Fit For Nothing???!! 
Well Madonna was fab! How incredible she is for 50! I did pick up a few ideas Maree…I’m thinking short shorts and fishnets for the launch of the new Pump release. Add an electric guitar instead of a barbell and I feel sure we will be mistaken for Madonna. (I may have to find a blonde wig). What do you reckon Lorna? And should we add some double dutch skipping, Madonna style as well? I think Jane might like to dress up as well – she looks remarkably like Madonna….if you squint through semi-closed eyes after having several drinks…..and she belts out the songs with as much gusto as Madonna (well she certainly hogs the microphone). And I happen to know that her favourite song is ‘Like A Virgin’, closely followed by ‘Give It To Me’…I think she actually co-wrote ‘Hung Up’ because most of her phone calls end that way…..

Well I am knackered from working out too much this week I think but I am running to a very tight deadline. I am feeling quite good at the moment. It is great to be resuming my ‘usual routines’ but it is very frustrating that my hair is growing so slowly that I still look like a cancer patient. I thought I would have enough hair to show by now but it is still very sparse and patchy. Although most chemo patients end up with curly hair after treatment, mine is still dead straight but it is a darker colour than before.

I have an exciting few weeks ahead as I have my Body Attack training, which I think may kill me. In Australia I regularly went to Attack and Body Step and have been desperate to get the programs at Bannatynes. In was a cruel twist of fate, Paul (manager of Banns) had agreed to getting the licence for Attack (after two years of my nagging) and I was booked to go on the training course the week after I was diagnosed . Thanks to Traci and Rosie, Attack was launched on the January timetable, without me, and has been a huge success. It was bad enough to be thrown out of my Pump and freestyle classes so suddenly, but to miss out launching Attack was like a stab in the heart – not that I felt it as I was too busy vomiting and living in a chemo-induced haze….

Anyway, I am now booked on the Attack training course on the 27th and 28th Sept and will have a class on the October timetable – almost one year to the day of my diagnosis. I am unsure whether I am fit enough to survive the training – those of you who have done an Attack class will have an idea of what I am in for; imagine an Attack class for two days solid….

I have been working hard on my CV fitness and think I will be ok but due to the operation I still do not have enough upper body strength to do 5 minutes of press ups yet. I run the risk of lymphoedema if I push my arm too much – it is aching now (but that could be from hitting Jane tonight cause she made a sarcy comment). But when I look back to the first four months of this year, I am motivated to work harder and am quite pleased that 12 months, almost to the day, after my diagnosis I will be teaching Attack. It has been so wonderful to be back teaching Pump (even if I can’t remember the choreography!).

I have booked the RITZ!!! On the 29th of October 2008 Jonathan and I will be sitting in a luxurious restaurant eating sandwiches and cake. On the 29th of October 2007 Jonathan and I were sitting in a small room at the Conquest Hospital listening to a surgeon tell us that I had breast cancer and would need surgery, chemo and radio. I can’t say this past year has gone quickly but I am very grateful to have arrived at the place I have now. There is a lot yet to be done, in terms of my mind and body but I feel pleased I have made it to this point. Someday soon this uphill climb will become less steep and I may be able to catch my breathe and reflect on this past year, but for the moment I plan to rush headlong back into some semblance of a ‘normal’ life. love Deb x
PS Remember bloggers - forget New Year's Eve this year and save yourself for the Bloggers' Bash on the 10th Jan....more on that later.





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How Are Your Bones? 
Hello, hello! Just a quick note to say I am still alive ! I have had some problems with my internet this past week which is ironic really as the children went back to school last Thursday so FINALLY when I might have some time to write….I can’t!

All is fine here. I had a bone density scan today (because the early menopause bought on by the chemo could create a risk of osteoporosis). Fortunately my bone density is good – I just have to keep it that way. The radiographer told me that weight bearing exercise would help maintain my bone density so I told her I would give up knitting and head to the gym.....I am frantically trying to increase my CV fitness because I have a Body Attack class on the October timetable which I am very excited about. I am nearly lifting the same weights as I was in Pump before the op but I have definitely lost fitness. That’s what you get when you have your head stuck in a bucket I suppose….

I am going to see Madonna tomorrow night – yahoo! No, not for a cup of tea at her house, Mum, at Wembly. Looking forward to that.

