Breast Cancer Recovery and Pilates

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer found in women.  According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it is estimated that in 2020:

  • 27,400 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This represents 25% of all new cancer cases in women in 2020.
  • 5,100 women will die from breast cancer. This represents 13% of all cancer deaths in women in 2020.
  • On average, 75 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day.
  • On average, 14 Canadian women will die from breast cancer every day.
  • 240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 55 will die from breast cancer.

My goal as an instructor has always been to make my clients feel at home in their bodies; to feel comfortable in their skin and not be defined by their injury or illness.

I believe in the healing power of movement. I have seen that power manifest in my clients as they work through an injury and chronic pain. I have seen that power in my clients who are recovering from illness.

A few years ago, I certified in the Pink Ribbon Program to deepen my focus in helping women take back control of their bodies after cancer, after chemo, after surgery. On an intellectual and physical level I have been able, and continue to be able, to help my clients recovering from cancer, chemo and surgeries to find themselves again in their movement and in their bodies. But you never really understand the full emotional depth of a cancer diagnosis until you get a front row seat.

Breast Cancer has not touched my loved ones but cancer has. My mother was diagnosed late last year with Stage Three of a rare and aggressive form of cancer. 

I have seen how the cancer diagnosis affected her mind, body and spirit.

I have seen how multiple surgeries left her body feeling incomplete, not feeling like herself, or feeling like a stranger in her own body.

I have seen the effects of chemotherapy, and how it leaves you feeling depleted.

But more importantly, I have seen an unwillingness to let cancer keep my mother down. After her initial diagnosis, she made a clear and conscious choice not to be defined by her illness. Her postivity and determination to live her life has been inspiring. And a big part of her plan to move forward with her life and take back control of her body, is through movement.

I certified in the Pink Ribbon program before my mom became ill. The knowledge I learned in this program has been instrumental in my approach to my mother’s Pilates programming and the use of movement as part of her recovery.

For for the month of October, I am giving my Breast Cancer Recovery bundle away for free.

In the Breast Cancer Recovery bundle you will find videos on stretches post-surgery and how to progress those stretches as you get stronger and regain your range of movement. There are also two full length workouts, one focusing on TRAM Flap reconstruction surgery recovery and the other a more general surgery recovery workout.

**Please consult your health care team (doctors and physios) before taking part in any movement program**

It is my hope that the information, stretches and workouts found within this package help you, or a loved one, find peace in your body and movement, feel more at home in your body and more like yourself again.



Robyn Thaler Hickey Toronto Pilates_2

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