Hard to believe that it has been 90 days since I started my latest effort to maximize what I can do physically. As of yesterday, I have walked or walk/jogged 46 days over the past 90 days and it may end up at 47 if I walk today. Starting fresh with a log beginning with day one has helped me psychologically. No point in comparing what I was doing prior to my lymph node dissection or even shortly afterwards. I know that I had a strong feeling after I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma that all I had to do was get back to running and everything would be okay. Not that I was naive enough to see it literally being like that but that's what I felt in my gut. Odd in a way because I'm not an athlete. The last time I had run track was in junior high school and by ninth grade I was sneaking smokes to the point that my breathing was impaired and I dropped off the track team. I tried to run briefly in my early twenties because I always liked to run but I was a heavy smoker and I suspect allergic to smoking. It wasn't until I stopped smoking in 2001 that I considered trying to run again and it took a few years to lose my extra weight and get physically strong enough to start jog/running. I was over 45 when I was able to start jog/running again and at 47 was diagnosed with stage III melanoma. I know I keep returning to this in my blog because prior to melanoma it was a major focus for me. Most of my future goals were physical ones: adult tailored outward bound trips, running longer distances, ambitious garden projects. I've been grappling with new goals and it's important that they go beyond day by day. I guess I'm afraid to forumulate new goals, at some level. I should probably get involved with some kind of volunteer work but I haven't come up with the what or started it yet. Part of my current physical goals is to go as far as I can on my own and then consider going to one of the integrative medicine clinics. I am not ready to accept that I'll need to take presciption medications to manage pain for the rest of my life. The problem with going to an integrative medicine clinic is I know that the first thing they would probably mention is that I need do lose weight, and I do. However, that is a red herring although it doesn't help to be over weight. I gained weight because I couldn't continue with the physical exercise I was doing before the problems began. The problems didn't start because I got over weight. I got over weight because of the problems. I tended to be under weight when I was younger but as my metaboloism changed and smoking slowed me down considerably I did get quite heavy in my early 40s. I stopped smoking, changed my metabolism by becoming active and got back to a healthy weight. Over the past two years since my LND, I gained back most of that weight. I am slowly but surely dealing with that and by next fall I hope that I'll be in the healthy weight range for my height. It could happen a lot sooner than that but I'm not interested in any leaps at this point. I'm interested in baby steps. Also, in a weird way my appetite has been the one thing that hasn't gotten screwed up except for the fact that gabapentin (neurontin) makes me hungry all the time. The good part of having an appetite is that so many of the places I've feared that I was having a problem in terms of the melanoma spreading tend to have weight loss as a warning sign. That has been one thing that hasn't been happening until recently when I started making it happen by intent. It's been oddly reassuring that I haven't had an dramatic drops in size. However, at this point I need to have planned, slow drops back to an optimal size. After that, I will have to seriously think about going to an integrative medicine clinic.