The good news is that I am well enough to go back to the gym.

The bad news is that I am well enough to go back to the gym.

As you might guess, going to the gym is not my favorite activity. I have always looked for reasons to put off my visits, and my surgery, radiation, and chemo were a fine excuse.

I never really got the idea of exercise. I think of it as a guy thing. It’s not as if I’m in training for a competition. I just want to walk without falling and, if I do fall, I want to be able to pick myself up. My children think I am better equipped to write about falling, and I agree—the scars on my knees tell the story of where I have been and where I have fallen.

But after years of prodding, I finally gave in and joined a gym (not unlike the one in these pictures at right). One of the trainers there seemed to appreciate that I am not terrifically coordinated and set up a nice, easy series of machines for me to use: the elliptical track for 15 minutes, as well as weight-based machines to strengthen my legs and try to build some upper body muscle. My granddaughters are both softball pitchers and they laugh when I flex. Then they show me what real upper arm muscles look like.

There was a period of time when I was taking stretch classes with the hope that one day I could bend over and touch my toes. Then came the surgery.

It was open abdominal, not laparoscopic. Which means a longer recovery and oops, there went the gym and touching my toes. I put my membership on hold. I finished radiation in August of last year and chemotherapy ended in October. November and December were filled with tests and scans, as well as doctors appointments. And then, of course, the holidays. I developed neuropathy in my feet as a result of the chemo. The medication was finally regulated so that I was pain free, but I was unable to wear socks or anything on my feet but UGGS.

All of which became reasons not to restart my membership at the gym.

Then the oncologist said it was okay to start up again. And here I am, once more on the elliptical track. In my UGGs—quite a sight. I am gradually increasing my time on the machines. I’m seeing a physical therapist who says he will get my feet working again and help me stretch out the scar tissue in my stomach so that I can touch my toes.

I can dream, can’t I?

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