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Healing From Multiple Surgeries After Tackling Breast Cancer: Jenny's Story


In the past 18 months, I have had 3 biopsies, 2 lumpectomies, a DIEP Flap mastectomy, and a hysterectomy.

Before being diagnosed, I worked hard and only went spinning about 2 times a week. I was eating and drinking more and didn’t place much focus on health. In the middle of all of the madness, my mom died unexpectedly and a very close friend of 26 years died of kidney cancer. As a result of all of this, I resigned from my job and focused on healing. In between surgeries, Pilates offered a calm, yet challenging way to get back into shape without getting bored.

Now, I am in much better shape and my stamina is even higher than previous to cancer!

Physical therapy was necessary for 3 months after my mastectomy to assist with feeling and scar tissue. Due to the multiple surgeries, I lost most of the feeling in my core. It is very difficult to engage and focus on an area that has damaged nerves. Thanks to attending Club Pilates classes, I no longer do physical therapy and I currently have about 50% of the feeling back from breast to pubic area! I may still gain more feeling by continuing Pilates and I am determined to keep showing up for classes! 

I love that Club Pilates offers different classes. Mostly, I am eager to begin the work that I need to do. I often have to press on my mid-section to make sure that I am breathing and using my muscles properly. After class I feel happy, a little sore, and especially proud that I continue to improve. I try not to beat myself up if I have an “off” day.  Reformer Levels 1 and 1.5 are the classes that I typically look forward to taking. I am much more flexible than prior to surgery, and I can almost do a teaser again!

One thing that I love about coming into each class is that Club Pilates is a stress-free environment.

There is no attitude, everyone is extremely friendly, and people are supportive of all ages working out. I don’t feel like I have to wear a “dress to impress” fitness outfit! By doing Pilates regularly, I have definitely seen and felt a difference in overall tone, strength and mental clarity. 

The studio is 129 steps away from where I live - I counted!

I have to admit that yes, I have missed classes. I get so eager to sign-up and make sure that I am scheduled that at times, I forget a class here and there. BUT, because the studio is so close, I try to go at least 5 times a week and often more than once a day.

Since I am not working, Pilates has helped me feel connected to my community and allows me to work hard with a strong group. I feel extremely blessed each time I walk into the studio. My posture has improved due to Pilates and my core is getting stronger. I notice that I have more energy and even stand taller! I can now honestly say I look forward to working out every day.

 

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