3 tips from a breast cancer survivor

Patient Stories | October 15, 2018
dragon boat team paddles on Vancouver Lake
Getting your life back after treatment is a journey. Exercise is especially important.

Carla Lange was only 40 when her first mammogram revealed she had breast cancer. She counts herself lucky that it was caught so early. That was four years ago. She has since made many discoveries.

She joined a dragon boat team to "do something new and different and get off the couch." In this brief video, she shares tips for others struggling to overcome a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

1. Try new things.

“Don’t go back to what you’ve done before if you know you’re not going to do as well. I used to play other sports. I felt frustrated I wouldn’t be at the top of my game any more. So my provider said, ‘then play a new sport.’ That is another reason I picked dragon boating. I had no benchmark or comparison to say I was ‘this good or bad before.’

The bonus for Carla was that “there is clinical evidence that using your arms in specifically in a dragon boat paddling motion is helpful for breast cancer survivors,” she says.

2. Recognize your feelings.

“Fear is something that’s going to happen. