I have always found that we are most successful in life when we have a goal to work towards. This lesson can be applied to almost every aspect of our lives. In my past I have always been most succesful when I have been focused on something. I think it is because by focusing on something it gives us that extra motivation when we need it.
On the way back to Trillium Hospital from my diagnosis at Princess Margaret I actually set a goal for my journey. While lying in the stretcher in the back of the transfer ambulance leaving Toronto the only site I could see was the CN tower out the back window. It was then that I decided that I would climb the CN tower before the end of 2011. I have looked into it and there are only 2 times a year that I would have the oppurtunity to climb once in April and again in October. Each time is for a different charity. My intention though is to give the charity the minimum amount to get registered and then fundraise on my own for Leukemia research. So look out in the future for more information. Unfortunately I can't select a date because it will be very dependent on when I will be getting my transplant.
In the meantime I have begun to train for my journey up the Tower. Right now I am just focusing on building my strength and endurance. I have 5 different activities that I will alternate to do this: a 45 min Kempo karate workout, going for walks, bike riding, roller blading, and stair climbing. I will use the kempo karate, roller blading, and biking to build up my endurance and aerobic capacity. The walking will be nice for days when I don't have as much energy but will still enable me to stay active. And finally climbing the stair case in my building will be the event specific training to build up my strength for the 500m ascent up the CN tower. I think it is somewhere between 120 and 140 flights of stairs that I will have to climb. This Monday I actually started my training and climbed the stairs in my building. I actually surpised myself and was able to climb 35 flights of stairs! Only a little more to go. :)
The reason I am sharing this with you is because I think goal setting is a really important thing to do whenever someone is going through cancer. I have found it gives a purpose to keeping active (and everything I have read is that physical activity is really important to cancer recovery). But someone's goal doesn't have to be a physical challenge. I have just chosen that because physical activity has always been an important part of my life. But I have also taken up the hobby of photography. It gives me a reason to get out of the apartment and see the world in a different manner. I hope to become a much better photographer as the summer progresses. And you can see my progress as the week goes along. Just be sure to check out http://aaronofford.blogspot.com/p/pictures-of-week.html
I think the important thing for a cancer patient is finding goals and hobbies that keeps your mind active and focused. It is very easy to sink into a very isolated lifestyle which would make it very easy to slip into a depression of some kind. My advice is get out there and enjoy this beautiful world. We were given the gift of re-examing our lifestyle and the time off work for a reason. Let make sure we make the most of it!
Talk to you soon