That would be me! Thank you to those of you that participated in the cancer talk poll.
I am so grateful to have the cancer gone yet, it bugs the heck out of me that as a result I have become so deconditioned!! The fact that I was so well conditioned helped me recover sooner but, because of surgery I could not do hip dips, ab crunches, bike or lift any amounts of weights.
I really am a brat about this. I stopped by an older friends house the other day and we sat down at her kitchen island and she said " I love the fact that you say" WHEN I had cancer!" It wasn't "Geez Katie, you've gotten so out of shape!" It was more "I am so glad you are alive!!" How many people with cancer can have as quick and easy a trip to remission? I suspect not many. As an Alpha though I worry because I've become deconditioned that I will approach disability quicker because of it. Am I being reasonable...likely not! As an alpha though one just naturally does worry about such things.
There is one thing I am grateful for second most to the opportunity to be cancer free. The fact, I was interviewed by the Alpha1 Foundation for a feature peice for their website!
I had recently sent an email to someone I graduated high school with. I told her about the interveiw and what the article in Alpha1toOne about Mary Peirce & Shirley Dennis did for me.
I had been diagnosed with Alpha1 for almost 3 years before I foundout that I would have to go on augmentation therapy(which is a FDA approved, rest of your life procedure) because my lungs were in such a severe state of decline. For those first three years I halfway took alpha1 seriously because I really wasn't noticing much difference in what I was and was not able to do. I had begun to see how badly it was affecting my older sister Johanna's quality of life. When I got that report from my pulmonologist I had this perception that all the joy, pleasure and even intimacy was soon to be a thing of the past. I felt like I had unknowingly stepped out in front of a freight train w/ the throttle stuck wide open and about 4 or 5 months later I realized that. I wondered "Did I peel my body off the front of that freight train or did some compassionate strangers?" Somewhere towards the end of the absorption of the effects Alpha1 disease would have on my life that article came.
Mary talked about how Shirley had biked in a long rainy trek with a oxygen tank strapped to her back. She also mentioned that you need to do your part too, in order to fight the disease. That was such an inspiration to me....to inspire another there is not much greater gift another human being can give to another! Hope is the most inexpensive as well as most powerful weapons anyone of us has no matter what we are fighting or going through.
I hope I can pass on the gift of hope that Mary, Henry, Trina, Len and a host of others has given us!! I look forward to being interveiwed by other people/organizations in the future.
The Top10 Things You Should Do If You Test Positive For Alpha1
- Have A List Of Questions When You See a Doctor About Your Alpha1(If you try to remember the questions you want to ask you may forget half of them)
- Learn To Breathe Effectively
- Limit Or Eliminate Your Alcohol Consumption
- Don't Be Afraid To Be Proactive About Your Alpha1
- Get Plenty Of Rest(You will likely have a higher oxygenation level)
- Avoid Sick People(You have a lower immune system than most people)
- Drink Plenty Of Water
- Eat Healthy/Avoid Processed Food(Carbonated beverages)
- Start A Careful Exercise Program/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program(Your muscles will become more efficient so they won't use as much oxygen and if you have surgery you will likely recover quicker as well)
- Stop Smoking