October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many of our clients (people we train and work with) have lived to see the effects of this horrible disease, including Lifedock Co-founder and Tutor Karen Case. To bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Karen shares her experience of breast cancer, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
It has been over nine years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The year my life changed was 2012. In most people's minds, this time probably stands out as the year of the London Olympics. I can remember receiving chemotherapy while watching the world's most amazing athletes competing on a global stage. But, of course, at that time all I was trying to do was get through each day.
I have always been physically active and technically 'fit', so it was difficult not having the energy to walk up the stairs from the effects of the chemotherapy. My mantra was to be easy on myself but also not to be defined by the treatment. I recall that, on some days, I was able to attend a local Bodystep class, and other days I couldn't even get off the sofa.
After my cancer experience, I am even more convinced that being physically active is vital for physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. My diagnosis and treatment lasted 22 months altogether, and over time I was able to regain my fitness. I am thankful to have made a full recovery, and the scars I carry are a reminder of the fragility of life and how precious our health is. We only have one life and one body, and we should do our best to take care of ourselves by staying active and eating healthily. Unfortunately, we can't always carry out this responsibility to ourselves. Sometimes life gets in the way, and everything can feel out of control. I understand this struggle first hand and have received support when I most needed it.
Macmillan is one of many amazing organisations that can provide support if you or someone you love is facing a similar journey. They provide community support groups, wellbeing resources and will lend an ear when you just need to talk to someone. Macmillan also has a wonderful physical activity programme. Lifedock Training has trained several of Macmillan's Move More teams in Northern Ireland to lead both Chair Based Exercise and Chi Me (tai chi) sessions for people with or recovering from a cancer diagnosis.
For more information on Macmillan and how to get support for a cancer diagnosis, go to https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/after-treatment. Click here to learn more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and how you can support those affected by breast cancer.
Lifedock is the UK’s leading instructor training provider of creative, fun and effective physical activity programmes. They are uniquely designed to bring safe and effective exercise for a range of special populations, including frail and elderly, young people, children, people with learning and physical disability and people with mental health conditions. Courses include Chair based Exercise Instructor, Drum Based Exercise Instructor and Tai Chi Instructor (Chi Me). Click here for the full range of our courses.