A Mother and her Two Daughters

06 February 2011

Quality of Life - The Benjamin Franklin Way

A friend just sent this to me in an email.  I’m still laughing so hard I can hardly stand myself. 

Dear God, My prayer for 2011 is for a fat bank account and a thin body.  Please don't mix these up like you did last year.  AMEN!!

I am so relating to this, as 2010 was my year of little activity, lots of steroids and packing on some pounds.  With the marvelous new anti-nausea medications, I only had two days of eating issues – and I think one of them was non-cancer related, just a stomach virus. So eating throughout cancer was never a problem for me.  

While cancer treatment requires a huge commitment of body and mind, being a survivor also means making lifestyle adjustments as well.

With more than 12 million cancer survivors living in the United States, much attention is being given to increasing the survivor's quality of life and reducing the chance of recurrence.  Historically, those who survived cancer were told to go home, rest and avoid activity - be gentle to yourself.  Not true today.  Clinicians have discovered that survivors should embark on an appropriate exercise program following treatment, akin to cardiac rehab for heart patients. 

So in 2009, the National Cancer Institute convened a panel of 13 research experts from the American College of Sports Medicine to develop exercise guidelines for cancer survivors.  The report was released this past July, and it’s really quite fascinating.  In the end, the panel says that some of the psychological and physiological challenges faced by cancer survivors can be prevented, treated and rehabilated through exercise. 

For me, that means that 2011 is going to be my year of getting my body back into some kind of shape. 

So today I’m joining Little Rock’s Jim Dailey Fitness & Aquatic CenterI toured the facility recently and it’s going to work well for me due to the proximity to my home (War Memorial Park), the extended hours of operation and the indoor pool.  The pool was an especially big factor for me, allowing me to ease into exercises that will strengthen my right arm.

My physical workout goals are this:
  • Increase my body strength, especially in my legs;
  • Reduce the threat of lymphedema with regular exercise of my arms, especially my right upper arm, which is still very numb;
  • Improve my energy level by reducing my fatigue; and
  • Hopefully just feeling stronger and fit all over.  
I'll keep you posted on my progress.  

Unfortunately, I've never been a real workout buff so this will be a new adventure for me.  As they say, "no pain, no gain."  

I always thought this was a phrase attributed to Jane Fonda in those horrific exercise videos she produced in the 19080s.  Not true. In his well-known essay “The Way to Wealth” published in 1734, Benjamin Franklin wrote about the axiom “God helps those who help themselves.”  In this work found in Poor Richard's Almanack, Franklin said, “There are no gains without pains.” 

For me, 2011 will hopefully be living life the Benjamin Franklin way. 

1 comment:

Web Statistics