How Did Your Cancer Battle Go in 2018? Mine Was a Mess!
I’m heading into my 15th year as a prostate cancer survivor and I do pretty much everything I can to keep my immune system at its peak for recurrence prevention. At least I try.
This post is about my personal 2018 cancer battle plan. If you’ve read any of my past posts, you know I constantly talk about the importance of exercise and good eating habits. In 2018 I talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. Here’s what happened to me and some pointers that may keep you from falling into the sinkholes that snagged me last year.
I was doing well until mid-2017 when work began picking up and the time I had available for exercise shrank. Then I made some “not so smart” lifestyle decisions.
- I slacked off on my bicycling. My mileage dropped from 1,683.28 miles in 2017 to just 1,297.95 miles in all of 2018. That’s a 23% drop and it showed on the scales.
- Next, I toyed with a number of different weight loss programs: ketogenic – too strict for my wife and me to adhere to; high fat, low carbs – gosh I love cheese and bread; intermittent fasting – I really wasn’t good at this.
- I got hooked on two TV series and slacked off on my walking in the evening, as well as my bicycling and strength training.
- Bottom line: I cut my exercise time and began regularly eating foods that had been on my strictly “once in a while” list. Ouch!
My 2018 health results:
- I gained 2.6 pounds in 2018. My target end weight for December 31, 2018, was 155 lb. I ended the year at 163 (I’m 5’10”). That was my weight when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2002.
- My A1C is up
- My cholesterol is slightly up
- My BMI is up
- And my percentage of body fat is T 24%
- GOOD GRIEF!
Here’s why this matters to this cancer survivor [Me! and maybe you]:
- Healthy eating provides the nutrients your immune system needs to beat cancer [read vegetables and some fruits]
- Recent research has established a clear link between diabetes and cancer risk. My A1C is right on the borderline of pre-diabetes. Not a great place for a prostate cancer survivor to put himself.
- Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for cancer. Even at 163, I’m on the cusp of being overweight.
The In’s and Out’s for My 2019 Cancer Prevention Battle Plan:
My “Outs” for 2019
- Alcohol – out (mostly)
- Cheese – out (mostly)
- Nightly TV – out (mostly)
- Bread and pasta – out (I’m really going to work on this)
My “Ins” for 2019
Zwift – more in
Weight training – at least 1/week
Riding to the antennas above San Pedro
Weekly blog report
Walking in the evening after dinner!
Beating Cancer Resources
I’ve put links to some of my favorite resources in the right column and I’ll be adding more. My key exercise tools are cycling and walking. I use the Zwift indoor virtual program in the morning before work. A 30-40 minute ride before breakfast jump starts my system and gives me some time to watch TED presentations.
I connect all of my activities to my Strava.com account. I love Strava because it integrates all of my activities and shows me how well I’m doing against my own previous times and against others in my age group. This is both accountability and competitive incentive. I love it.
Then there’s myn Wahoo Kicker bicycle desk. I use this on for virtual training with Zwift on the patio in the summer and in the garage in the winter. It holds my iPad Mini and telephone so I can get work done while I exercise. Stress reduction?
Below are what I call my anti-cancer ‘weapons’ because I’m an Army guy and I think of my relationship with my cancer as an all-out war that I don’t intend to lose!
Beat Cancer With Us in 2019
If you’re a cancer survivor, or someone supporting a cancer survivor, I invite you to join the Cancer Journeys Foundation’s 2019 Anti-cancer Bicycling Program.
Just register at Strava.com [you can register for free] and join our group at Strava.com/clubs/CancerJourneysFoundation
Cancer is a tough enemy. But we don’t need to let it win!
Robert Hess is an entrepreneur, business owner, CEO, senior executive coach, startup company advisor, and passionate cancer advocate. He is a 15+ year prostate cancer survivor dedicated to ending prostate cancer and helping cancer survivors have the possible possible quality of life. You can find him autocrossing or tracking his Mazda Miata, covered in cancer awareness messages; racing his Serenity in the velodrome; or walking and hiking with his wife. Earlier in life he had the honor of leading soldiers in the US Army – they even let him fly helicopters for a few years. Connect with him on LinkedIn @ RobertWarrenHess.