Every Thursday evening my 2 day work week ends and I look forward to my extra long weekend since I don’t work Fridays or Mondays. The other thing I look forward to is the rehab program I’m in which is every Friday morning for 2 hours. The program is awesome!! It’s a 6 month exercise rehab program for women (or men) who have been through breast cancer treatment as long as it’s not stage 4. There are however no men in the group, but they’re allowed in if they’ve had breast cancer … I think. The group is all women and you feel this sense of bonding as you’ve all gone through a similar experience. An experience that was arduous and life changing. An experience that emotionally took you to unfamiliar territory and an experience that no one can fully understand unless they’ve been through it. A journey that doesn’t end with the ending of treatment. It continues as you try to accept and adjust to your new normal.
Recovery is a long process … Everyone’s after effects can be different but the big one is fatigue, which very slowly and gradually dissipates. I am 5 months post treatment and still sleep 9-10 hours a night and get tired at times but it is slowly getting better. People are shocked when I tell them but I had toxic poison (chemo) going through me for 4 months, it’s gonna take awhile for my body to repair and regenerate! Exhaustion is a given.
Exercise helps with so many things! And in case I haven’t mentioned it, I’ve read on various well known websites that regular exercise along with eating well reduces the chance of recurrence by 30%!!! That’s significant! Why do more people not know about this?! The rehab program also has an education component where they would discuss (for example) Lymphedema or the importance of resistance training. It’s amazing! The physiotherapists there are also wonderful!! They are empathetic, sensitive and understanding. They also know what they’re doing and have extensive knowledge about what we are dealing with and going through … Even if they really don’t know how we are feeling. I would recommend that anyone recovering post treatment be referred to the program. I absolutely LOVE it!