Oct
20
2013
A Personal Story of Breast Health

breast-cancer-health

Every October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we publish a blog about Breast Health. It’s usually an article about discoveries, mammogram options, best practices, etc.  This year, we have decided to do something different.

We chose to share, with permission, a personal story submitted by a patient of i spa Health Studio. This story is very real and we think many women, and even men, will be able to relate.

Six years ago my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She never told anyone about the lump and only called two days before her surgery to remove her left breast. My mother, so young and lively at 54, was losing a symbol of femininity in order to survive.

Her story is not a sad one.  After a mastectomy and aggressive chemo and radiation, she bounced back.   Now six years later, she is strong and still loves to go dancing on Friday nights.

But that experience left a mark.

For her, the mark is a not so perfect reconstruction. For me, it’s a nagging concern. I knew my diet and lifestyle were slightly healthier than my mother’s, but not by much and certainly not consistently. Despite my best efforts to focus on health, thoughts of the hereditary trends of breast cancer occasionally pierced my typically extreme optimism.

I had honest conversations with my doctor and started having annual mammograms at the age of 35. My doctor recommended weight loss and although I knew she was right, I was slow to comply.

It took some starting and stopping, and a mammogram scare of my own to really get my butt in gear. After 6 years of clean mammograms, I suddenly had 5 suspicious spots. From a clean mammogram to the next I showed a full cluster of spots!

The spots all turned out to be benign cysts, but the experience was a wake-up call.  Finally, in my mother’s 6th year of remission, I made sweeping changes in my diet and started exercising regularly.

The same week I made these changes, my aunt (mom’s middle sister) was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer.  For her, treatment was easier than it had been for my mother: a lumpectomy, a pill, radiation and no chemo.  By the time she had finished radiation, I had remained committed to my healthier lifestyle for 2 months.  I had lost 12 pounds and my blood-work was outstanding. No more high cholesterol or risk of diabetes.

One week after my mother’s middle sister finished her radiation treatments, my mom’s oldest sister went in for a biopsy to investigate a spot seen in her most recent mammogram. As of this writing, we are waiting on results.

It is deeply sad to see these beloved women cope with the stress, the pain, and the fear of these experiences. My heart aches for them. Yet those hooks of fear and worry that used to disturb my peace of mind found no solid hold on me this year.

There are no guarantees that the steps I am taking will protect me from this awful disease.  Still, the knowledge that I am doing everything I can insulates me and comforts me. I can’t control genetics and have limited control of environmental factors. Still, I have absolute control of what I choose to eat and how often I move my body.

My focus is on my actions and choices now. I can’t dwell on the years that I ate too much junk food or sat on the couch too often and too long. My life is now and I am fully embracing wellness in body, mind, and spirit. I’m doing my best to me keep “me and the girls” as healthy as possible.


The team at the i spa health Studio is committed to keeping “you and your girls” as healthy as possible.  If excessive weight or other physical conditions make you worry that you are high risk for breast cancer, please call us at (727) 386-4004.

Our Acupuncturist, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Certified Weight Loss Coach may just be the right person to get you on the path to wellness.

When you know you are taking care of yourself, you live more and worry less.

 
     
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i spa Health Studio

The goal of each practitioner within i spa Health Studio is to aid you in your journey to health and wellness. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, psychology, weight loss programs and facial skin care services. Our wellness center is located in Largo, FL, and is convenient to the Tampa Bay area including Clearwater, Seminole, Pinellas Park, Dunedin, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.

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