Cancer Talk #32: A New Milestone

Last year I asked my doctor if I could swim. He said, “sure why not!”

…and then I never got around to actually doing it. The reason behind this is I remember what my physiotherapy said to me back when I couldn’t walk. Remember that? It feels like years and years ago that I was bedridden, unable to move freely and completely dependent on my parents to do the simplest things like getting out of bed, sitting down and going to the loo. Every time I remember it, it freaks me out. I never ever want to experience all that again, it’s too scary.Anyway, one of the things that I feared most during those dark times was not being able to swim again. I have always loved going to the swimming pool. I was basically crap at every other sport but swimming, I was good at that. I could even show off when I felt like it. Swimming made me feel strong and free. When I discussed my concern with my physiotherapist, she gently told me that I might have to re-learn how to swim. I wasn’t really shocked since I was at that time re-learning how to walk, so I responded with a simple “oh”.

Over time, I realised that the possibility of not being able to swim again was just horrendous. I pushed the thought so far behind my mind that I got used to it. I made myself believe that swimming was just not an option for me anymore.

Last year my mum started going swimming regularly and she asked me to join her. I thought her proposal was ridiculous. Me? Swimming? So funny.

She asked me again. And again. And again.

I really wasn’t sure if I could swim so I asked my doctor and his response was positive.

I kept refusing her offer. I was afraid of drowning. I didn’t feel safe in the water. I was afraid to catch some sort of deathly disease. I made up excuses.

Finally FINALLY last week I dared myself. I followed my mum and her friend to the swimming pool at 6.30 AM (!!!).

Photo from here

I was nervous at first. Slowly I made my way to the swimming pool and dipped my feet. The water was not warm but it was not too cold either. I dipped my whole body in, it felt so good to be in the water. I asked my mum to stand next to me as I made my first attempt to swim. The next thing I knew, I was swimming! It was surreal and even my mum was surprised that I could swim normally.

I was really happy that I swam quite fast only to find myself out of breath after several strokes. I guess this is normal since I haven’t swam in almost five years! After swimming for a while I noticed a tugging on my lower back and also my ankles were sore. I took a break and then continued to swim at a slower pace. Eventually the pain went away. I think I was too excited that I forgot to pace myself.

Afterwards I felt great but also EXHAUSTED! I was basically lazing around all day 😀

I slept well that night. Two days after that I swam again and I was able to control my breath more.

Often it is easy for me to dismiss the things my body went through. This lack of appreciation leads me to complaints on how mundane my life has become. This event has definitely made me realised how far stronger my body is than two years ago and that there is a lot to be grateful for. From now on I will be doing swimming and yoga, I think it’s going to be good to alternate between the two. I am beyond excited!

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11 thoughts on “Cancer Talk #32: A New Milestone

  1. Yayyyyyy glad to hear the whole story, Gik! Gw kirain bakal ada drama kelelep or something muahahahaha but guess you’re a swimmer who used to show off, jadi masih jago lah yaaaa :*

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  2. Yay Aggy! Glad to hear this progress. Swimming is still a daunting task for me, but that’s more on the psychological side haha, but I remember when I could run again after operation last February, it felt so good to be back, I can’t quite compare with your experience of course, but it feels good to be back like “normal” again, whatever normal is….

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    • Yea exactly! It felt amazing to be doing something I would’ve normally done in the past. I’ve been swimming since I was a kid and always loved being the water, relieved that I can still do it!

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    • Yes! Sometimes I get impatience with doing things “one step at a time” but I can see now that it was all really worth it. the physiotherapy, exercise, yoga – it all adds up at then end 🙂

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  3. Great news Gy, good on you!! Tell me about swimming, one of my boys is a competitive swimmer and oh my Lord, the training at 5am 5/6 times a week is killing me, not because I have to swim but gotta get up for him take him etc etc. But he likes it so all I can do is to support him. Yoga and swimming is a good combination so keep doing it👍🏻👍🏻 Take care. x

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    • I remember when my mum used to take me for swimming practices. Even though it wasn’t as intense as yours, but she was always busy preparing me for this and that. In the end it made me a better swimmer though and I love doing it until now 😁 Go swimmer mum! ☺️☺️ Thank you mbak xx

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