Hi! This blog post is the partner post — or maybe parent post? — it does hand in hand with the workout I posted on my Instagram. I invited my peeps on Insta to come over to the blog and read this story about my lungs lol sounds random, I know.
Stick with me!
In 2016, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. You might already know this. Anyway, I went through a series of tests in preparation for the chemo I later opted not to do. One of those tests was lung test, called a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT), which measured how well my lungs were working. At that time, they took in 60% oxygen.
I wasn’t so shocked…I had a hard time catching my breath sometimes, especially at night.
Flash forward to remember this one [really important day] in my life — February 27, 2017. During that time, I took a leave of absence to do things my way and heal naturally. Among other methods and therapies, I incorporated fitness into my life every single day — not just to get through cancer, but to also get through the depression that hit me like a ton of bricks a few months before I was diagnosed.
Before the cancer diagnosis, I was struggling and in a dark place due to work-related stress and anxiety, which was a new experience for me.
Okay, so flash forward to February, I agreed to meet my friend, Andrea, at the gym for the 3:30PM class when we both trained at DCF (crossfit gym — where we first met and became friends!). During the workout, my lungs were physically hurting. It was the first and only time I ever felt pain like that and the first AND ONLY time I [very seriously] thought to myself, “is this what it feels like to be dying?” In that exact moment, as soon as my thoughts finished thinking the word “dying,” Andrea calls out to me, in her Colombian accent, “come on, Erika!”
I snapped out of the thought and went back to struggling through burpees and the last of my row.
I never forgot that day because later that night, God spoke to me and told me I wouldn’t die of cancer. I felt every emotion that day. It was a good day.
I hold onto that promise because He never forsakes us.
So, since I know I won’t die of cancer, I pretty much take life as a second chance to stop waiting for the right time to do things. I live life with no regrets and I do everything I can to be my best. After that, I decided to train with the intention of improving my lung capacity through constantly challenging them.
Ohhhhh, how they are challenged! 😂
I don’t always rise up to the occasion, but I never felt that pain in my lungs again (in and out of the gym). My fitness improved sooooo much since. I actually suffered a back injury that summer, became pregnant and gave birth to Angie a year later. The postpartum journey gave me a chance to start over and my strength is at its best, while my injury pretty much resolved.
God is good, y’all.
I hope this encourages you to keep fighting. Life isn’t over when you have a bad day or a bad year result. If you can find a way to overcome, DO IT. Try to stay positive and, seriously, don’t wait for permission to do things your way. You don’t need a cancer diagnosis to decide it’s time to live a fulfilling life; all you need is the will do start living that way IMMEDIATELY.
Praying for the hearts and minds of all who read my words. I believe God knows our needs and desires…even if you’re far from Him or simply don’t know Him. I know Him and I serve Him. I have faith for you and pray you’ll be comforted and confident in all your circumstances.
God bless you!