I'm turning 50 in another four months and I didn't like the direction my life, health and shape were going. So I decided to change it.
My knees are already shot and have been for years. By losing weight, I'm hoping to reduce the wear and tear on them, keep my own knees longer, and stave off the knee replacement surgery that the doctors have been telling me since my mid-20s that I would need someday.
Then there's cancer.
There's a history of it in my family. My aunt is a survivor of breast cancer. My mom was a victim of it. My brother's mother-in-law and her sister both have dealt with it. One of the nurses I knew at the hospital (when I worked there) passed away from it shortly before I left my job there. Another nurse is currently fighting it, and one of my sister nurse techs at the time was already a survivor. Other friends have fought and beat this disease. My Sandi is still fighting her fight. And those are all just breast cancer.
Jim's mom's cancer started in her bones. Another current neighbor has been fighting off and on for several years. (I'm not sure what kind he has, but I seem to remember bone marrow transplants, so I'm thinking maybe leukemia?) Another dear friend is fighting brain cancer.
And today I found out that another friend, Victoria Speechley, diagnosed less than a month ago with advanced liver cancer, passed away early this morning. She was part of the vast fan-family I had when I was involved in Highlander fandom and helped run the fan club for the show's lead actor, Adrian Paul. She, too, helped run the worldwide fan club for the show as well as helping with Adrian's charity work.
She had just turned 42 at the end of August.
So here's another reason I'm getting in better shape. Maybe I can't prevent cancer. These days, it truly seems like it isn't so much a question of IF you'll get it as much as WHEN and WHAT KIND.
BUT...if it finds me, I'm going to be in much better fighting shape to deal with it. I'll be stronger and healthier. By keeping my weight down and eating better, I'm working to avoid many of the mid-life health issues that put you on medications for the rest of your life. So if cancer finds me, there'll be fewer chemicals already in my body and messing with my system. I'll have a cleaner slate to start with, so to speak.
I consider myself to be "in training" now so that if, God forbid, that day ever comes, I'll be more ready for the fight of a lifetime.
Aug. 26, 1970 - Oct. 16, 2012