Kids are all happy back at school – Ali is loving High School and I am quite jealous cause I loved High School myself. Hey Maree, Lorna and I went to London on the weekend for the quarterlies and we did Pump 67 (which is average) as well as BodyJam, BodyAttack, BodyBalance and while Lorna did Combat, I did BodyVive. We had a great time and stayed over in the Docklands then went to Canary Wharf. How is Pump 67 going down over there.

I must get organising our bloggers bash soon.

Will write again on the weekend, love Deb x

BTW my first car was a tiny silver Suzuki Hatch which Dad chose and it was a complete dud – the heads needed replacing so it cost more to fix it then the original purchase price! It was so tiny that it would have been impossible to have any sort of action within those tin can doors unless all appendages were hanging out of the windows! But my first boyfriend did have a Panel Wagon which was pretty cool AND he wore Brut aftershave…..what was I thinking……..

Better stop now, you may think you have tuned in to the Maree/Jane show…

Also....I love the YouTube clip that Mad Dog posted (own up - who are you really?). I think we may have to organise 6 treadmills for the bloggers bash and see if we can choreograph something similar!




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Hello At Last..... 


Hello bloggers! Sorry for the long delay. We have had friends from Oz staying with us and then a week in the Lake District which was fantastic (except for a few rainy days). School holidays now, and with another LOOONNNNGGG four weeks ahead of me things are looking interesting….I put the kids on e-bay yesterday but have had no bids yet…..wonder why? If the weather is good there are loads of options but as it is currently grey and steadily raining, things are looking grim.

The highlight of my weekend was a concert in London to see KYLIE!!!!! Of course she was absolutely amazing so it was a brilliant concert. Which leads me onto a funny story that Maree and Lorna will appreciate the most. Maree’s clever son Elliot has made a great Pump CD with some of mine and Maree’s old favourites (clever because the original Pump releases were only on tape!) Anyway I burnt another CD yesterday ready for my Monday night class with the first few tracks from the Maree/Deb compilation BUT I burnt a Kylie track (Spinning Around) on first so my class members could get set up to the groovy tones of Kylie’s voice before we began the class. Well, we started our warmup and I was commenting on how sad it was that Kylie was not featured on ANY pump release when I thought to myself, this warmup is much slower than the newer releases. It wasn’t until the very smooth transition from deadrows to upright rows that I thought, I don’t remember how many overhead raises there are. But it wasn’t until I headed for the squats that I realised we were all warming up to Kylie’s Spinning Around!!!!!! I just pressed play instead of going to track 2 which was the warmup! What a complete wally I am…..Anyway, the track did lend itself very nicely to a warmup, I managed to include a few lunges then finish quite neatly all things considered…

Back again to finish this – I wrote the first part last week. I did a step and pump class on Saturday morning for Lorna and survived! It was great doing step again. Raining again today – great for the holidays…..and it’s meant to rain all week. At least the Olympics are on so.

Health wise all appears ok. I get a little tired in the day still but generally feel okay. The hot flushes are consistent but not too horrible and if I weigh it up against having no periods then it seems more tolerable. I saw my oncologist last week. She confirmed a blood test shows I am now POST menopausal in terms of hormones but will be experiencing the joy of all symptoms whilst on Tamoxifan for the next 5 years. The good news is that if my periods don’t return, which is unlikely, I will probably not have to have a hysterectomy. Without the oestrogen from my ovaries my mutant fibroid friend should remain harmless.

It is a very weird time though because I have to get my head around the waiting. Waiting for my full health to return, trying NOT to wait for any aches or pains that might be suspicious in terms of secondary cancer and waiting for my brain to register and put in perspective the last 9 months. I am not sure how to go forward, what I should be doing or how I should be doing it. For now I am just trying to get back to ‘normal’. Sometimes I want to immerse myself in every book and report and first hand experience about breast cancer to learn more and work out my own conclusions but other times I don’t even want to hear the words and would rather pretend that nothing has ever happened. I am sure the psychologist in you is nodding and ‘mmmm’ ing. I went to a psychologist a couple of weeks ago but we got off to a bad start because I said, very politely, ‘Don’t think you are going to tell me anything I don’t already know, I’ve read all the books too you know’. Fortunately she carried on and was VERY pleasant and far more knowledgeable than I had anticipated.

