Tonight I walked to the Lesser Than Two Evils mega-bookstore and bought The Breast Cancer Suvivor's Fitness Plan, recommended to me indirectly by my student A. I went to the mega-sports store and bought a pedometer, recommended by my student B. (Both are correct initials.) I took with me my two-liter water bottle, bought for me years ago by my step-daughter R. I've drunk a liter and half so far today. I peed three times at the bookstore and once at the sports store. Chemo is dehydrating, so I'm supposed to drink 2-3 liters a day. Soon I'll know where every bathroom in the neighborhood is. (In Sports Authority in Lakeview, it's in the back, left of the shoes.) It hurts my neck a little to lean back to drink from the bottle, because of my port insertion yesterday, so I'm glad I can use a straw at home. I'm glad Sports Authority isn't the kind of store where the saleswoman checks in on you. She'd see my mastectomy stitches and my port bandages. No, no, I was going to shout, covering my chest, for your own sake, don't look! But she didn't even return to see how I was doing. Which was OK. I bought, alas, some extra-large mid-length sweat pants and a sports bra. It was hard to find a bra that didn't rub against my sentinel-node stitches. I will take the shorts out of my bottom drawer in my bottom drawer out and put them in the plastic box under the bed, and wait to retrieve them when I've started to regain my girlish figure. Which will be a challenge, since women have a tendency to gain afer breast cancer. This book is a guide to help you counteract that.

The book recommends finding a personal trainer who's worked with women with breast cancer. That makes sense. Even working with a trainer once is good, it says, to get a routine. Because among my many faults is procrastination, I haven't canceled my membership at the local Y. I keep meaning to. But if someone there has the expertise, I will go. Even not, I can bring the book with me to show a trainer. The walk will be a good warm-up. It's about a mile and a quarter. Wait. I just checked Mapquest, and it's 1.43 miles. Maybe 1.4 if I cut through the parking lot. It's close to Whole Foods, which is an incentive: work out then eat at the salad bar. Even though when my white blood cell counts are low, I'm supposed to avoid salad bars, because of the risk of infection. My oncologist didn't tell me this; I read it in Cancer Vixen. How we bitches get our information! No raw sushi, either, which I never eat anyway.

The ftiness book shows how important exercise it by showing it as the lowest level of the food pyramid. It also says that within one year of chemo, especially if it induces early menopause (which I predict it will), "a woman can lose 7 percent of bone mass from her spine and 4 percent of her hips." It ordinarily takes five years for this destruction. My mother has osteoporosis, and so did her mother. My mother works out with weights with some ladies in her building. It's my medicine that's not in a bottle, she says.

The book also says (which I've heard before) that carbonated drinks can leach calcium from bones. I gave L a seltzer-making machine for Chanukah. I guess this means there will be more seltzer for him. I can drink it "in moderation." Can you imagine, we're not talking about regular drinking in moderation, but drinking soda water in moderation. I may concede soon that I'm reaching middle age.