Life is filled with storms. Some rougher than others. Breast Cancer is a storm that we hope most won’t have to endure. However, it is a cancer that is far too common in our society and many have gone through the battle or are going through it currently. As a society we tend to normalize this type of cancer because it is so common; however the trials and tribulations that come with it are far from normal. It is such a trying process and we want to stand with all that have gone through or going through this awful cancer. We love and support you. We have many strong women in the gym who have fought this battle and we are amazed by your strength and resiliency. We appreciate Susan sharing her story with us. – Haley Cline, Owner, Body Language Gym

It was May of 2009 and our daughter was preparing for her Senior Prom and Graduation from Casady School, when I received the diagnosis of Bilateral Breast Cancer. As a nurse, I had developed both professional and personal relationships with my team of doctors, including my gynecologist, radiologist, surgeon and oncologist. My confidence in their integrity, expertise and commitment to always to the right thing is a very important chapter of my story. Following bilateral mastectomies with follow up therapy, I continue to receive a clean bill of health from my annual check-up with my oncologist.

Through all of this I am most thankful for the strong support of my daughter, my husband, and my team of doctors. Immediately following my surgery, it was important for me to have some time for personal reflection and to “re-boot”.  That short, limited time out of the mainstream was extremely conductive to my healing. Of course, everyone is very different, but I found this time to be critical to the integration of the new part of my identity into my whole person. I would encourage those individuals going through breast cancer, or any difficulty in life, to be deliberate about your time and take time for yourself. Patience and understanding during this time of separation “far from the madding crowd” is a great gift of love from those closest to us.

Difficulties in life, such as the diagnosis of breast cancer, helped me appreciate the benefits of living life meaningfully and being present. Of course, this an ongoing practice in our frenzied world of distractions. Regular exercise- such as spin, yoga, bootcamp—provide a sense of well-being and health, as well as providing a network of positive and like-minded friends.

Thank you, Haley, for the fun/challenging workouts and most of all, for giving us the nurturing culture of Body Language Gym! These activities are evidence-based therapeutic compliments traditional medical treatment. My yoga practice seems to be the only time that I can truly turn off the noise of the outside world. Thank you, Hillary, for introducing me to this life-changing practice!

Following some time to “re-boot” and then developing a routine of mindful living including family, friends, spiritual life, exercise along with yoga, has made my journey an opportunity for growth and strength, as I navigate through the dark times.

It is my privilege to talk more with anyone who is experiencing cancer directly or as a support. Our support systems and routines are fluid and ever-changing, but always remember…No one goes through these times alone.

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