I remember that right after my treatment ended, whenever I would go back to the clinic for checkups, my oncologist would ask me, "Now what have you been doing for exercise?" As I realize even more now that I'm older, staying healthy through exercise is really important for survivors especially; thanks to the chemo and other treatments we received, we are at a greater risk for many health conditions, including heart disease.
At the time, it was an exhausting question. Treatment had put me way out of shape; even climbing stairs made me tired. Before I was diagnosed, I played soccer enthusiastically, but not really doing anything physical for about a year and a half really affected that. Thanks to the persistence of my parents, though, I worked to get back on track.
It was a tough road. I started out slow, going for walks or riding the stationary bike to build up stamina. I played soccer recreationally, although not on the level I had before; I lost a lot of my skills because I hadn't played for so long, and my coordination had deteriorated. When I got to high school, I tried out for the soccer team, but was cut because I couldn't keep up on the six-mile run. Ironically, my parents pushed me to join the cross-country team instead, which I reluctantly did.
That first year was tough. I was the slowest on the team, almost always finishing last at our multiple-school meets. But as I progressed through high school, I slowly got back into shape. Running actually became fun! Don't get me wrong, I'm no super athlete or anything. But now, going to the gym or going out for a run on campus is enjoyable for me, and I'm happy knowing that I'm doing something good for my body. It took me awhile to get there, but I think I'm finally "in-shape."
I'd love to hear about other people's experiences with this issue, or thoughts in general!