I received my original diagnosis on June 23, 2016 after having my annual mammogram and ultrasound. In mid-January of this year, I had my third breast cancer surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy (left breast) and reconstruction (both breasts). I was anxious to get back to a “new normal” routine. Unfortunately, two weeks after the reconstruction surgery, I had an emergency appendectomy.
Before my surgeries, I was attending yoga classes 2-3 times a week, plus my home practice, and walking my 85-pound lab five mornings a week for about 2.5 miles. I work part-time as the administrative assistant at the preschool where I taught for many years. My husband Frank and I have one adult son. Frank retired several years ago, but started a new career in nursing after my diagnosis. (He did an outstanding job!) The love, encouragement, and support I received from my immediate family, my church and work families, and many friends and neighbors were incredible.
My emotions and my body were on such a roller coaster. My faith and support groups helped get me through so much, but my physical well-being was shot. Although I was fortunate not to have radiation or chemotherapy, the four surgeries had certainly taken a toll.
Both my breast and plastic surgeons had recommended TurningPoint. I began that part of my journey in March—and what a journey it has been! My physical therapists knew exactly what I was feeling, both emotionally and physically, and they knew how to help fix it. I looked forward to my session every week! In the beginning, when I was asked about my goals, my first one was to be able to walk my dog again. It’s been a long road, but I am now walking her again. Also, one year and one day later (June 24, 2017), my son and I participated in the Susan G. Komen 5K (I was a member of TurningPoint’s Team). I’ve started back to my yoga classes, attend TurningPoint’s Stretch & Strengthen class on Fridays and I’m trying Pilates on Wednesdays. (Pilates is hard and new to me, but my core is thanking me!) Although, my weekly physical therapy sessions are complete, TurningPoint continues to monitor and help me manage my lymphedema, giving me advice and encouragement all the way. I can truly say the whole experience has been “my turning point”!