Hi, my name is Kerry and I live in Brisbane. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August 2019, such a shock as no obvious signs which is often the case with this type of cancer. I started chemotherapy straight away, followed by surgery and more chemotherapy. I was lucky enough to be given a brochure about Choices Cancer Support Centre at the time and became a regular there participating in yoga and gym program, it was nice to be around others that knew what you were going through.
I was a very active person prior to my diagnosis and was determined to keep up with my fitness as much as I could. I joined the Choices Gym Program and really enjoyed the emphasis on staying healthy and fit during and after treatment. Having an exercise physiologist at each session to monitor progress and personally tailor a program for me was an absolute luxury. And of course the bonus was the wonderful support and friendship of others on the program. Catching up on Wednesday nights became a weekly highlight for me - a great excuse to get out, exercise and have a laugh!
The 6 week program came to an end all too soon but fortunately we were able to start on a maintenance program of weekly gym sessions. I've been doing this now for over a year and it has made such a huge difference to my life in terms of new friendships, fitness and my self-esteem. Nobody told me that a cancer diagnosis would affect my self-esteem the way my diagnosis did - you go from being a confident, outgoing person one moment to a frightened one in a matter of minutes.
Being able to maintain my fitness has given me a sense of control over my life that I felt I'd lost after my diagnosis. And being accountable to friends in the gym group has made me go to sessions even when I felt I was just too tired to go!
A heartfelt thanks to Dry July for making the Choices Gym Program possible. It has made a huge difference to many people and will continue to do so - thank you from all of us!
Picture below: Kerry attending Dry July funded Gym Maintenance Program.