Patient Perspective: Anne Marie
As soon as I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May, 2016, I started keeping a medical journal. I honestly must say that the weeks following the diagnosis were some of the most stressful in my life. The medical journal helped me focus and gave me a sense of structure in my world, which seemed to be falling apart.
Like many women, a cancer diagnosis took me by surprise. I lived a very healthy lifestyle and had a mammogram every year for the last 25 years. I’m sure every woman asks what could I have done differently to avoid this cancer diagnosis. When I asked the doctors, I was told there are many factors, so there was no definitive answer.
After diagnosis there was so much information to digest, decisions to make, opinions to weigh, and doctors to see. The emotional roller coaster was not making things easy. Fortunately, I had a very supportive husband who was right by my side the whole time during the decision process. Once my medical course of action was decided, my stress level started to drop. In July I had breast surgery to remove my right breast, followed by radiation and hormone inhibitors.
Soon after surgery, it became very apparent that physical therapy was very necessary because my range of motion was so limited and my upper body and abdominal strength was so diminished. I felt that I had aged 10 years. My plastic surgeon suggested TurningPoint. So, I made an appointment for physical therapy 7 weeks after surgery and started my 25 sessions of radiation therapy soon after.
TurningPoint has made a difference in my physical and mental wellbeing. Not only did I receive excellent physical therapy, restoring my range of motion and abdominal strength, but I felt that I had entered a calming health spa each time I went. I really looked forward to my visits.
Since then, I have attended TurningPoint’s free informational session concerning bone and joint health and a complimentary nutritional cooking class. I attended the 4 week Mindfulness course, where I saw my stress level come down from being practically “off the chart” to within normal range.
This non-profit organization is centered on the physical and mental wellbeing of each breast cancer survivor who walks through its door. I’m glad they’re here for us!