Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Breast cancer yoga

Why should breast cancer survivors have their own yoga class? Because they have a lot of the same issues to address: lack of shoulder mobility due to treatment, bad balance, stiffness, phantom pain on the affected side, expander pain, port pain, etc. Now I don't have the last two as I never had a port nor do I need expanders because I still have my breasts (at least one and a half of them any way) but I do have the other problems. Several of the ladies are still in treatment. Our usual teacher, a BC survivor herself, goes very slowly and addresses the concerns we have unique to us. The other day, we had a substitute that instead of being gentle and soothing barked like a drill sargent. She admitted that she had not dealt with BC survivors and asked ahead of time on our limitations. Several women could not raise their arms. This happened to me after radiation. Unfortunately for one of the women, her inability to raise her arm was delaying her radiation as you must be able to put your arm behind your head. Even though she was told about several limitations, she proceeded to ignore them and went through her probable usual paces. Most women there could not do what she asked and felt badly. As yoga was to relieve stress, this actually caused stress.
Now I have been out of treatment for 3 years. Most of the problems have vanished brought on by BC. I remain tense and inflexible. I also still have poor balance. Additionally, I seem unable to follow rapid-fire multistep directions: Do this then this then this then this just annoys me.

So I did get more of a workout and was sore the next day which I suppose was good for me. I missed the leg massage the other lady gives. Many of the women though were quite discouraged and won't come back unless our original teacher is there.

And two of the newbies were in their late twenties or early thirties. Breaks my heart. BC is creeping earlier and earlier in our lives.

A new heat wave is settling in. Tomorrow: 97 and no rain in sight. The dryness makes it easier to run in the heat but tough on my yard. I awoke especially early today and ended up checking out bargains at the Farmer's Market. Not as many as I would have liked. I did redo my rock garden as it was taken over by Snow in the Spring or whatever that plant is called. Its pretty white flowers have morphed to tan seed pods covered everything. I cut most of them of and removed half of the plants replacing them with hopefully prettier perennials.

Mom's Happy Hour tonight featuring $2.50 margaritas. Yum.


Teri Bernstein said...

I wanna go to Mom's Happy Hour. BTW...I have been taking 3 spin classes a week, and when there is a substitute things can get really grim. One sadist thinks we should be doing Bikram Spin with no fans on... and there are 6-5' diameter fans. Doesn't she get that people who like to be on a bike like the feel of a BREEZE? Not to mention, women of my age have temperature regulation issues. Clearly, this stresses me out. I get off my bike, and walk up, interrupting her, to ask to turn on the fans. In other words, I hope your regular person is back soon.

Nancy's Point said...

Sue, I have been a substitute teacher for many years, so I really wanted to cut the sub instructor some slack, but really - come on. Yoga class is supposed to be fun too isn't it? And to not consider the limitations of each individual in your class is wrong for any teacher whether you're teaching yoga or math.

I think I need to find myself a yoga class sometime soon. I keep hearing about the benefits of yoga.

Kate said...

Sue, I just found your blog and I would love to send you copies of two videos I created in honor of my mother, who lived for 23 years after her diagnosis of metastasized breast cancer. I wanted to share the healing power of yoga with her, and would love to share with you as well. If you could email me your mailing address I will pop them in the mail to you so you can have a gentle teacher at home any time you want, no substitutes :).

Warmly -


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