Breast cancer survivors find community support in yoga class

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Breast cancer is the ultimate wake up call for many who have been diagnosed.

Survivors say the disease forces them to reflect on their lives and find new ways to move past treatment.

For six weeks, some breast cancer survivors will be moving to the next phase of recovery at the St. Joseph’s/Candler Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion (LCRP). That’s where cancer survivor and yoga instructor Elaine Fox offers a yoga class to promote living strong.

“I always find the hope in the situation, and that’s what kept me going,” Fox said. “I help them find their hope, their determination, their perseverance in being well.”

Battling back from breast cancer, survivors Selma Gunther Brown and Juanita Rivers said being with a community that has had similar experiences is encouraging.

“We have something in common and we can share our experiences and what our future goals are going to be. Mine is to try to live a better healthful life,” said Rucker.

“I was so happy when I was able to get enrolled in it and participate in it,” Brown explained. “I made me feel like I wasn’t in this alone.”

Research in breast cancer patients has shown yoga may be able to help reduce fatigue, stress and improve sleep and overall quality of life.

“I woke up with a pain on my right sided in my back, and by the time she did the stretching exercises the pain is no longer there,” Brown said.

Fox takes pride in helping cancer survivors learn to nourish the body and mind with the power of love — and hope to continue to heal.

“Keep on moving, exercising, whatever your body can tolerate at a given time so that you stay strong and never lose sight of the hope,” she said.

The LCRP cancer transitions program is free and held once a year. Courses also cover taking control of survivorship, nutrition, emotional health and well being, medical management and life beyond cancer.

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