I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer February 2008. Three weeks after discovering the lump, I was angry just as much as I was devastated not knowing what the outcome would be. My husband could sense my apprehension (even though I tried to be strong about it all), and the pure, natural fear of losing one or both of my breasts. (I hate not being in control and I wasn’t in control of me anymore.) So he took me away from it all to a place where nothing leaves, to talk, laugh, play and make decisions. Las Vegas. Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments followed a right side radical mastectomy. Although I was never really very ill during this, these two treatments drastically changed my body. From the loss of my hair, this truly affected me more than I thought it would. Handfuls of it washing out in the shower brought the decision to have my head shaved, so my very supportive husband assisted me in this endeavor. (No more bad hair days!) The being lopsided was another problem to overcome. I definitely needed something to equalize that right side so my necklaces would hang straight instead of sliding to the empty spot and hang at an angle. The weeks of inactivity really got me down. I wanted to work in the office, nixed. I wanted to work in my garden, nixed. I wanted to ride my bike, go on walks, go golfing, nixed. Food? Oh yes, I could have all I wanted. So I did.
Reconstruction surgery took place in 2009. After 7 days of recovery in the hospital, it was 3 more months at home. Yes, more food and little to no activity…again. This really did change my body I was not so sure it had been the right thing to have done, I didn’t know if I would ever look right again. In 2010, a stress fracture to the right foot required surgery. Where or when that pain started I couldn’t say, but by mid August, I could barely stand. Surgery was once again taking control of my life and my visits to the Wellness Center stopped. I was fitted with a black boot and told to stay off my foot for 3 months and must keep it up above heart level. (What is it about Doctors and that magical 3 months of inactivity for healing and recovery?) I wore that boot from mid September thru December when I broke free only after promising the doctor I would visit him again at our 1 year anniversary. Physical Therapy took place off and on for a little over 2 years. Although my stamina improved during that time, I was not physically in shape. By the time the boot came off I weighed a whopping 187 lbs and wore a size 16+. My clothes did not fit me. 20 years ago I weighed 130 lbs and wore a size 8. Now I was miserable. I tried everything to lose weight. Everything that came along I would try, promising myself I would make it work this time. There were diet pills, powders, special foods, I even convinced my husband that the popular exercise DVD’s would definitely remove the rolls from my back, sides and tummy. I just could not understand why I kept on getting larger. (There is one thing about any of those exercise programs that I have learned. You have to use them; you have to move to lose.) My husband remembered a friend that knew Sandy Hancock. One day when I was feeling especially low, he suggested I look up her website. (All I could think while looking up that infamous site of “BodyBySandy.com” was what could she offer that I hadn’t already tried?) After reading about Sandy and the programs and of course after discussing the different programs with my husband (after all it was his idea and he who pointed in Sandy’s direction), I (we) decided I should contact Sandy. Sandy was very gracious. After reviewing my online request, photo’s and history she agreed to set up an appointment for consultation and evaluation. This turned out to be a discussion to find out what my goals were and to find out if I was truly willing to commit. (There were forms and doctors releases I had to fill out or have filled out and sent back into her.) Sandy wanted to make sure I truly wanted to change. When I had to set a goal, the only thing I could think of was to be skinny like I used to be? (No not good enough.) To lose inches and gain some muscle? Now I was getting on track. But how was I going to do that? How much weight did I need to lose? How much muscle should I try to build? This is where Sandy came to my rescue. Keep the goals small and attainable. This is what she does. Through nutrition, meal planning, cardio plans that rotate every 3 weeks and personal training 2 to 3 times a week. No sweat right? Not hardly! But did I do it? YES! (Yes, I did sweat!) Sandy knew just how much to push me and when to tell me to not to push myself so hard. I looked forward to my visits to Sandy’s and I even looked forward to the sore muscles I knew would follow. I always look forward to receiving new menu plans because they are always such a surprise, always yummy and so easy to follow (Just a little planning), and no cheating required. Sandy has never given up on me, she really cares about me and I don’t want to let her down. It has now been a year since I first contacted Sandy. I have gone from 174+ lbs to 133 lbs from 39% body fat to 18.1% body fat and I have gained 5.4% lean muscle. My husband refers to Sandy as the Miracle Worker; he has been by my side every step of the way to encourage me. My doctors are thrilled; my cancer hates it (cancer likes fatty cells to grow in, so says my oncologist). I love what my body is becoming, (I still have a ways to go to reach my newest goal.) All in all I’m proud to call Sandy Hancock my friend.