it has been growing at a steady pace and my blood work was on the rise right along with it. My doctor told me, there is nothing they can do until it gets worse. When I heard that news I was devastated. So you can imagine my feelings seeing my reports. This was the first time in five years that there was no growth!! Just last week, at the beginning of January, I had another appointment for blood work and an ultrasound. The blood work stayed exactly the same as my blood work in May! I did not have scans this time, which is usually once a year due to the radiation exposure, but for me, blood work says a lot and it was the same!!
So you may be thinking ok, great, but what’s your point? Well, when I heard the news about my reports back in May, I was just happy. But then my sister-in-law asked what I was doing differently, and it was walking! Of course, this all could be a coincidence, but what if it’s not? My thought is, if nothing else, I have gained another year. No growth puts off the inevitable and for that I am grateful.
I want to tell you a little about my walk, in case you want to give it a try. When I walk, I try to walk as quickly as I can and have an average of 14 minutes per mile. I don’t think the average counts, but I do think walking fast enough to be able to talk, but not really wanting to is important. At that point, you have to breathe deeply and more often. Doing that helps to oxygenate the body. Since some research states cancer is anaerobic, oxygenating the body sounds like a perfect plan. For me, the cancer has spread to my lungs and that’s directly where the oxygen is going. This was something to think about, and I did.
Another thing I do is walk outside, no matter the weather. I get fresh air, mostly sunlight, and the scenery is so much nicer than a gym or at my house on a treadmill (plus, I don’t have one). I typically walk as early as possible, but have also walked in the dark on busy days. I would prefer to walk as soon as it is daylight, and may start doing that when I retire, but for now, just making sure I get out and walk is my only goal.
Making it a habit
When I participated in Crystal’s challenge, I just thought it would be a fun thing to do. I like to walk and when the challenge ended, I felt motivated to give the year thing a try. But then I went for my scans and now I am hooked. While coincidences happen, and that could be what this is, walking is a good habit to continue, so I will. My goal for 2021 is to walk at least three miles everyday and to beat my mileage from last year. I know I can and I will do it!!
Wishing you health & happiness.
Read Part 1 of New Year Resolutions Can Bring Surprises.
How long did it take to be properly diagnosed?