RECAP: In part one, long time Suncoast Pilates client Sonya had been diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram, experiencing no symptoms or family history, in February 2015, After a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis, she opted to immediately have a double mastectomy, which was performed March 30, 2015. She has been a studio client since late 2006, taking Pilates sessions three times weekly. In part two, Sonja was allowed to return to Pilates exercise five weeks post surgery, and with proper progression, she achieved the goals of regaining range of motion, regaining her strength and endurance and to her surprise, being able to do many exercises she thought that she may never be able to do again. She attended POT Sacramento in July. On September 2, Sonja underwent a second planned surgery to remove the breast expanders, insert implants and shave a little more tissue off the left breast, in order to avoid chemotherapy.
On October 6, she visited her oncology surgeon for a follow up to her second surgery. The surgeon pronounced that no chemotherapy or radiation was necessary and that she would see Sonja in a year. Sonja’s breast cancer had been detected in the early stages. She took immediate action, choosing to have a double mastectomy. Each person who is faced with such a decision makes a personal choice. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer that is found because they are causing symptoms tends to be larger and more likely to have already spread beyond the breast. In contrast, breast cancer found during screening exams is more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast. The size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the prognosis.
Most doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year, and that many more lives could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests. Following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer improves the chances that breast cancer can be diagnosed at an early stage and treated successfully.
Sonja will continue to be diligent and have follow ups with her doctors. She has been cleared to once again return to her Pilates workout exactly four weeks after her second surgery. This procedure was as invasive as when she underwent the double mastectomy. We are again properly progressing her Pilates sessions, and now she can begin to fully heal. She is continuing her sessions two to three times weekly, and we are also incorporating CoreAlign exercises. She also daily walks and bike trips on her own. Her goal is to once again perform everything in the Pilates repertoire on all of the equipment, which we filmed her doing in the studio the day before her double mastectomy on March 30, 2015. She is also going to take her Comprehensive Pilates Instructor Test Out.
It is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Sonja is an example that early detection is so very important and that being strong prior to surgery is vital to an improved recovery. Please get your breast exam today!