Living and Running, with Cancer
Elizabeth took up running after a secondary cancer diagnosis.
Elizabeth is determined not to let her secondary cancer diagnosis stop her from enjoying life. She recently got married, moved to Portsmouth and took on the Couch to 5k!
When I had my primary diagnosis of cancer, I underwent chemo and it really affected my mobility. I still went out for walks when I could, but I had to be careful as my immune system was low. On walks, I had to sit down regularly. This was difficult for me to deal with as someone who had always been in good health. As soon as my mobility came back, I was keen to make the most of it. I was so grateful I could go for long walks again. It was all I wanted to do!
I then got my secondary cancer diagnosis which meant I had to retire from work. My work had always been challenging and kept me active. I was on my feet a lot and always moving about. No longer working meant I felt I needed more of a challenge. I also noticed I was now a lot less active.
Since my chemo wasn’t affecting my mobility this time around, I decided to join a gym. It would give me a challenge. I loved it but unfortunately lockdown happened and I was back to square one. This is when I decided to take on the Couch to 5k. Having moved to Portsmouth, I knew there was plenty of open space nearby for me to go for a run. It took me 11 weeks, not 9 but I have completed the plan. I might not quite be up to 5k but I am the healthiest I have ever been!
I know at some point everything will take a turn for the worse for me but for whatever time I do have left I intend to get out and enjoy life.
Before I started the Couch to 5k, I had started to get pain in my back. In my head, I was fearful it was the cancer spreading. Since I’ve been running the pain has gone. Running has helped me to be the healthiest I’ve ever been. I may have cancer but I am often the one wanting to extend our walks to make them longer even though my husband has a clean bill of health.
My chemo can make me very tired and before I started running I would often go to sleep in the afternoon. Since I’ve been more active this has been happening less. I still have bad days and I have to be careful to listen to my body. Often my mind wants to be out doing something but my body just can’t. But running has given me energy.
Being active for me is being happy! It helps me to be healthier and I have a lot of energy. I want to be out enjoying the nice weather and living my life.
Doreen shares how she learnt to be active with a lung condition.