I just finished at the gym for the first time since the biopsy. I knew it wouldn’t be a big deal. Even though I feel the soreness again after the workout, I didn’t notice it at all while in the pool. Because I have rheumatoid arthritis, swimming is really the best exercise that I can do. I was swimming very regularly. Even though I’m still very overweight, at least I knew I was keeping blood pumping to my heart; plus, I find swimming to be very meditative, so it helps me mentally too.

I’m regretful that I didn’t swim at all last semester. I tried to do it at 5am so that I could then make my 1.25 hour commute and get to work by 8. But I found I was falling asleep in the car. It just wasn’t practical. Once the semester ended, I came back to the gym. And, once I had the mammogram in December, I was determined to swim as much as possible so that I could get my upper body and core as strong as possible before the surgery. I know I will probably need to do a lot of exercises after the surgery to get my upper body back in shape. So, I figured getting it stronger now would be a good move. Too bad I really started way too late, because now I only have about a month to get some work done.

Swimming also makes me think about what it would be like to not have reconstruction. I do not envision myself shelling out hundreds of dollars for mastectomy swimsuits, when all those are going to do is make other people feel less uncomfortable. It’s one thing if I were going to a swim club to lay around – I might feel uncomfortable. But at the gym, I really don’t care. The people in the locker room already see my saggy boobs, flabby stomach, cottage cheese ass. What’s the difference if now they see me flat chested?


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