The one where the old habits appear

A Cancer diagnosis can make you very self righteous, virtuous and holier than thou. I will never eat chocolate, succumb to work stresses, work in the evening, fart in an elevator…you getting my gist ?

See the thing is, when you are undergoing treatment you realise the error of your previous ways and have time to prepare fresh fruits, meditate and exercise daily, shake off the daily living sins and live this new healthy way – if you have the energy. Ok maybe it’s more like  after you finish treatment and just before you embark on your journey back into the fast paced world, you have this magical time for all the healthy options and think ha I’ve got my life balanced now, I remember feeling pretty damn good on my yoga mat in the middle of the day with my 5 a day packed beside me …don’t gloat too soon girl !! As sure as the words ‘phased return’ appear and people around you at work start to say, after about a week…’we don’t want to overwhelm you but …’ and proceed to fill your inbox, electronic calendar and post treatment  brain with deadlines, projects, problems, moans…

I’ve been back at work 6 weeks. Officially I’m still supposed to be chugging along on a maximum of 12 hours a week and maybe an hour or two from home. Reality – double that. It’s not down to my boundaries weakening, although they have. It’s not down to immense pressure and deadlines, although they have contributed. It is actually down to old habits. My name is Alison and I AM A WORKAHOLIC. I do enjoy work, I honestly do, I enjoy being busy and perhaps that’s my downfall in life. I’m trying to be 80% in opposed to my previous 110%. But I have noted my packed lunches and healthy snacks are being left at home, my lunch breaks are non existent and tea is poison by choice.

Now dieters often have bad days where the whole cake is demolished and I’m treating this wake up call and blog as just that. To maintain a healthy lifestyle takes preparation and boundaries, oh and forgiveness. So you have a day where you work late into the evening mehhhh let it go, so long as you don’t do every night it’s no big drama.

Recovering from cancer treatment is exhausting. You feel filled with this desire and need to leap back on with life, the pause is removed and you propel yourself forward. Ok, I appreciate that’s not the same for everyone and in fact many struggle with the label and fears and face a different path of finding their feet. I am always in a hurry. I was born early and never slept as a child – my mother’s favourite not !! My energy has always been commented on so it’s hardly surprising that it’s my own energy and enthusiasm that’s tripping me up at times, my feet back in my skyscraper heels that had a cancer career break too.

Right about now I love the fact I feel alive and able to pick up the pace. I broke my flight cherry at the weekend and armed with my soluble aspirin and flight socks feel pretty chuffed that I am insured to board a plane and travel the Europe this summer.

My fitness is growing..Amanda and I smashed our fundraising target for the 13 miles of Moonwalk. It was a massive achievement to cross the finish line after 4 hours of power walking through the cold early hours of a deserted London. Not bad for two chicks in recovery eh ? So high on endorphins we’ve signed up for the full marathon in October, never settle with a simple challenge, always keep raising the bar. I love that about Amanda, she’s up for challenges like me – lord knows what we’ll do after this one !! Actually I do know, she already mentioned it ….London to Brighton…

I’m kicking ass back training at MMA and this weekend get back on the mats. Over a year after my martial arts injury turned out to be the thing that saved me life ultimately. Doesn’t mean I fancy having my other breast torn off grappling though.

We’ve less than a month to Race for Life in London – hitting the park in our Annabel’s Angels t-shirts. The past 6 weeks have been amazing, Annabel’s Angels continues to grow and had it’s official launch in Derby. We’ve had a photoshoot, made a film, there’s been magazine articles, radio interviews, television coverage, I am extremely proud of Simon and all of the Angels for the difference we are beginning to make for people living with cancer.

Cancer is definitely not in the forefront of my mind at the moment, there is no space for it. No time to dwell or worry- just live. Such a good feeling, long may it last.

So maybe my old work habit is  just popping up to remind me of where I don’t want to be and what I need to do to stop myself retreading old ground. Don’t look back…..keep on moving, live your life like it’s golden.

It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.



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