Back to Cathe after 6 years off (and several setbacks)- warning, LONG but hopefully worth a read

andreadaile

Cathlete
This past week was huge for me.

I did FOUR workouts from LITE.

I have had the LITE set since it first came out, and had attempted a couple of workouts from it, but I struggled mightily and hadn't been able to complete one until this week.

Some backstory-
I've been doing Cathe workouts since 2005, and have pretty much the entire collection short of some of the early ones like the Get in Shape for your wedding and also I don't have CrossFire/To the Max but I think everything else. Anyway, I had been doing her workouts for years, completed STS, was able to do that insane x10 workout, you name it, no issues. Then in 2015 we moved across the country and had to go from a good sized home to a 2 bedroom apartment and I just started doing yoga as that was easy in a small space. We never were able to get the house we thought we'd be buying, and after a couple of years in the apartment we got a good opportunity and moved back across the country. OK. Now we got our house, I have space, I keep ordering what she's put out in the meantime and...I can't do the workouts. ICE comes out, it's too difficult for me. LITE comes out, I'm excited, and it's too difficult for me. I start doing Jessica Smith Walk the weight off in January of 2020. Those are challenging but I can do them until my shoulder starts talking to me. After a few weeks the doctor tells me to stop working out for a while. My shoulder freezes up completely. I cannot work out. Not Yoga, not Cathe, nothing. I'm taking 2-3 Aleve daily, Tylenol too, going to PT 2-3 times a week, getting acupunture, massages, spending all my money and this shoulder is just stuck. My dog passes away. Covid lockdowns begin the following day. I am one sad, pathetic, out of shape mess. I'm fatigued. My hair is falling out. I hurt everywhere, especially this strange right hip pain.

By July of 2020 I was doing a bit better and found Classical Stretch. It was just what my frozen shoulder needed and it started to improve, and my hip felt better too. I did the workouts almost daily, but was still taking a lot of Aleve. In October I had my yearly doctor appointment and was found to have a very, very slight anemia. I work in a hospital lab and am kind of obsessed with my lab results, but this was so slight I didn't give it a second thought. Luckily my doctor did, had me come back in for more testing, and it was discovered that my Ferritin levels (iron storage indicators) were extremely low (8.2. Normal is 50-150 and optimal is really closer to 200).

Thinking that I must have some internal bleeding, she referred me for a colonoscopy and an upper GI. Not wanting to go through ALL THAT, I assured her that I wasn't having any GI symptoms, I was sure it was just the Aleve making my stomach bleed, how about we just hold off while I take some iron pills and stop the Aleve. OK, we'd try that. In December I got my levels tested again and my ferritin was up slightly to 16. DOUBLE what is was so it seemed like quite an improvement! She said continue the pills and we'd check again in March.

One thing about the iron pills was that they really caused issues for me- to the point that I carried spare underpants. I was still absolutely, freaking exhausted, even worse than before. My hair had fallen out to the point that I just cut it all off. I could barely get through my day let alone even think about working out. The Classical Stretch was even too much sometimes- and it's just 22 minutes of easy, gentle movement. When I got my levels checked in March, they were right back where we had started, Ferritin was 9, I felt awful, so I agreed to the colonoscopy. Also I started getting weekly iron infusions which absolutely helped.

I went into my colonoscopy on April 6th just ready to get this overwith and get on with my life. The infusions had me feeling better and I was just sure they weren't going to find anything. WELL...guess what happened. They found something. At 49 years old, before insurance would even pay for my screening colonoscopy (they just changed that to 45 by the way), they found a tennis ball sized tumor in my right colon that had been growing for maybe 10-20 YEARS. It was bleeding. It was right in the little bowl created by my right hip. It was causing me all sorts of problems. It was CANCER.

I had surgery on April 21st to have half of my colon and a little bit of my small intestine removed. Pathology revealed it somehow, magically, was Stage 1. No chemo. I felt better IMMEDIATELY. I began walking as much as possible after surgery and doing Classical Stretch as soon as I could. I did a little bit of Jessica Smith. I did some FIRM workouts. I did some of Cathe's beginner step and weights workouts. And then, this week, I decided I felt better. I busted out the LITE workouts.

