I’ve been away on holiday with my wife to Cyprus for about 10 days and noticed that I seemed to have more energy, I wasn’t falling asleep after meals and I was happy to go for regular swims and walks. Towards the end of my holidays I was happy to drive round the mountain area for a few days visiting some of the Byzantine Painted Churches which are Unesco World Heritage sites. Although we were up the mountain the temperature was still around 30 degrees and the roads not exactly motorways, so it would have been tiring normally but I coped pretty well.
Back in January just walking into York (half a mile) and back would have me wheezing and before my throat infection in July, although I had got back sailing again and was working on my fitness, I was still getting tired fairly easily. If I sailed a couple of races one day, I would sleep well that night and a lot of the next day and not feel like doing much else. But I’m beginning to feel a bit of get up and go and I find I can work through the day and not have a couple of hours asleep in the middle of it which is good.
Initially I put the fatigue down to the fact I had cancer and it was spreading, but I learned that both radiotherapy and chemotherapy cause fatigue which can last up to 2 years in some people. Those nice people at MacMillan explain cancer fatigue better than I do.
I’ve also noticed that I’ve been filling out again; I was getting pretty thin due to having cancer, the treatment for cancer, not eating for 5 days due to the throat infection, not having much exercise for over 18 months etc etc. But I seem to be getting back to my old self (only not as heavy!), my leg muscles have some definition again and I’m back to a reasonable weight; with a few gym sessions and some light sailing I should soon get back to a reasonable level of fitness.
Some of the weight gain may be due to the fact that my diet suffered a bit (OK, a lot) during my holiday. I tried to eat as healthily as I could so had a lot of fish and salads but I couldn’t resist an absolute top quality lamb Kleftico in Polis and on our last day we had lunch in Pedoulas where the restaurant had put on a buffet which contained every traditional Cyprus dish there is! Couldn’t resist. It also turns out that Keo beer is brewed traditionally so I had quite a bit of that as well, also ensuring I had plenty of the well known antioxidant; Cyprus Red Wine. I did manage to continue taking my supplements through the holiday and have had a bit of a de-tox since I got home so I don’t think I’ve done myself too much harm, in any case I was determined not to let my condition get in the way of enjoying our holiday so we’ll put it all down to a mental well being plus.
I’m taking the exercise easy at the moment and will work slowly towards getting fit again, I’ve learned from my last experience of jumping in my dinghy and racing after 4 weeks off as I had another 4 weeks off resting my damaged knee (pulled muscles but nothing torn thankfully). So roll on October’s CT scan and hopefully it will be as encouraging as the last one.
The next thing I’d like to see is my sideboard growing back on the right hand side of my head, then I’ll feel properly normal again!