My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue that laughter and optimism on my journey...

3 S's - Swim, Sleeve, Shoes

Episode XCIII - swim until you can't see land


Between the joint/bone pain, the lymphedema swelling, and the nervous system issues I felt like I was unable to do anything. Everything hurt. Everything was hard. I had to do something... some type of exercise.

After discussing it with my OT, she recommended swimming. With an exercise option in place and my family getting me a Y membership for my birthday I was off to the pool. For some reason I had totally forgotten about water exercise. I think I mentally blocked the idea of swimming because it would require me to get into a swimsuit in front of other people. However at this point do I even care??? NO!



Watch me attempt to swim!


I must have forgotten all my early years on the swim team and how much I enjoyed swimming. I love the water. How could I have forgotten that?!?! While I knew I wasn't going to be doing butterfly or backstroke yet, I was able to at least get in the water and do some form of exercise. I had to modify my swimming to make sure that I do not raise my arm above the water. So my freestyle was odd looking, but I could still do breast stroke with ease. Even in the dreaded swimsuit and knowing that I probably looked ridiculous... who cares... I loved the water.

There was one moment when I finish a lap and turn around. 
I am completely submersed and nothing hurts. 
Seriously... nothing hurts. It was an amazing moment.

It was also time for me to get a more durable, stronger lymphedema sleeve and gauntlet. After being annoyed at my medical supply store fitting session where I felt they implied that I supposedly have a disproportionate arm... even for a lymphedema patient... which I find ironically impossible, my OT had ordered some for me. Apparently, I can fit into a Solaris ExoStrong sleeve... so I will promote them for other disproportionate lymphedema people out there...


Check them out... click here.


The sleeve is made of a thicker material that provides more compression. I tend to wear my Lymphediva products on my normal day, as they are softer and less compression. However I do need an option to have more compression and these products are great for when I am do more strenuous activities. Which basically means I rarely have to wear it these days!!!

All joking aside, it is nice to have both options. There are days when I need it. However, the compression garments are expensive... very expensive. We are talking over a hundred dollars for the set... and you have to have multiple pairs. You wear them all day. They can be washed, but it is like underwear... would you only like 1 or 2 pairs of underwear to wear all year?!?!

Speaking of spending money... thank goodness I have a mom who is willing to spoil me. When she visited me recently, she apparently felt that I was not wearing good shoes. Ok... even if most of my shoes have been in my closet for years they were still... sort of... maybe... usable. After she donated like fifteen pairs of shoes (some never warn... aka heels) she took me off on a shoe shopping spree. And not only did I get shoes... I got Eccos...


It's like I am walking on air...


She gave me the big-spending-make-my-child-feel-better shopping trip. Thanks mom!!! Normally, I cannot stand to shop. Really... boring. However, I will say that I was not complaining on this shopping trip. I am now set for summer, fall, and winter. Loving my shoe options now!!!


In my head...


I just keep moving forward and trying new things to feel better. I am really willing to try various products and options. Like a variety of different compression garments, shoes, and other things to try and improve my general well-being.

I wish I had thought of swimming sooner. And I recommend it to so many people I meet now. It is the one time I truly feel good. The water is so calming and without the impact that normal exercise puts on my body I can actually do something. It is a small something, but it is something!


“The simple everyday experiences 
become the doorway to new thoughts and inspirations.” 
- E.A. Bucchianeri


Episode Reference: Swim Until You Can't See Land, Frightened Rabbits song

Share on Google Plus

About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

0 comments:

Post a Comment