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Movement As A Catalyst For Cancer Journey

By Isabele Sanden

I am remembering back to the day I discovered I had breast cancer.

My doctor didn’t even have the chance to call before the nursing coordinator from the oncology department had rung my line to schedule an appointment.

I sat there shaking afraid to even answer when I saw the caller ID.

Fear seized my chest and my mind grew blank not even knowing what to say or how to respond.

It was a Friday The last week in May 2020. Covid was rampant and our world was completely shut down. At that point I didn’t even know if I would be able to have surgery or get in to see a doctor.

I let the call go to voicemail gathering my breath thinking OK I need to call my doctors office. That was my first choice.

The choice to give myself a chance to think, to breathe, to regain some sense of control.

I sat there frozen. Connecting back to my Pilates training. Focusing on my breath stretching back my shoulders opening up my heart center and praying to God.

That movement.

That moment… Of stretching and opening my mind… connecting my breath and my body. It was a powerful moment that I remember so distinctly.

My body was strong.

My pilates training had prepared me. Prepared my breath. prepared my endurance, prepared my stamina ,prepared my posture, prepared my balance.

I had the muscle memory to withstand the impact of the incredible savage surgery that would remove the most feminine parts of my body. I had the stamina to withstand the impact of multiple surgeries. .The impact of treatment, of blood draws of…the months of reconstruction.. sitting in a chair as my Dr inflated expanders.

I had the breathe control to ease the anxiety and fear when walking into that office. And the habit of exercising…even if it was a walk. I kept those endorphins running. And I was spoken to during these most dark painful days… my strength could help others.

Movement is medicine.. Movement stimulates our cardio system and engages lymphatic drainage. Movement quickens our breathe which cleanses our bodies and clear the toxins. All those chemicals from frost the anesthesia to chemo or treatment after. Movement is powerful. And gives back a sense of control, eases fear and provides hope.

How can I help you prepare.

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