Spinning+Breast cancer - Spin Class Event Kick Off
SPINNING + BREAST CANCER I have always loved spinning.
I started spinning in my late 20’s and have continued to make it a part of my life. When I was first diagnosed in 2011 at the age of 42, the surgery and treatment were minimal. Lucky for me. I had a lumpectomy in my right breast, with lymph node removal from my right underarm. Treatment included radiation for six weeks. My recovery was very quick. I think the hardest part of the recovery was my arm movement and nerve pain from the lymph node removal. Crazy enough, my boob hardly hurt at all! My spirit needed to heal.
Spinning was my escape and it really helped me feel in control of something again.
Flash to my early stage re-occurrence at the age of 47 in December 2015, which lead to a preventative double mastectomy, nothing could have prepared me for how invasive and painful this surgery was. Firstly, having all of my tissue removed from armpit to armpit and everything in between was awful. Secondly, proceeding with four additional reconstruction surgeries in one year, really took a toll on my physical strength, as well as my mental strength.
I remember talking with my reconstruction surgeon not too long after the surgery, with my expanders still in place. I told him I wanted to start spinning again, and he gave me this stern fatherly look and said, “Danielle, you just had major surgery, and you need to give your self a break.” Clearly, that was not what I wanted to hear, but actually needed to hear....uugghhh. About a month later, excited, but with some hesitation, I went to a 30-minute spin class. I told my instructor about my surgery, so I wouldn’t feel pressured to do more than I was capable of. I mostly sat and cycled that day, no jumps or standing while riding. I felt great! I was overwhelmed with accomplishment and almost cried. Slowly, I gained strength by combining spin, yoga and physical therapy.
Today, almost three years later, I am spinning several days a week. Spin makes me feel normal for an hour. I am able to forget and escape into the music and competitive nature of the class. I have no fear, and truly feel strong again. I also know that I am giving time to myself, away from work, home and my disease.
I will make a concerted effort to keep spinning, strength training, and attending yoga classes to balance my mind, body and spirit...and of course to maintain my weight, which is a constant struggle for most middle-aged women. That’s a whole other blog topic alone!
If you live in Los Angeles, Pleas join us for the ride at Sanctuary fitness on Oct 4th!
Stay strong and fight!
*note: Please consult your physician before starting any physical activity. This article was written from the author’s own experience, and is not intended as medical advice.