“I’ll be damned if I am going to remain tired for the rest of my life,” Darya said to herself.
And she meant it.
It wasn’t without trepidation that she made the commitment, however, since she had been tired for a long time and all the side-effects of Lynparza posted on the internet pointed towards this on-going and incurable symptom: fatigue. Who wouldn’t be slightly intimidated by that?
She had been fit throughout her life. She always knew the benefits of cardio and weight-lifting. Expressfit in the Bayfield Mall had been perfect for her work-outs. It was a short walk down the hallway, past the coffee shop, and opposite Canadian Tire. It was a humble gym – run by a former Team Canada hockey player who was, well, FIT. Having never belonged to this sort of gym before, Darya was skeptical at first. It was her decision to lose weight after having a baby at age 40 that forced her down the hall to Expressfit and pay her fee. It was not fun – at first. In fact, it had been downright awful. But she kept going. All by herself. Eventually, she met a new instructor named Vandie. That changed everything. Vandie tailored classes to Darya – which gave her the entertainment she needed. She brought students. They participated. She brought friends. They participated. Eventually, fitness became part of her daily routine and a must to eliminate the stress of work. It was wonderful. Darya was fit!
Sadly, the gym closed. Darya had to find another outlet – Vandie began fitness in her basement and Darya was quick to sign up. So did many of the other ladies who had be loyal followers at the gym.
It was shortly after her mother passed away that Darya fell from fitness. Then she broke her elbow – twice. Same place. Long story.
She had no time to go to fitness between raising three children, caring for her husband, working full time and taking care of her father.
When her father passed away, Darya decided it was time to return to fitness. As it turns out, she had fallen from the top of the fitness chain – to the bottom. That was hard for Darya who had worked so hard to be fit. But, she tried. She worked through the pain in her shoulder (didn’t know what that was), the pain in her abdomen (what was that?), the fatigue (she thought because work required a lot of energy).. and so on.
Then – when she was diagnosed with cancer, she had to quit – once again. Chemo was a bitch that sucked out the life within her. Or at least, it tried to. Darya was, once again, determined. She went to fitness. She started with one riser. No more. She stopped when she had to. She went when she could – once the fatigue, aches, and mania of chemo had passed. She went. And Vandie helped keep her there. It was a mild work-out, but it was a work-out. Darya knew that fitness was a way to help her heal from all the toxins coursing through her body. She kept at it. Then Neulasta hit. It was a drug she had to take to help build up her white blood count – to allow her to continue chemo. The pain was excruciating. She tried to walk through it – but it didn’t work that way. The more she walked, the more pain she was in. Worse than child-birth, she would say.
When chemo ended, she walked to Vandie’s. It was a 45 minute up-hill walk, followed by a 45 minute step class, and a 45 minute walk back home. It was an amazing feeling. She loved it. She felt – almost normal.
The second round of cancer threw her another curve ball. Fitness became, once again, sporatic. She never gave up. Vandie never let her. It just – became more challenging.
Chemo ended. That’s when Lynparza began. She was tired – all the time. She was nauseated. She had head-aches. It wasn’t looking good. But – she kept going to fitness. Eventually, she was less dizzy, had more energy, felt… more normal. And that she was in a remission, although chemically induced, she was elated.
The fatigue continued. It weighed on her like the weight she had gained when she was 40.
She was tired of being tired.
But, she walked. She continued to walk. Darya was slightly stubborn and eternally optimistic that she was going to beat the odds. Of course she was not like everyone else with cancer – she was fit. She was healthy – okay maybe diseased, but other than that she was healthy.
“I’ll be damned if I’m going to be a statistic,” she affirmed as she hopped into the car with her son and husband to try her next fitness adventure: weight -lifting at the gym.
It was hard. She was dizzy. She was winded.
“I need a personal trainer” she realized. And with that, she contacted a former student who she knew would be able to help. She knew she was not going to be able to do this alone.