Mobility in Recovery

Although I’ve been given the clear to resume normal activities, I’ve found myself doing so with some hesitation. I want to resume kickboxing classes but I fear I lack the mobility to engage properly. I’m not a very flexible person by nature; I have to work at it.  Throw in something debilitating (like this surgery) and I’m even worse.

arms outstretched
No Snow Angels for Me

Here I am, lying flat on my yoga mat.  A normal person could sweep their hands across the ground, snow angel style, to rest above his or her head.  This “t” shape is as outstretched as I can get.   My chest muscles won’t let me reach any further.

overhead stretch
Barely Reaching Overhead

Reaching directly overhead is not much better, as you can see. Sorry for the crappy quality of the above image, but you can get the gist of what I was trying to portray.

Breast Implant Anatomy 101

I’ve taken the image below from How Stuff Works: Science in an article entitled “How Implants Work” by Robert Valdes (2004) so you can see why I’m lacking flexibility.  As the image shows, my implant is sub muscular, placing particular stress on the pectoralis major muscle.  I don’t have the natural breast tissue shown in the image, thanks to my mastectomy, so the muscle helps hold and smooth out the look of my implant.

Image from http://science.howstuffworks.com

The muscle suffered trauma during the surgery since it had to be cut to remove the tissue expanders and get the implant in there and is still adjusting to having a large foreign object placed under it.

Physical Therapy Here I Come

I called my doctor to request physical therapy.  I’m rather surprised he did not prescribe it to begin with, but perhaps he thought, given my active nature, that I would be able to work through the issues on my own.  I am not comfortable, however, making assumptions on what exercises I should and should not  be able to do, nor do I wish to hurt myself trying to accomplish my goals.

I have my consult with the therapist at MD Anderson on Monday.  I am lucky in that I met my out of pocket max for this year (thanks to my implant surgery) so my physical therapy should be covered in full.

I’ll keep you posted on how this process goes. I anticipate lots of pain and swearing.  But, as the expression goes, no pain, no gain!

Happy Halloween: Avoiding that Candy Like a Plague

run done
Got My Run Going On!

I did it!  I went for a “run.”  I had to add quotes because that was one of the slower runs I have experienced.  In fact, I did a mix of jogging and walking and I only made it two miles before I felt like I was going to spew.  My legs were great! I could walk 500 miles, and I could walk 500 more… (had to throw in a 90’s music reference there).  My lungs, well, that’s another story. I have lost all aerobic capacity.  I’m going to get there.

On a good note, I did run!

I mean, check out those goods!  I strapped them in that new sports bra and took off.  As a reminder, here is where I was just a few weeks ago:

September 17th, 5 days After Surgery
September 17th, 5 days After Surgery

My chest was basically flat.  Actually, it wasn’t that far off from where I was before the mastectomy.  Here is a photo that is a couple of years old now, but this is how I used to look in a sports bra, back when I was in awesome shape and did the Tough Mudder with my awesome husband!

Tough Mudder Pre-mastectomy Shape
Tough Mudder Pre-mastectomy Shape

Notice a bit of a change?  Yeah, it’s quite cool…except for the out of shape part. I have faith that will change.  My pants will fit again…someday.  Note, I am never doing another Tough Mudder; mud is not my thing, especially when it’s mud in a cow pasture.  Enough said.

running…from the candy

I am staying away from the Halloween candy.  I promise.  Hear that, world?  No CANDY!!!!  I cannot exercise and then give in to the holiday binging.  Take that, sugar, I’m committed to a healthier me.

So, now the question is, are you?