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Helping you through breast cancer treatment

Guest Blog: Things Happen When We Least Expect Them

Guest Blog: Things Happen When We Least Expect Them

Sangeeta Verma is the first ever guest blogger to write a piece for the website. I am so excited to share her personal breast cancer story with you all. In her blog post, Sangeeta (from Hyderabad, India) tells us about how exercise was such an important part of her life during treatment and since.

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My goals for 2018 were on track

I started off 2018 being consistent and disciplined towards achieving the goals that I had set for the year. My goals were professional as well as fitness. On the professional front I was preparing for an assessment which would take my career into the next level. And on the fitness front, my target was to achieve certain body fat % and get certified as a personal trainer and nutritionist. I was doing really well. I’d never felt so strong physically and mentally. But half way through the year, my world fell apart and I embarked on a journey that was going to test my strength and patience to the limit.

It was May 2018 – my birthday month!!! It was a bittersweet birthday for me this year. We, as a family, were having the best time of our life with lots of upfront planning, vacations etc. I was seamlessly moving towards my goals. And just when everything was going as smooth as possible in my life, I felt something within was not right.

Being diagnosed took a while

Going back to a year and half ago, I had noticed a very tiny lump in my left breast during my self-examination. The then biopsy showed a benign lump and I became carefree. Since the lump was very tiny, the doctor didn’t recommend to remove the lump. Post my birthday this year I went for a follow up since the lump started to pinch me and I wasn’t feeling good about it. I then received my cancer diagnosis: ER/PR +ve , HER -ve stage 2B breast cancer. My life turned upside down. It was overwhelming, I was trying to prepare my mind for the worst but honestly, there is no way one can actually prepare their mind for something like cancer, emotionally as well as physically.

I began to worry for obvious reasons. No, I was not worried or scared of dying but I was worried about whether I would be able to have a “normal” quality life. That was my main concern. After all, quality is important than quantity!

I had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But throughout treatment I managed to continue to exercise.

Nothing soothes my mind and body more than a proper workout

During the course of treatments, some days I felt like a warrior. On other days I felt like a total loser trying to control over things I can’t change. Some days I’d lock myself up, feel wasted with low energy levels. I’d try push myself and fail miserably but I’ve been unstoppable when it came to fitness. I’ve always been a fitness freak and nothing soothes my mind and body more than a proper workout, be it a gym or yoga or Zumba. Working out was the only way to deal with all the side-effects I had out of all those harsh treatments. Because of my level of fitness pre-cancer, I was able to work out most of the time during treatment, be it yoga or Zumba. On the days when I felt really under the chemo effect, I listened to my body and focused on walking as much as I could. Trust me, staying active makes a lot of difference especially when one is dealing with mental and physical illness. I was able to do all of this because it is what I was doing before cancer. But it is important to only do as much as your body allows you to do at this time.

Here’s to the new version of me

One step at a time I realized I can fight this cancer thing with all my might and support from family and friends. Human nature is adaptability and acceptance is the key. After 3 surgeries, 17 radiations, 4 cycles of chemotherapy and preparing myself for the further treatments which would continue for years. Here’s to the new version of me!

My advice to someone else going through this is that distraction is the only key to fast healing. So, try to do things which you always wanted to do or things you love to do. Cancer is just a set-back and there’s no looking back or stopping , so continue your exercise regime or chase that hobby or do anything which helps you distract while you listen to your body.

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