July 11, 2013 is a day I will never forget. It is the day that my niece, Annie, called me to tell me she had breast cancer. When I answered the phone, I stayed strong and tried to be the comfort for Annie. As soon as we hung up, I broke down and just wept. How could this happen to Annie? She’s so young! My niece was 32 at the time and the mother of two amazing little girls.
However, we all know that this disease doesn’t discriminate. My niece went through a double mastectomy and 20 weeks of chemotherapy. She’s such a fighter! I am so so proud of her staying strong throughout the whole process.
The chemo really took a toll on her energy levels. It drained her. I wanted to help any way that I could. Exercise gets the blood flowing after surgery, and psychologically, it makes you feel stronger because you’re helping your body heal.
Together, Annie and I put together a low impact exercise regimen that is best for her. Workouts like walking for 20 minutes, dancing, and even some resistance exercises were all a part of the plan. It truly made a difference in my niece. Feeling good physically leads to feeling good emotionally. You can’t cure cancer through exercise, but you can give your body a huge head start in fighting back.
Breast cancer affects so many of us. Let’s come together for Breast Cancer Awareness month to help support prevention. That’s why we’re working out, doing everything we can to stay healthy. We can’t control the illness, but we can take a proactive approach with what we eat and how we move. Stay strong and never give up hope!