Developed by the Mater Breast Care team, Return to Wellness offers breast cancer patients' access to a guided exercise program with a physiotherapist and breast care nurse, and advice about their diet and lifestyle choices to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
Senior Physiotherapist Oncology Services Leah McIntyre said because the classes are smaller they can help each participant reach their individual goals.
“Our exercise programs are tailored to our participants individual needs, medical status and personal goals. Cancer treatment takes its toll on the body and we are focused on helping them regain both their strength and confidence,” she said.
“This is an important part of our patient’s recovery and we are so proud to be able to offer this service here at Mater and are so thankful to Dry July for their support.”
Debbie Anderson has been a Mater Volunteer for ten years working in the Mater Cancer Care Centre. However, at the beginning of 2020, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and joined the hospital as a patient.
“I had a routine breast screen which detected a lump, it turned out to be a maligned tumour and I had to have this removed. Following this I had to have three surgeries and radiation, it was a very intense experience,” Debbie said.
“I am now doing the Return to Wellness program and I can feel my strength returning. The classes have been great, and I am focused on getting my reach back.
“I have had amazing support from my care team, my fellow volunteers and my daughters, I am so lucky to have such a strong network of caring people around me.”
Amazingly Debbie continues to volunteer each week in the Cancer Care Centre bringing joy to patients she is now able to offer new insight into what life is like as a cancer patient.