That blustery day in December, 2010, when I was told “you have breast cancer” is behind me now. Like many people, I was in denial saying “NOT ME!” I had my mammograms regularly and doctors’ appointments annually.
My daughter was engaged, and until that moment, the wonderful days ahead were meant to be focused on her wedding. I must say though, that in spite of all the radiation and chemo, “the wedding” kept me focused and positive. Just prior to my last chemo treatment a friend told me of a free exercise program for cancer patients and survivors called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. The new session would start in just a few days.
The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA trainer, Valeria, and I formed an instantaneous bond. She encouraged me each step of the way. Each member of the group was at a different level, but we worked well as a small team. Yoga, with our instructor Suchi, was fantastic.
Realizing how much I gained from LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, I continued exercising at the Y in small group training with Valeria. I was doing very well when once again the “Big C” became part of my life. The day I found out, the same daughter was in the hospital giving birth to my twin grandsons at 29-1/2 weeks!
This cancer was endometrial and required a more rigorous surgery and treatment which caused me to be much weaker than before. Valeria volunteered to come to my house each week to train me! Upon completion of all the treatments, I was – once again – in the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program at the Edison Y with Valeria as my coach and Suchi doing the LIVESTRONG yoga.
The boys are now 2-1/2 years old and healthy and keep me going. They are adorable, smart and very active.
Thanks to this fabulous free program, I have walked a 5K for four years to support it and have raised thousands of dollars for the program. I am a true believer!
Exercise is no longer something I should just do…it is part of my life! My outlook is so different than it was in December 2010. Thanks to the support of my family, friends and LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, I am a two-time cancer survivor!
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a win-win, life changing program.
I encourage you to tell anyone you know about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.
Thank you LIVESTRONG and Valeria. You have made my life stronger and healthier.
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA graduate
For more information about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA and program location sites, visit www.livestrong.org/ymca. With support from Eli Lilly, LIVESTRONG is currently testing the use of a SMS (text) platform to increase access to LIVESTRONG cancer navigation services. Click here for more information about the Text to Connect pilot project.