The most difficult thing about my cancer was the insatiable sense of exhaustion. After my surgery and treatment, I was looking forward to getting my energy back. That didn’t happen. Not only did I have to push myself through each and every day, I became so deconditioned, I could not even put my own socks on. Bending over the side of the tub to wash my little granddaughter’s hair was out of the question. Sleep did not help; even sleep became a battleground.
It was during a talk with Paula Finestone about impaired sleep that I noticed a yoga flyer on the table. I wondered aloud if yoga might help me regain some flexibility. My quality of life was so poor, I thought, “what do I have to lose by trying this?” Paula passed me the flyer and I made the call. I began taking Michelle Stortz’s yoga class on September 25.
In just two months, I was able to put my socks on, wash my granddaughter’s hair, and lift her up. Over Thanksgiving, I spent eleven days in Paris with my husband visiting our son who is doing semester abroad, and we walked 8 to 10 miles each day!
I want to thank you for your vision in offering and supporting yoga at Fox Chase Cancer Center. To me, it means a return to quality of life. In terms of the past few years and the whole cancer thing, I’m not thinking ruefully of before and after cancer. I’m thinking what it delight it is to have a hopeful life ahead of me because I began yoga.
Michelle Stortz is a skilled and gifted teacher, and her compassion and joy shine through in every class. She offers individualized guidance with specific poses and movements that strengthen my body. I am grateful to her and for her.
I write this because I wanted you to know what this class means to me as an individual. It’s not just a good idea. For me, it’s a return to a life that’s worth living.
- Donna Rosenthal, Cancer Survivor