M09 — March 2012 — The Long Race: Beating Cancer
Intro: It's one thing to want to tackle a marathon. It's entirely another to train for one while going through treatment for breast cancer. Dennis Douda introduces us to one such marathon runner for whom the challenge of getting ready was also about getting well.
"When you have a cancer diagnosis, or an advanced diagnosis, everything in your life starts to unravel."
For Cynthia Cycon, long-distance running is a perfect metaphor for being a breast cancer survivor. Getting there is accomplished one step at a time.
"It's very important, whether you're running a marathon or going through chemotherapy, to not think too much. It's important to focus on what you're trying to do right then and keep doing it."
"I can recommend that anyone you know who's making the cancer journey have a bun-cologist."
Along the way, Cycon has found that others are inspired by her experiences. She talks about why she runs so tenaciously … and about her diagnosis in 2010, which doctors in her hometown of Chicago repeatedly missed for over a year.
"You have to be your own advocate."
"This tumor could have been seen if one simple different view had been done in mammography."
The latest scans show she is cancer-free. Moving forward is about … moving. A recent survey of Mayo cancer patients found that doctor-approved exercise decreases fatigue and boosts mood. Cycon's oncologist told her … if you want to run, run.
"And time and time again, it turned out that I actually felt better if I stuck to my normal activity than if I just sat on the couch and wallowed in my discomfort."
For Cynthia Cycon, this seems to be the right medicine.
For Medical Edge, I'm Dennis Douda.
Of course, always check with your physician before starting an exercise program.
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