Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back on my game!

I am 5 weeks post-radiation and have been on Tamoxifen for 2 weeks. It took a couple of weeks after radiation to get my energy back. I realized how tired I felt during the radiation once I started to feel back on my game. My appetite has improved, I now feel hungry, but my weight is still pretty light (I am 10 or so pounds down from pre-cancer weight). I am working on packing in the calories and getting in a solid recovery drink and then meal after longer workouts. I do not want to get any lighter….. I managed to train through my radiation, long slow efforts, and I do believe that I came out of it with a really solid base. I competed in IM St. Croix 10-days post radiation and was very pleased with my effort. I had no idea what to expect, but I went into the race looking at it as a training day and if I had to stop, I would. The swim went very well (4th in AG out of the water), the bike was tough with rain and slick roads, but I just kept my pace under control—made it up the Beast! The run was what I was worried about the most as my longest training runs topped out at 9 miles. We were very lucky that the sun was not out—it was hot and humid, but not too bad. I had a great first 6 miles and then felt a little wobbly, so I just walked the hills and was okay. I was hoping to come in around 6:00 and ended up coming in at 6:11:31, 9th in the AG. All-in-all it was a great day-- I was just happy to be out there competing. My recovery went well from SC and next up was the FS 100 with two of my clients/tri for hospice teammates (Dina was 2nd over all female and Becky won her age group!). As with SC, this race was a training day for us in prep for IM NYC (August 11th). The race was in Washington, NC (very flat) and consisted of a 2 mile swim, 88 mile bike and 10 mile run. Again, I just took it easy and felt even better this day. I ended up the 3rd overall women with a 7:09:19 (57:16 swim, 4:41:09 bike, 1:27:53 run). Feel like my old self again…… Now to get used to the Tamoxifen….. I have heard from other triathletes who have taken it during training and racing and most do not experience any major side effects. I did find out that it is on the USADA (US anti-doping agency) list of banned substances, which is very interesting—need to mention that to my Doc! I have been getting some night sweats which interrupts my sleep, which makes me a bit tired during the day—also have been having a dull headache…. I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow to go over some blood work (taken last week) and discuss the Tamoxifen. I hope that these side-effects are just temporary. I continue to feel very lucky with my diagnosis and treatment and feel very fortunate to be able to continue to do what I enjoy so much….. My Tri for Hospice teammates, Becky, Phil & Dina, and I are off for a 120 mile ride this Sunday and I will enjoy every minute of it—because I can…..


Tara Martine said...

Congrats on your recent races! It was so good to see you the other week at Performance! Keep up the good work and the positive attitude! You are kicking butt in triathlon and in life :)

Sara Pomish said...

I just stumbled across your blog. I'm curious about how you are dealing with the post radiation chest muscle tightness, or hasn't it kicked in yet for you? I finished rads in mid-March and the last few weeks my pectoral muscle or the chest wall is so tight that I have to really work to loosen it up to swim.

David Haas said...

I have a question about your blog, do you think you could email me?

Karen Buxton said...

Hi Sara,
Yes, it has kicked in and it is something that my doc did not mention. I really notice the pec tightness when I swim and it takes a long time to loosen up. I continue to stretch in that area and massage the muscle to help break up the adhesions. I am going to ask my ART guy to see if he can do anything with it. I hope that your recovery continues to go well. Karen