By Leslie Spencer

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Additional info for You can be beautiful beyond breast cancer : The strength training and diet program that changed

Sample text

What I didn’t expect was to have new symptoms develop a year or more after I finished treatment. In my case, there were two major ones. The irritable bowel syndrome I developed led to changes in my diet, and I’ll talk more about that in the next chapter. The episodes of chronic fatigue, lasting a week or more at a time, challenged my attitudes and beliefs about training and changed the way I approached it, and that’s what I’ll discuss here. You might be surprised to learn that I did not have bouts of fatigue as I was going through treatment.

Yes, there were four little holes in my skin, two on each side of my chest, through which the plastic tubes entered, draining off excess fluid from the surgical site. Held in place by surgical stitches, they wiggled and pinched whenever I touched them or moved in a certain way. They were to become the bane of my existence for the next three weeks until they were removed. Honestly, living with surgical drains was perhaps the hardest part of the whole treatment process for me. I was aware of them during every waking moment and thought, at times, that I would go crazy trying not to be irritated by 48 Chapter three My exercise Goal today is walking to the Mailbox them.

My resistance training was sporadic and, I now realize, largely ineffective. It’s different for me now and much more motivating, as you’ll see in the rest of this chapter. 44 Chapter three My exercise Goal today is walking to the Mailbox “Training” post-mastectomy I have to use the word training loosely in describing what I did in the five weeks following my double mastectomy. Of my four surgeries, this was the most difficult from which to recover and it required the most determination through which to rehabilitate.

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