Exercise key aid to make recovery

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Exercise after cancer treatment says breast cancer survivor Lani Patterson, of Queensbury.

“It’s not only good for your body, it is good for your mind.

“You think you are broken, so you think you can’t do it, but actually you are not broken.”

Mrs Patterson was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2015.

Within four days of the diagnosis, she was in an operating theatre having an 8cm tumour removed.

“I was very lucky to actually have a reconstruction so I have two normal breasts, but because of the size of it I had to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy.”

Six months of chemotherapy at Dunstan Hospital followed, then a further six weeks of radiotherapy at Dunedin Hospital.

Rehabilitation began for her while still getting radiotherapy treatment, she said.

“What happens when you get radiation is the tissues get really tight, and you can’t move – it’s like frying a piece of meat.”

PINC Cancer Rehabilitation (formerly known as Pink Pilates) was key to her getting movement back after radiotherapy treatment, she said.

Mrs Patterson began her rehabilitation while still in Dunedin, then continued to work with Vicky Hill, of Central Lakes Physio in Wanaka.

“I was constricted in my movement, so it was really helpful to go to Vicky and she would help me do some exercises.”

Exercise could reduce the chances of cancer re-occurring, she said.

“People that have had cancer, the biggest fear is the re-occurrence.”

“Exercise is something they have proven can actually help in the cancer not re-occurring.”

The Cancer Society of New Zealand’s Daffodil Day fundraiser on August 31 was a timely reminder of all those who have been through cancer or have been lost to cancer, she said.

“We all know somebody, don’t we? Everybody knows someone that has either had it, or has got it.”