In home yoga for those diagnosed with TNBC
As most of you know, after a 18 month's I've finally tackled the dragon and completed the second stage of breast reconstruction (trading in those tissue expanders for silicone breast implants). Beginning the journey in 2015, I'd come a long way but still carried a tightly packed suitcase full of emotional baggage into 2017. Nothing was folded neatly, just stuffed, smashed down and packed together with little frayed edges sticking out. I'd attempted to keep this brightly colored carry on shut, at all times, but tripped up as I went for a post op check up with my oncologist. All of the baggage came spilling out in the exam room, and I was just was in no mood to bend down, gather it up and explain away the baggage. "Let it sit there" I thought, in all it's humbling, belligerent glory. "I ain't moving"!
My eagle eyed oncologist, zoomed in on the exposed mess, and nudged me to tell her, what was going on. I don't know if was the truth serum, otherwise known as the narcotic pain killer, or my unusually super calm demeanor, which included a large, robust, healthy dose of "I don't give a damn" attitude, which was on full display, but we both came to the determination that something had to give. It was time.
Luckily, I had a secret weapon. I had been chosen to participate in Carol's Crusade for a Cure -CCFAC's - Triple Negative Breast Cancer Yoga Program. So here's my review:
1- This would not have happened if it had not been for the tremendous follow up CCFAC's co-founder Dana Klebanow. Every so often she would shoot me an email, regarding deadlines for turning in paper work for participation in the program and prompts on how to access and book my first session. One could not have asked for a better cheerleader when it came to encouragement in regards to receiving this service.
2- The cost and location. It's determined on a case by case basis. My sessions are free and will continue to take place in the cozy, cocoon like comfort of my home. You can't ask for more.
3- Experience - This is where the programs shines. I'm talking sparkly, diamond like shine. My new secret weapon, I'll call her Ms J. brought a level of energy into my home that was unparalleled. It reminded me of those warm summer moments. You know the ones. Comfortable breeze hitting your outstretched fingers as you stand barefoot, in lush soft grass, watching firefly's slip softly thru your grasp at dusk. Sun setting, you can hear the rhythmic chirping of the small birds and crickets, setting you up for a long lazy night. Yeah, that's the kind of energy Ms. J. floated into my home with, and I was all for it! But what I truly appreciated was, Ms. J.'s simple line of questioning, wanting to know where was I at in my life now, and what kind of of restorative mediation or yoga would I like her to provide. After providing Ms. J. with a abbreviated version of the events that had dominated my life for the past several weeks post op, we settled on a session of Reiki. Ms. J. came prepared with mats, blankets and tools of the trade (although my house is well stocked, we now know that if I were lacking, she had that area covered). Using aromatherapy (lavender) small tuning forks, soft music and light touch, I was transferred from a recovering post op survivor to a calm, focused, serene, clarifying bundle of pure joy. Ms. J. prompted me to isolate my breathing, soothing thoughts, memories and channel the energy to relax. Small in stature but big in experience, Ms. J's direction was spot on and I was left feeling fresh, free with a firm reminder that the health of my mind, body and spirit should always be collective. Never overlooking or ignoring one for the benefit of the other, I was encouraged to actively take care of all of me. Ms. J. had suggestions on small goals, we could work up to as I move along in sessions, eventually leading to restorative strengthening as we move forward. Ms. J. was looking ahead, planning, and it feels promising! Grade - A++
1- Really the only noticeable glitch at the time of my booking was the disconnect between me and the PRIV app. I'm not quite sure that the problem is, but I do know that after downloading the app I was not able to directly book a session. I had to work with a mediator to pick out scheduling, focus/type of session, pre consult with the service provider and credit card info, all stuff I should have been able to to with the app. Having to go back and forth with the helpful mediator, granted helped me get the session, but slowed down the process. It's a glitch that more than likely is being addressed and may have been corrected at this time. Grade - C
As a Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor, overall I'd have to give the the CCFAC's TNBC Yoga Program a grade of - A.
If their goal was to make me feel special, educated and provide relief, then mission accomplished. I'm really looking forward to my next session.
For more information on how you or someone who has been diagnosed with TNBC can participate in CCFAC's Yoga Program, please click on the link below.