Center For Survivorship
Oncology Rehabilitation and Research

Center for Survivorship Blog

Find inspirational articles, poems and educational pieces on cancer rehabilitation, treatment and survivorship!

Hummingbird Courage: Breast Cancer Survivor

Today I worked with a breast cancer survivor that is experiencing some major side effects from chemotherapy including cancer related fatigue, total body deconditioning, chemobrain and decreased endurance. Of course, the most effective intervention for all these side effects is aerobic and resistance exercises.

A couple weeks ago when we began, she ask where all the machines were that are usually used in physical therapy clinics.  I told her that I prefer to only have patients perform exercises in the clinic that they can do at home. That is why I prefer exercises with theraband, stability balls, foam rollers, free weights, etc. I explained that the most effective exercises are those we call functional exercises that can easily be performed at home and mimic everyday movements.

She told me today how happy she was that the exercises we do are not on machines and she is able to easily see how effective these are. She is showing great progress with increasing strength and endurance in just a short time. She also said that she bought a stability ball for her husband so that they could do the exercises together.  This is very exciting, as not only is this sweet cancer survivor taking personal responsibility and engaging in her own physical wellness but partnering with her husband is improving her social and emotional wellness!!!

She is embracing her hummingbird courage!

-Deb Doherty