Today I am talking with personal friend and cancer warrior, Lockey Maisonneuve. Lockey is the founder of MovingOn, a rehabilitative exercise class for breast cancer survivors.
Debbie: I’m a big fan of your MovingOn exercise class, which really helped me heal from my cancer surgeries. Can you tell us how you were inspired to create your program?
Lockey: The concept of MovingOn came to me as a result of my personal breast cancer journey. Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was a healthy, active wife and mother of two. Health and fitness were top priorities, given my work as a personal trainer. It was through my struggles recuperating from breast cancer that I realized the power of moving on from diagnosis and treatment through exercise. By rebuilding my body, I took back control over my body and thus took back control over my life.
Debbie: Why is rehabilitative exercise so important to healing from cancer surgery?
Lockey: My tumor was 4.5 centimeters when I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. I needed a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, and then I was put on Tamoxifen for five years. There was no negotiating. I just had to deal with it. Of course, all of the surgeries and treatments ravaged my body.
Before breast cancer, I was physically fit and worked out five days a week. After breast cancer, I was a shell of my former self and needed a nap after taking a shower. Besides the fatigue and infirmity, I was actually scared to work out because I didn’t know if I would hurt my incisions, my radiation-tightened skin, or pop an expander, move my wig or scarf or have the hot flash to end all hot flashes. I remember the first time I tried to do a push up and I felt my chest muscle move. I immediately called my plastic surgeon to find out if I had hurt something.
Debbie: That must have been so frustrating. How did you go from that level of infirmity to becoming a role model for other women?
Lockey: With the support of my team, I pushed past the fear, and continued to strengthen my body. Every day I got closer to my old self, I realized with greater clarity that the gains weren’t just physical. It struck me that, if I felt like a fish out of water during those early days, what must other women who just wanted to get moving feel like? I started talking to the therapists and doctors at the hospital. I was amazed at their enthusiasm to get their patients moving.
I was so encouraged, I got certified to exercise with cancer patients and created the MovingOn program. MovingOn seminars and classes provide information about the benefits of rehabilitative exercise for cancer patients/survivors. They also provide a space of support to let women discover they can move on from diagnosis and treatment. Of all the cancer patients I’ve met, the one thing they all have in common is, at the end of the day, they want to feel comfortable in their own skin again.
Debbie: What’s coming up next for you and MovingOn?
Lockey: We've gotten many out of state requests for the MovingOn program. We are in the process of creating videos that can be downloaded from the website to provide the same exercise protocol for folks who can't attend a MovingOn class. So check out the website and like us on Facebook so we can let you know when the videos are uploaded.
Debbie: Another great resource is the interview we did together with Luci Weston over at the Here We Are blog talk radio show. You shared so much great information about "Life Beyond Breast Cancer: Healing the Mind, Body and Sprit." I was proud to be a part of that interview and thank you so much for joining me here at WWGN!
Lockey's class not only helped me heal physically, it became an on-your-feet support group. It helped get me moving and sharing. Plus, I still do yoga today because of the appreciation I got for exercise and how good it makes my body feel. As Lockey says, exercise is the final phase of treatment after cancer. Have you discovered the gift of exercise after cancer and how has it impacted your healing?
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