Sunday was Cardio Party. SO MUCH FUN!
Monday, Upper Body Stacked sets and you know what, my shoulder felt great!.
Tuesday, Lower Body Stacked sets. WHAAAT I was able to do a Cathe lower body workout without dying?
Wednesday I was sore so it was a classical stretch day and a walk.
Thursday, back on it with Pyramid Pump upper body. I used 2-5 pound weights but you know what? It was a challenge and felt amazing.
Friday, Rev'd up Rumble. I am so happy and proud of myself at this point!

I'm now 17 weeks out of surgery, 17 weeks out of cancer. 17 weeks of sheer gratitude for amazing doctors and 17 weeks of taking great care of ME. I can't wait to see where I am in 17 more weeks :)

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. And, if you haven't done it, get that colonoscopy scheduled!
 
Last edited:

weener

Cathlete
I'm happy the cancer was found early, and you are on the mend. Colonoscopy's and mammograms are important. At 50 (I'm 61 now) I went in for a mammogram and cancer was found. It wasn't a lump but a spot - pre-invasive cancer. I went through radiation, no chemo. At 51 I got a colonoscopy. I had to go back 8 months later for another one. I've had 4 so far. No cancer - thank goodness.
 

firemedic

Cathlete
I'm so glad that they found it early and you are on your way to getting better. I had a similar issue when I was 19-20yrs old with lots of abdominal pain. Went through lots of tests and was told to see my gyn because they thought it was ovarian cysts. Gyn said no, you need a colonoscopy. Saw a gastroenterologist and had on done and at 20 yrs old, they removed 3 polyps. I've been having colonoscopy's done every 7 yrs or less since then and I just turned 47 and am still clear as of 2019. I thank god every day that these polyps were found because I have no doubt that they would have turned into cancer since colon cancer runs in my family. I now have other health issues, mostly a very rare auto immune disorder, that is now affecting 4 different areas of my body. The latest 2 being my eyes, blurry vision, and my ears, scar tissue has grown over my ear drum and now am partially deaf in one ear and it's happening to my other. Nothing they can do about it. Been on steroids for nearly 20 yrs and have the "buffalo hump" to prove it. I work out because I'm trying to stay as healthy as possible plus it really does make me feel better. I love Cathe's workouts so much and everyone here on these forums. I hope you continue to get stronger everyday. Best of luck.
 
Wow! What an incredible story, andreadile! So happy for your recent super improvements in your health! Good for you for getting that colonosopy (I am having my 4th next month as I am a 'polyp maker'), for sticking to a fitness routine when you could, for selecting a variety of workouts that met your changing needs, and for persevering through it all! This is an important cautionary tale/wake up call for us all to stay vigliant about caring for our health and also a wonderfully optimistic and positive message that shows we can often improve our quality of life, health and keep our spirits up when we take ownership for our health and fitness. Thank you! Hope you continue to feel great in the weeks and months to come!
 

andreadaile

Cathlete
I'm happy the cancer was found early, and you are on the mend. Colonoscopy's and mammograms are important. At 50 (I'm 61 now) I went in for a mammogram and cancer was found. It wasn't a lump but a spot - pre-invasive cancer. I went through radiation, no chemo. At 51 I got a colonoscopy. I had to go back 8 months later for another one. I've had 4 so far. No cancer - thank goodness.
Christina- I had slacked on getting my mammograms but the same doc who got me in for the colonoscopy has also been able to get me in for my mammograms each of the past three years and I'll definitely be there with bells on each year in the future, especially now that they have the 3D ones with higher resolution and less radiation. Win-win, right?
 

andreadaile

Cathlete
I'm so glad that they found it early and you are on your way to getting better. I had a similar issue when I was 19-20yrs old with lots of abdominal pain. Went through lots of tests and was told to see my gyn because they thought it was ovarian cysts. Gyn said no, you need a colonoscopy. Saw a gastroenterologist and had on done and at 20 yrs old, they removed 3 polyps. I've been having colonoscopy's done every 7 yrs or less since then and I just turned 47 and am still clear as of 2019. I thank god every day that these polyps were found because I have no doubt that they would have turned into cancer since colon cancer runs in my family. I now have other health issues, mostly a very rare auto immune disorder, that is now affecting 4 different areas of my body. The latest 2 being my eyes, blurry vision, and my ears, scar tissue has grown over my ear drum and now am partially deaf in one ear and it's happening to my other. Nothing they can do about it. Been on steroids for nearly 20 yrs and have the "buffalo hump" to prove it. I work out because I'm trying to stay as healthy as possible plus it really does make me feel better. I love Cathe's workouts so much and everyone here on these forums. I hope you continue to get stronger everyday. Best of luck.
I have a few other issues as well- 3 holes in my heart (that is what got me working out in the first place!), a congenital fusion in my cervical bones that causes pinched nerves in my left arm, and after surgery I discovered I have slight lymphedema which is VASTLY improved with diet, exercise, and compression leggings.

***By the way*** Can I go ahead and recommend compression leggings for everyone? OMG, they make such a difference in my energy level, especially when I do 12 hour shifts at work. They are absolutely magical and really help when working out or walking. I seriously can not wait for the 95-100 degree days to go away so I can get back to taking long walks outside wearing my compression leggings! My favorite are the Solidea brand, but they are really pricey at over 100 bucks a pair. Probably why they are my favorite :)

I'm so glad that we have Cathe and her amazing workouts to give us something to feel better and look better and just have something to look forward to most every day (some days, ehhh not so much lol). I hope to be able to stick with it and stay active on here as well as with my workouts. And I'm SO glad they found your polyps. Because yep...those polyps don't stay polyps for long.
 

andreadaile

Cathlete
Wow! What an incredible story, andreadile! So happy for your recent super improvements in your health! Good for you for getting that colonosopy (I am having my 4th next month as I am a 'polyp maker'), for sticking to a fitness routine when you could, for selecting a variety of workouts that met your changing needs, and for persevering through it all! This is an important cautionary tale/wake up call for us all to stay vigliant about caring for our health and also a wonderfully optimistic and positive message that shows we can often improve our quality of life, health and keep our spirits up when we take ownership for our health and fitness. Thank you! Hope you continue to feel great in the weeks and months to come!
I feel like a completely new person. :)
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
Amazing story. wish you the best! My DH has a terrible family history for colon cancer. Many people died from it, and several because, even tho they had symptoms, they would not get screened. paid the ultimate price. DH gets his colonoscopies without complaining and usually has a polyp or two. once you know, you can take appropriate action if you think like a mature adult and face things rather than living in denial. it is so nice to hear your team of doctors get credit for their care and followup. everyone working together.
 
Last edited:

rcsaros

Cathlete
What a great story, glad your doctors kept at it and you had the colonoscopy. I was 50 with my first one and they found 4 polyps, would have been cancerous but they got them out. had to go back three years later and nothing found, so now I am on the five year plan. Breast cancer runs heavy in my family so I get the digital mammogram and breast MRI every year.
 

jillybean

Cathlete
Congratulations, Andreadaile! Your story is amazing and inspiring!!! So great you are healthy enough to workout again, as it truly sounds like you missed it and enjoy doing it. You have so much to be proud of!!!!!
 

Cathe Friedrich

Administrator
This past week was huge for me.

I did FOUR workouts from LITE.

I have had the LITE set since it first came out, and had attempted a couple of workouts from it, but I struggled mightily and hadn't been able to complete one until this week.

Some backstory-
I've been doing Cathe workouts since 2005, and have pretty much the entire collection short of some of the early ones like the Get in Shape for your wedding and also I don't have CrossFire/To the Max but I think everything else. Anyway, I had been doing her workouts for years, completed STS, was able to do that insane x10 workout, you name it, no issues. Then in 2015 we moved across the country and had to go from a good sized home to a 2 bedroom apartment and I just started doing yoga as that was easy in a small space. We never were able to get the house we thought we'd be buying, and after a couple of years in the apartment we got a good opportunity and moved back across the country. OK. Now we got our house, I have space, I keep ordering what she's put out in the meantime and...I can't do the workouts. ICE comes out, it's too difficult for me. LITE comes out, I'm excited, and it's too difficult for me. I start doing Jessica Smith Walk the weight off in January of 2020. Those are challenging but I can do them until my shoulder starts talking to me. After a few weeks the doctor tells me to stop working out for a while. My shoulder freezes up completely. I cannot work out. Not Yoga, not Cathe, nothing. I'm taking 2-3 Aleve daily, Tylenol too, going to PT 2-3 times a week, getting acupunture, massages, spending all my money and this shoulder is just stuck. My dog passes away. Covid lockdowns begin the following day. I am one sad, pathetic, out of shape mess. I'm fatigued. My hair is falling out. I hurt everywhere, especially this strange right hip pain.

By July of 2020 I was doing a bit better and found Classical Stretch. It was just what my frozen shoulder needed and it started to improve, and my hip felt better too. I did the workouts almost daily, but was still taking a lot of Aleve. In October I had my yearly doctor appointment and was found to have a very, very slight anemia. I work in a hospital lab and am kind of obsessed with my lab results, but this was so slight I didn't give it a second thought. Luckily my doctor did, had me come back in for more testing, and it was discovered that my Ferritin levels (iron storage indicators) were extremely low (8.2. Normal is 50-150 and optimal is really closer to 200).

Thinking that I must have some internal bleeding, she referred me for a colonoscopy and an upper GI. Not wanting to go through ALL THAT, I assured her that I wasn't having any GI symptoms, I was sure it was just the Aleve making my stomach bleed, how about we just hold off while I take some iron pills and stop the Aleve. OK, we'd try that. In December I got my levels tested again and my ferritin was up slightly to 16. DOUBLE what is was so it seemed like quite an improvement! She said continue the pills and we'd check again in March.

One thing about the iron pills was that they really caused issues for me- to the point that I carried spare underpants. I was still absolutely, freaking exhausted, even worse than before. My hair had fallen out to the point that I just cut it all off. I could barely get through my day let alone even think about working out. The Classical Stretch was even too much sometimes- and it's just 22 minutes of easy, gentle movement. When I got my levels checked in March, they were right back where we had started, Ferritin was 9, I felt awful, so I agreed to the colonoscopy. Also I started getting weekly iron infusions which absolutely helped.

I went into my colonoscopy on April 6th just ready to get this overwith and get on with my life. The infusions had me feeling better and I was just sure they weren't going to find anything. WELL...guess what happened. They found something. At 49 years old, before insurance would even pay for my screening colonoscopy (they just changed that to 45 by the way), they found a tennis ball sized tumor in my right colon that had been growing for maybe 10-20 YEARS. It was bleeding. It was right in the little bowl created by my right hip. It was causing me all sorts of problems. It was CANCER.

I had surgery on April 21st to have half of my colon and a little bit of my small intestine removed. Pathology revealed it somehow, magically, was Stage 1. No chemo. I felt better IMMEDIATELY. I began walking as much as possible after surgery and doing Classical Stretch as soon as I could. I did a little bit of Jessica Smith. I did some FIRM workouts. I did some of Cathe's beginner step and weights workouts. And then, this week, I decided I felt better. I busted out the LITE workouts.

Sunday was Cardio Party. SO MUCH FUN!
Monday, Upper Body Stacked sets and you know what, my shoulder felt great!.
Tuesday, Lower Body Stacked sets. WHAAAT I was able to do a Cathe lower body workout without dying?
Wednesday I was sore so it was a classical stretch day and a walk.
Thursday, back on it with Pyramid Pump upper body. I used 2-5 pound weights but you know what? It was a challenge and felt amazing.
Friday, Rev'd up Rumble. I am so happy and proud of myself at this point!

I'm now 17 weeks out of surgery, 17 weeks out of cancer. 17 weeks of sheer gratitude for amazing doctors and 17 weeks of taking great care of ME. I can't wait to see where I am in 17 more weeks :)

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. And, if you haven't done it, get that colonoscopy scheduled!
Wow Andrea! I just finished reading your story and I just want to give you a HUGE hug! You have been through so very much and thankfully are very fortunate to have such a positive outcome after so many years of uncertainty and then a frightening diagnosis of cancer. Your story will surely inspire people to get and stay on top of their health issues and important tests/screenings. So relieved to know that you’re now feeling so much better and able to continue doing what you love. I’m also very happy to be able to continue working out with you once again. Congratulations on your positive report and restored energy and vitality ❤️ Stay strong!
 

cocob1

Cathlete
Your story brought tear to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your hard journey back to good health.
It was an awful challenge for a very long time but you never gave up and I'm so happy you can continue to inspire all of us facing difficult times and or health issues. Hugs and love to you!
 

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