Breast Cancer Survivor Now A Fitness Enthusiast

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“Give your morning to God and he will give you the day.” –Carmel Murphy

Cindy Minter was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2014. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a fitness enthusiast and a Hot Yoga student.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed in January of 2014 and I discovered it during a mammogram.”

The Journey

“I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2014, two months prior my stepson passed from suicide. To say the least, my spirit was crushed and the sudden circumstances and uncertainties changed my life forever. I remained strong most of the time for the sake of my family meanwhile internalizing my own grief with the help of prescription drugs to numb the pain. Grieving made me question everything including my spiritual faith.

After my bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries, I suffered from intense anxiety and depression. I was angry and I felt cheated and robbed of my femininity and not that I wasn’t grateful to be alive. I knew to remove my breast was going to get rid of my cancer but living without my breast I couldn’t register.

I was concerned about how my husband was going to cope and survive with two deceased sons, an emotional teenage daughter and a wife with potential recurring cancer. He is a brave man and my rock and certainly had his hands full. I constantly struggled with whether he would find me attractive without breasts and nipples and whether I would love myself without them. The perception of myself and body image changed and I continually battled with negative inner chatter.

Two years of grief therapy, physical therapy, and couple therapy I began mentally adjusting to my new body and I began learning skills how to live and cope without my loving stepson. But it wasn’t until practicing YOGA consistently that I truly began my physical, spiritual and healing journey.

I discovered yoga to be the most beneficial therapy and it introduced me to a life of self-care. Yoga makes me feel complete and not separated from myself and it allows me to heal emotional trauma. The movements heal my wounds each time I practice and it changes my negative thoughts into positive thinking, it strengthens me entirely. It improved my health during recovery when I could barely raise my arms to my head and most importantly it improved my desire to heal depression and anxiety. Vinyasa gives me more confidence to share my feelings and not internalize them.

Yoga changed my life spiritually, emotionally and physically and it heals me in ways other forms of exercise cannot. When I flow in Vinyasa I feel free from the emotional pain of my past it teaches me to live in the present.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“I have diagnosed with DCIS an early stage of breast cancer. I was terrified. I had both breasts removed and went through 3 surgeries. I didn’t go through chemotherapy and I refused radiation. I was prescribed cancer prevention medication that made me sick for years. First I have prescribed Letrozole and I was on it for three years. 8 months ago the oncologist changes my medication to Exemestane. I am 4 years cancer free.

I fight every day by self-care and exercise. My motivation is my family and especially our daughter. I fight every day to prevent recurrence through yoga and many other forms of exercise.”

Biggest hindrance

“The mastectomy changed how I felt about my body. Coping with the scars, pain, weight loss, hair loss and thinning, sexual side effects, changes in sensation, or lymphedema, scar tissue issues, it took a toll on me emotionally and physically. My sexuality changed, mobility in my arms, my femininity robbed, hormonal changes, the scars on my chest. Everything changed.”

Message to other cancer patients

“Fight and never give up on yourself. Things may appear bleak and dark of the unknown at first but there is always a reason to keep fighting. Stay informed and do what is right for you, most of all listen to your body. Journaling helped me get through dark times and there is always hope.”

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