October is breast cancer awareness month, making it the perfect time to introduce you to our lovely member Kaylan!
Maybe you've seen her at the studio, said, "Hi" in the lobby or rubbed elbows at the barre... but you may not have known that Kaylan has been working hard to overcome a breast cancer diagnosis this year. Making it to class with a smile on her face, even when things were difficult, Kaylan has exemplified what it means to face challenges head on, and to find grace in adversity. We're so proud to know her and to have her as part of our community of strong, beautiful women here at Energy!
The Susan G. Komen foundation estimates that breast cancer will affect more than 245,000 women in the U.S. this year, but with early detection survival rates skyrocket, making breast self exams and regular screening invaluable. Take a few minutes to read more about Kaylan's journey to becoming a breast cancer survivor:
1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?
34 years old
2. What stage were you diagnosed with?
Stage 1, Node negative, triple negative breast cancer
3. How was the cancer initially detected?
I found the lump myself in January. It was the size of large piece of gravel and hard as a rock. I knew instantly it was different and not normal.
4. How did you feel when you first received the news?
It was a combination of instant fear and devastation with a mixed sense of relief that I had an answer and an early diagnosis.
5. Is there a family history of breast cancer?
Nothing significant that raised any red flags. I later tested negative for any genetic mutations such as the BRCA genes, ie. Angelina Jolie.
6. What was your treatment process like?
I had a double mastectomy with temporary expanders placed followed by four rounds of chemotherapy and a second surgery for placement of the final implants.
7. What role did working out have in your journey, before, during, and after treatment?
I joined ENERGY a year ago after a strong internal urge to find a local studio. It has always been important for me to be fit and during my breast cancer journey it has been even more so. The community of support that ENERGY has provided since my diagnosis has literally been a source of energy for me. There were days I didn't want to go to a class, but I knew all I had to do was show up and whoever was running class that day would inspire me to get my body moving. Working out was one way I got to feel like I was in control.
8. What message would you like to provide women in our community?
It is so important to know your own body, follow your instincts and be your own advocate. There is always hope, even in a breast cancer diagnosis.