Tania's Story

Tania's Story

What’s funny is the fact that this is even my vocabulary now: “I’m going for a run in the morning.”

Tania wasn’t very active until she was diagnosed with cancer. Her depression after chemo made it even more difficult to get moving on her not-so-good days. But she’s found that getting up on her feet, even if it’s just dancing around the kitchen, can help in more ways than one. Tania went from being fairly inactive to walking to the shops more often and sometimes even going for an occasional run – something she never thought she’d do before.

I’ve done a tour of the north-west hospitals, I’ve been to everyone, and I’m judging the food [laughs] – priorities, priorities. I think the name bile duct cancer doesn’t actually do it justice. Bile ducts are very useful, I didn’t think they were. ‘Yeah it’s not the gallbladder’ (cheering), you know, but but, no no, you need it. It’s a very rare, it’s very race cancer, very aggressive cancer. And to put it bluntly, I’m pretty lucky to be here now. There’s this cliché thing that when you’ve got told you have cancer that people just cried. I dealt with it in a very, okay this is what it is. I found out the information and deal with it. So I’ve always had a focus. And then after I finished chemo, it’s like ‘okay see you in 3 months,’ it’s like I’ve been in of hospital and out of hospital, what, what do I do? You got to kind of pick your life up, and that is the moment everyone expects you to be ‘yeah it’s all finished and your finished treatment yeaaa’ (celebration). I’m thinking, I’m going [makes sobbing noise] crying in the middle of the supermarket, and it was proper depression, it’s a really bad place. Cause you’ve got money worries and then you’re thinking ‘what am I going to do,’. I’m still alive. I think that’s the thing. I’ve always been busy, I have been pretty outgoing, you know just a bit of a joker really, and that’s how I’ve dealt with it, it’s through humour. And also I can’t just come home and cry, I’ve got a child to look after and I raise her on my own, so, erm it’s hard, it’s hard. The doctors at the Christie hospital were saying to me when I was knackered go for a walk. And I was like, ‘you go for a bloody walk when you’re knackered, what do you mean go for a walk?’ But actually they’re right. There is something in it. There really is. I started doing that and then me and Serena are very competitive anyway, so things like spinning around pretending to be some sort of, I don’t know, dancer. We’re just winning at life. Yeah. ‘How to make your walk longer? Point 1, get lost.’ Find something that you like, go swimming. I started playing badminton being active, and tennis, and you know stuff like that, you don’t even realize you’re exercising when you’re doing that, and it just lifts your mood. I mean I can’t breathe sometimes, it’s not a good look, but erm yeah I feel happier. And what’s just even funnier is just the fact that this is even in my vocabulary, now ‘I’m going for a run in the morning,’ never in my life said that [laughs].

How Tania Gets Moving

Before her diagnosis, Tania wasn’t very active at all, but since starting to move more, she’s found many ways to work activity into her life. Tania does things that she finds enjoyable, first and foremost. This can mean getting active with her daughter by dancing around the house or going on walks with friends as a way to catch up. By making being active a social affair, she’s found it all the more enjoyable.

Despite a challenging time with her mental health, Tania has managed to keep active since we met her, thanks to the support of her family. She continues to dance around the house, saying that getting moving “isn’t a magic wand, but it really does help” with her mood. She has also made a friend through getting active and, with her encouragement and similar sense of humour, is aiming to walk further and see new places.

Related Resources

Here are some resources related to Tania’s story about moving more:

Mind - Physical activity and your mental health

Rethink Mental Illness - Mental illness and being active

Macmillan - The Move More guide