Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Nordic Walking and Breast Cancer

I loved running, it gave me something to aim for something to achieve.

When I was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer in 2009 I was ready to run my first 10K race but with surgery and 12 doses of chemo, I was unable to realise my ambition.

The bruising caused by the biopsy and then the operation which although was a lumpectomy given the size of the lump and breast reconstruction using tissue from my other size left me not only with painful surgery scars but trauma on both breasts. This meant that moving was painful for many weeks.

After my first lot of chemo I felt OK so I gave a short run a go..... I was laid up in bed for days afterwards.

The build up of chemo then made me feel worse and worse each time.

The long and short of it was that after cancer treatment I was the unfittest I have ever been in my entire life.

I wasn't going to let cancer beat me though and I focused on getting my first 10K under my belt which I did at the end of 2010 and raised nearly £800 for a cancer charity Love Hope Strength Foundation.

At that point in my life I had received radiotherapy to my breast, I had received 18 lots of herceptin and had been on tamoxifen for a year. This is when everything went to pieces. My back became incredibly painful and by the end of 2011 I was unable to run - even walking was a problem.

At the start of 2012 I was diagnosed with a new breast cancer in my other side. Surgery, radiotherapy and a change in my hormonal treatment.

Through trial and error with pain relief I eventually found a solution which was workable and last month I began a course of physiotherapy working on strengthening my core.

I realised that running wasn't an option for me at this particular time in my life, I needed to get my core strong first. Also, my CT and MRI scans revealed a crack in my back which although an old injury with the drugs I am taking now - Zolodex to put me into a false menopause and Letrozil to suppress oestrogen give me the risk of osteoporosis.

I became very down, depressed and frustrated. I really really did need to run, I needed something to aim for.

This is when I discovered Nordic walking.

I contacted Nordic Walking UK and found myself a lovely instructor and went on a taster session.

Its amazing!

It makes you walk correctly so it promotes good posture and it really does work your core muscles.

It uses more muscles than running does and can induce the runners high that I so miss.

I feel invigorated and hopeful for a new and fitter future.

I have purchased a "cheap" set of Nordic poles and once the children are back at school I am looking forward to putting a training plan in place.


  1. Just what I needed to thank you for doing a post about the Nordic've got me intrigued now Sara. It looks like what I need and this could even carry over into winter (if we ever have a good amount of snow again!) into cross country skiing. I like that it makes you walk correctly with proper posture -- that would help my muscles and core too. I'm off to check this out here and see what I can find!!!

  2. Fantastic that you have found Nordic. I have been a fan since October 2011 and can testify that it makes you use all your muscles. all the best!


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