Considering that cancer is one of those illnesses that people associate with death, when you meet someone suffering from it you expect to see a grey and emaciated person. This is not the case however - because of the steroids pumped into you as part of chemotherapy, weight gain is inevitable. So instead of being confronted with an individual in the throes of death, you see someone edacious who looks like they ate all the pies.
I weighed myself this morning and was mortified to find that I've gained nearly two kilos since I started chemotherapy. I very nearly shaved off the patchy hair left on my head just to see the number go down, but considering that I only have a very silly coronet of hair left (please do not visualise) I figured it wouldn't make much of a difference.
So sadly that leaves self-control and exercise. Forget the first week after chemo - I'm too nauseous to exercise and too hungry to deprive myself. Which means that I've got roughly two weeks to shed the weight gained in the first week of absolute greed. (I know - it's wishful thinking.) So I was back at the gym Thursday last week and have tried, with mixed results, to control my eating. But I think it's too late: my stomach seems to have expanded and it now thinks that it needs the diet of a champion weightlifter to get satisfied. Which leaves the gym.
And it's great - I always feel strong afterwards. But I find it very odd that my gym friends think that I'm being very admirable, and brave, simply because I go spinning or contort my body into weird positions with pilates. I don't really understand this - what else would I do? Going to the gym has always been a part of my routine - I've always felt much better when I'm fit and healthy. So I don't see why I suddenly shouldn't go now, especially at a time when I need it most.
Admittedly, I did wallow in self-pity when I was first diagnosed, and started planning the video diary for my children with my life lessons (such as never ever get a tattoo) but the thought of doing that now is inconceivable. I now know what I'm dealing with and have just modified my life to accommodate this nuisance that is chemotherapy. So I go on with my life as normal, and that includes getting a bit of exercise. So don't be impressed, it's perfectly ordinary.