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My Gym Encounter – of the worst kind

By Leesa Gabel

Today was my second day in a row that I swam a half mile!! After my swim this morning, I was feeling good and upbeat. That is until I encountered a woman who had been hit by a stupid stick!

She was there in the locker room with her young daughter. The daughter pointed at me and asked her mom, “Why doesn’t that woman have any hair?”¬† The woman glanced my way briefly, turned toward her daughter and told her, “Oh, she’s dying from cancer.”

What the….!?!?!?

I stood there a moment, not believeing what I had just heard. I made eye contact with the young girl. I smiled, she smiled back. I grabbed my gym bag and walked over to them. I leaned down, looked the girl in the eye and told her, “You’re mom is wrong sweetie, I’m not dying from cancer, I’m living with it….” I stood up, looked the woman in the eye and finished my sentence….”and doing great, thank you very much.” I turned and walked out.

I can’t begin to describe how hearing her words made me feel. Especially after I just finished swimming a half mile. So many people think that a person with cancer is a victim. I’m here to tell you that all those people are wrong! We’re called survivors for a reason. Because that’s what we’re doing….surviving!! Even thriving, despite the disease we live with.

That’s why I do what I do….boot camp,¬†biking, running, walking, swimming…so that I can show others that even with cancer, you can!



Day 14

By Leesa Gabel

I’m on Day 14 of my chemo cycle. This has been the worst by far. I even lost my eyebrows and eyelashes this time. But I’m happy to report that I’m actually starting to feel better. I think it’s because I’m getting out and being active. Although I miss being as active as I was before…..going to boot camp, biking 20-50 miles a week. Sometimes I think that staying active is the key to getting through the chemo, other times I wonder if my doctor is right in telling me to take it easy so the drugs can work better. Regardless, chemo sucks…’s a necessary evil, but it still sucks!