Apologies yet again for the lack of blogs. I’d merrily write every day but I suspect you don’t want to hear about my daily TV viewing, my current crush on Boxer in White Lines, or what I’ve cooked for tea whilst trying to resist drinking wine every night.
However, I do think you want to know about THE TRAMPOLINE. Yes, said fancy trampoline arrived and OH literally could not wait to assemble it. I’m sure he was looking forward to hysterical laughing fits over the various comedy injuries I was about to sustain.
For those of you wondering why I would want to put myself through this, it is apparently incredibly good for moving fluid through your lymph system. Because so many of my lymph nodes have been removed due to the melanoma, I have developed lymphedema in my left leg. That means that my leg swells at a fairly alarming rate every day. Cast your minds back to when we were allowed to fly and sometimes your ankles would swell on the flight (or in the heat of the holiday after too much alcohol – so I hear!!). My left leg does this every day and can become really quite sore as the skin stretches. It’s also tiring as it feels so damn heavy.
So that’s the joy of lymphedema & I have basically decided I will do everything I can to alleviate it.
Just to be clear – me & exercise are not close buddies, we’re not even acquaintances. I had a brief spell of visiting a gym when I was single in my 30s. But that was more about putting on the leggings, prancing about for a while and then lounging in the sauna. I soon packed it in when OH suggested we might want to attend the gym together! There was even talk of me picking up weights! He didn’t know me back then.
Anyhoo, I digress. There are different exercises that can be done on the trampoline. You can go hell for leather, bouncing for a solid 20 minutes. I recommend this is done in private. A beetroot face and sweat pouring off you is never a good look. You can also do a more gentle exercise where you place your hands over different areas of your body – your spleen, your liver, your heart & notably your lymph system. Again this takes about 20 minutes of gentle bouncing, but you really do feel refreshed after it.
I know the answer you all want to know. Has there been any accidents – either of the injury variety OR the embarrassing type. Well I am happy to report that, other than discovering you must wear a sports bra, no injuries have been sustained and no embarrassing mishaps either.
The next thing I’m going to tell you is probably the most shocking. I have been swimming in the sea! Even though swimming is about the only vaguely sporty thing I can do, I would never have thought I would have the confidence to swim in the sea.
I mean the sea – actually it’s the Atlantic Ocean – it’s huge, it’s magnificent, it’s a little bit terrifying. But, again, I have been told it will do wonders for my lymphedema. The actual lapping of the water against your skin encourages the lymphatic fluid to move.
With that goal, we trotted off to the beach on Saturday. Here in Kerry we’ve not been blessed with the amazing weather a lot of you have been having, but I’d made up my mind I was doing this. OH had already said he wouldn’t be doing it so he was like I usually am at a funfair – left with the coats & bags. I had decided I would wear my swimming costume and a t-shirt as I only intended to go waist deep. I also thought I would freeze, turn blue, die of hypothermia- you know, nothing too dramatic.
It turned out that the minute I was in, I wished I’d left the t-shirt behind. It was AMAZING! It is so exhilarating. The waves roll at you and slap you on your body. Even though it’s loud it’s both exciting and peaceful at the same time.
When I came out, not only was I not cold or blue or hypothermic, I was buzzing. I didn’t need the thick fleece I’d brought with me. I felt alive.
The following day the sun decided to visit Co Kerry and we headed to the beach again. This time I didn’t bother with the t-shirt, straight in with just my cossie. The water was actually warm. I don’t mean just in random places where someone might have had a tinkle – come on, we’ve all done it (although OH insists he never has) – this was actually bliss on my skin.
I have no idea if all of this is having the desired result. I’m only just starting out. But I do know that whilst Mr T & Mr M are still kicking my ass every now & then, I finally feel like I am taking back control of my body.
OH is being pretty smug about the whole exercise thing being good for me – he’s about a millimetre away from saying I told you so. Time is ticking on and June will be here soon when it will be scan time to make sure nothing else has spread anywhere.
I can totally see how people become addicted to sea swimming. The sea has always been a magnet for me so maybe it was just waiting for me to discover it properly.
Here are a few snaps OH took. Probably not my most glamorous look but I hope they capture my joy
As an added bonus, I won €20 on the euro millions on Saturday – put that positivity out to the Universe and it responds. Obviously, a couple of extra zeros on the end would’ve helped but a win is a win!!! Stay safe.