I attach my favourite photo of the month. This newest and cutest recruit to BodyPump (if you look closely at his t-shirt you will see the logo) is Michael. His lovely parents, Mike and Sarah were regulars in my Thursday night class so I saw baby Michael develop from a little bump. Then he made his appearance on Jacob’s birthday so he is really a special little boy. Mike and Sarah bought him in to his first class in July when I did a launch of the new release on the same day my radiotherapy finished. ( His pressups were A1 but he really needs to work on those lunges, guys…) Have you ever seen a cuter Body Pumper?

Better go and entertain the zoo inmates – must be feeding time, they are getting restless. See you soon, love Deb x

PS Does anyone else wonder how Maree manages to keep adding entries here whilst virtually LIVING at the cinema and theatre?????
I will add more info about our bloggers bash in the New Year soon...



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Back To The Gym! 
I have just been away on a two day forum for younger women affected by breast cancer – yes, we are still in the minority. Of the 44,300 people diagnosed last year, less than 8,000 were under 45. The forum was organised by Breast Cancer Care and it was just amazing. I learnt more in those two days than I have in the past eight months. It was great to be in the company of people who understand what we are all experiencing and to hear stories, suggestions, ideas, advice that is first hand. It was also great to relax. Not just because I was out of my routine, but because if the ‘stunned rabbit’ effect should occur, I knew no-one would mind. I am not sure whether it is just due to the chemo (there are many reports about forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate after chemo), or due to the psychological impact of being diagnosed and treated for cancer, but often, during my day to day routines I feel overcome with this feeling of helplessness – like a stunned rabbit in the headlights. My mind goes blank; I feel very dazed and teary and can’t perform the simplest of tasks. Yes, Jane, Jill, Lisa, Andi, Jeff, Helen etc. I know there were many moments mid-class when I seemed to develop the ‘stunned rabbit’ effect before my diagnosis, but you know it was all a sham to see if you were concentrating….(The stunned rabbit effect can work very well with partners in conversations like “I thought we agreed we weren’t going to buy a mirror for the living room just yet?”……”Oh really, I can’t remember that conversation…..” The stunned rabbit effect can be infuriating to children, however, especially when confronted with questions like, “Mum, have you seen my school jumper?”……”School jumper?...what jumper?”…) Actually I just read that back and have decided that the word ‘jumper’ is a stupid word – where the hell does that come from hey? Jumper ….is it alive, is it active, why jumper? I will adopt a different word I think. Maybe sweater is good….

Anyway it was an excellent weekend and I came away with a lot more info that will help me take the next steps to ‘wellness’! On that note, I had a great chat to one of their guest speakers, an amazing GP, Dr Emma Pennery, who told me that the latest research shows that those women who exercise have a greater long term prognosis than those who don’t – and not just the recommended three times per week, but more like five or six. This was fantastic news for me because it means I can go back to the Body Attack plans later in the year, in addition to Pump, and not worry that my immune system will be compromised. However, this tiredness will continue for a few months before my energy levels begin to normalise, so I have to pace myself and take things one day at a time. I am so tired most of the time now that I feel dizzy and sick sometimes…and that’s before 9am. No, sadly I am not joking…..

Two weeks ago, I participated in the launch of BodyPump 66 at Banns and it was fantastic to be back. So fantastic that I have agreed to go back to my Monday night class AS OF TONIGHT!!!! Yippee!!!! Of course the good news is that no-one is going to be mean to me even in jest, (well there’s Jane the pain of course), all choreography mishaps will be put down to ‘chemo-brain’ or the ‘stunned rabbit effect’ and I don’t have to do the pushups if I don’t feel like it!!!!! What a great arrangement!

Hello to Hilary and Ned! How fantastic to hear from you – please send me an email so I can reply. Maree, we are all getting pretty excited about your arrival in Jan – must plan a big party and organise our gig at the Ritz. If Mr Bush is not eating, is he fading away in some dark corner somewhere, with nothing to do but listen to football scores? I think you should investigate Maree!
Better go as it must be time for sleep…..See you soon, and to all you Banns people I WILL SEE YOU MONDAY NIGHTS!!! Love from Deb


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