Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Client of the Month - Paula Billingsley


Paula first joined the Crowbar Crew in the summer of 2014 but a battle with breast cancer would put her new fitness routine on hold while she fought like a warrior to win back her health and a chance to spend her mornings with us again.  We couldn't be prouder of her hard work and determination and are so honored to feature this strong lady as our October Client in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In June 2014 my fledgling exercise routine at Crowbar got sidetracked by the phone call no one ever expects after a routine, annual mammogram.  What followed were biopsies, lymph node surgery, a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgeries, genomic and genetic testing, and the nasty side effects of medication they say needs to be taken for ten years.  In between and throughout these assorted treatments, the positive and upbeat Crowbar family has been welcoming, accommodating, and encouraging, and has generally helped save my sanity.
It’s been about a year since the first big surgery, and I’m here and healthy.  Things are back to a new normal, including a 6:00 a.m. Crowbar class most days.  But without that routine mammogram, my invasive breast cancer would not have been detected – no lumps, no bumps, just bad stuff that was caught on film before it spread too far.  There’s nothing pretty or pink about breast cancer; it’s a demoralizing, deforming sucker punch that slams into one out of every eight women in the U.S. every single year.  The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and having birthdays – nothing preventative to be done about either of those.  It can be treated, but it can’t be treated unless it’s found.  So please, please, please, keep exercising, do monthly self-exams, and get screened annually.
Sometimes we think that taking care of ourselves is a luxury we don’t have enough time or money for. But when we take care of ourselves, we catch things early on, and we’re more mentally and physically prepared to face our challenges. Taking care of ourselves is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Oh, and we should consider donating our time, effort, and money to groups that spend more than eighteen cents out of every donated dollar on cancer research.  Our lives depend on it!

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