I am new here, but thought I would give this a whirl. Been thinking about it for a while, and in hindsight, I should have started it way back when I was diagnosed, but better late than never I guess!
This blog is not about Breast Cancer, it’s meant to be about ballroom and latin dancing, and dancing while I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer is just (I hope!) a temporary theme. I will do a separate post later to describe my breast cancer journey so far in a little more detail, but I want to introduce myself with just the basics.
I had been dancing almost 4 years when I found a lump in my right breast in October 2014 at age 35. One thing led to another and I was diagnosed with Stage IIa Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) and Stage 0 Ductal Carcinoma in-Situ (DCIS) in my right breast November 19th, 2014. I had surgery in December 2014 to remove the tumours and I started Chemotherapy in January 2015, just after my 36th birthday and 1 week after competing at a local competition.
My goal is to keep dancing as much as possible through all my treatments. So far, so good. I have completed 12 of 16 chemotherapy treatments and have 4 left on the next 4 Fridays, provided all goes well. I dance about 4-5 hours a week right now, mainly doing practice exercises to keep my technique up. Following chemo, I will have 6 weeks of radiation followed by at least one major surgery. It’s still a long journey.
Cancer aside, I am a pro/am competitor currently working at the silver level, and I tested out of bronze in all 10 dances in March. I have been competing since August 2013 and done a few comps here and there as I have been able to afford to do so. I currently do all 10 International style dances, but for 2 years I did American style at a franchise studio. I currently work with an amazing independent instructor who not only agreed to keep working with me while I was sick (which is asking a lot more than I would usually expect from an instructor), but somehow has managed to keep my dancing progressing.
Dance is absolutely my passion, and right now, it is what keeps me going as I struggle to finish up my treatments. When I dance, I can forget about treatments and breast cancer and just be me and focused on what my body is doing. I wouldn’t be able to get through this if I wasn’t dancing. I will write a couple more posts today just to introduce myself a little better, but, if you are reading this, I hope you enjoy my random thoughts as I continue through what my dance journey.