How Running Helped Me Deal with My Breast Cancer Diagnosis

·1 min read
How Running Helped Me Deal with My Breast Cancer Diagnosis
How Running Helped Me Deal with My Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Chad Chisholm

I never would have imagined that nine months after a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, I would be running 13 miles on the rugged trails in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica, this summer.

I was a runner before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which had gone undetected in routine screenings and tests and was caught only after I discovered a lump myself. And I knew the only way to get through the emotional toll of the disease was to get back out there.

Spending my days dashing through that seaside town was a crucial part of my healing journey. Since my surgery left me with limited strength and mobility in my upper body, I relied on my lower body to build strength and gain confidence. After all, I wasn't about to sit around and let cancer break me. (Related: These Women Prove Running Can Help You Get Through Tough Times)

Katherine Han
Katherine Han

Chad Chisholm

So I put one foot in front of the other — at first, walking when I was able to, then fast walking, jogging, and running. And it was during this month-long trip that my body's recovery finally caught up with my mental and emotional recovery.

When I'm running today — about 15 months after my diagnosis — I don't feel sick. I feel strong. When I'm running, I feel powerful. I feel that I can beat this. And even though that 13-mile journey was by far the longest run I've ever gone on, I wouldn't let myself give up. With everything I'd been through with my cancer, I knew I could do anything I set my mind to. (Keep reading: Women Are Turning to Exercise to Help Them Reclaim Their Bodies After Cancer)

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