A reflective bike ride

Yesterday I got back on my recumbent bike and went for a bike ride. Once huge advantage to covid stay-at-home orders is that there is significantly less traffic on the roads. It meant that it was much easier for me to ride over to the path I used to walk and ride throughout chemo and the year following treatment.

I found it was a trip down memory lane. The grasses on the sides of the path were overgrown – to the point that they need to be cut to prevent them being a fire hazard – with the warm weather over the last couple of weeks, things are rather dry here.

As my six year anniversary of my diagnosis approaches, the memories start flooding back. This is about the time that I first felt the mass in my left breast. I had not yet realized that it was a lump – rather I associated it with a sore muscle.

After my bike ride yesterday, the soreness in my left breast returned. When it was cancer, it didn’t hurt, it just felt hard. What I’m feeling now is more an ache – perhaps the ache of loss or the ache of memory. It is likely my mind playing tricks on me – reminding me of all the body pains of the past.

It was a lovely bike ride. I made it down to the mammoth for a visit. I also saw a few white egrets in the creek – descendents of the nesting pair that I watched as I walked that path during treatment.

A pair of white egrets in the creek. The grasses by the pathway are very dry!

Every year I find myself wondering, when does this get easier?

  • Becky


  • Biking yesterday I found myself remembering how painful and exhausting it was to ride in the early months of recovery from treatment. That gradually improved. The fatigue slowly resolved until I could ridecfor a couple of hours without sleeping deeply for the rest of the day. But now a ride means a nap afterwards. It’s as if the deep emotion of the time treatment is stirred by the pandemic and by the US now after so many generations facing it’s legacy of racism. I discover that emotion surfacing as I ridE. Perhaps those naps afterward offer some time for release and healing.

    • Hi Nancy,
      You have given me something to think about. For me it has largely been about hiking – anytime I hike I am done for the rest of the day. I can hike and come home and maybe make dinner – although we have discovered that isn’t ideal (my back cannot handle standing after hiking for 2-3 hours). But I also find I have to leave the exercise for the end of the day because I’m mentally and emotionally spent. In part the pandemic adds a layer of stress – but so does the reflection of how things were in the past. I didn’t really hike before cancer – it wasn’t until chemo that I started walking seriously and that translated into hiking. Now I find myself having to plan and I go towards the end of the day because I know that the rest of the day all I will be good for is watching TV while doing puzzles on my iPad (my latest meditative activity).
      Emotions are deep right now and I think that heightened level of emotion affects everyone to some degree, but certainly a lot more for those who are healthy and able to be out there protesting.

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