Sunday, December 03, 2006

Exercise and Thyroid Cancer

First, I added the pictures from yesterday, so scroll down and check them out (not for the faint of heart)!

When I first started this blog, I didn't intend for it to be a blog about thyroid cancer. I wanted to blog about fitness and health and life in general because I love reading other fitness related blogs (some of which are linked on the left) and I found the idea inspiring. Since my diagnosis, I've blogged about my cancer experience, and I plan to write more about it in the future... as well as more about health and fitness! (It's NOT all about the cancer!!) I hope that someone out there going through thyroid cancer will find their way here and that my experience and the links I put up for thyroid resources will help. If you don't know anything about thyroid cancer, you can go here to satisfy an initial curiosity. You can also go here and get a badge for your website to show your support for cancer research.

For me, talking with other survivors helps immensely in dealing with all of the emotions and questions. I found a couple of women who blog about health, fitness and thyroid cancer, (if there are any others out there, please email me and I'll add your link!!) and I even got to speak with one of them before my surgery. Danniela Nichols - IronSunshine - is an amazing Ironman triathlete and thyroid cancer survivor. You can read about her competing in IM Wisconsin last year here, and watch a video interview here. I emailed her and she called me and spoke with me about her experience. It really helps to talk to someone who knows what you're going through, especially if they have the same lifestyle you do. The fact that she is an athlete dealing with thyroid cancer is an inspiration to me, as anyone who's been reading here knows I've been terrified about what having cancer and no thyroid means for my fitness lifestyle.

Danniela told me that I would probably need to start monitoring my heart rate because the thyroid replacement hormone can make your heart rate speed up really fast when you're exercising. I'm not sure if I'm still in the throes of recovery, or if that effect is already taking place for me, but when I was on the step machine at the gym yesterday, my heart rate skyrocketed! I was feeling pretty good, going at a moderate intensity. Not quite what I would have done before, but not real easy either. So I started jacking up the intensity a bit, and my heart rate went up pretty high for me, and stayed up! I had to get off the machine to get it to come back down to a comfortable level. Soooo... I guess a heart rate monitor will be on my Christmas list for those HIIT sessions!

The cardio was good though. I'm still pretty sore in my neck, and I can't quite move my head around freely yet, but I'm going back for some more today! The only problem is that my energy did NOT last the day yesterday. I was done at about 4. So I need to keep the intensity really low this week if I'm going to make it through my work days! I usually work pretty long hours because of the nature of my job, but I'm going to have some projects that are not time-sensitive so I will be able to leave when I want to this week. But I'm hoping to make it to 5 at least!!! And I've got to walk a mile or two (depending) during the day in my commute and at work. I didn't try the weight circuit yesterday, but I'm going to give it a shot today, plus 30 mins of cardio again (no heart rate pegging!).

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, it's true."

1 comment:

ladybugsandbees said...

Michelle - I would advise you check out It will tell you what the doctors will not tell you. You can check out my thyroid cancer journey blog as well I am in the process of completing it. It ends well. I have a wonderful doctor now and am doing things holistically. I am also in school to become a nutritionist. E-mail me - contact e-mail in my blog - if you want to talk.