We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to share today’s "Survivor Voices" feature with a snippet taken from an interview with Anna Wassman-Cox, a two time breast cancer survivor.
“I was first diagnosed at 25 years old, after finding a lump during a self breast exam. I shared this with my doctor and they weren’t concerned, given my age, but ordered an ultrasound and biopsy anyway. A few days later, I got the news that I had invasive ductal carcinoma, breast cancer. I was diagnosed a second time at age 29 after finding another lump very close to where my original lump had been.”
“Being a cancer survivor means I’m still here to live another day. It has helped me to feel grateful for my life, to bring things into new perspectives, and I sweat the small stuff less. I have found love and appreciation for everyday moments in life that are so beautiful. Survivorship can be so challenging, with fears looming, but I have found that tuning into my body and reconnecting with it has helped me through many challenging times. My body is still supporting me in staying active and I’m so grateful that it helped support me through my treatment.”
“People warned me about how different survivorship would feel. That you won’t feel like yourself, especially right after treatment. I didn’t really listen to them as I was convinced I wasn’t going to let cancer change me. However it does change you. There is no going “back” to normal. There is only your new normal and navigating that especially at such a young age can be so difficult. It took me about 3 years post treatment to really feel like I was finding my new normal and like I felt like myself again. Today I feel I have finally been able to tune into who I am as both a cancer survivor and a person, but that is the silver lining of having breast cancer young, you have the opportunity to really dive deep and figure out who you are.”
During Anna's recurrence, she got back in touch with her body through ballet, and found that it was helpful to her on her healing journey. From that she decided to start Movement Pointe - Ballet for Healing for every body. She also created a tailored Onco-Ballet class that addresses the needs of those impacted by cancer by helping them get back in touch with their bodies through ballet movement. Her goal is to continue to offer these Onco-Ballet classes to the cancer community at low to now cost, so she founded the Onco-Ballet Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the goal of donor funded Onco-Ballet classes. Her hope is that these classes can help people at all stages of their cancer journey through ballet movement. Learn more about Movement Pointe @movementpointe on instagram and check out their website to see when classes and events are scheduled www.movementpointe.com.
Thank you, Anna, for sharing your story with our community.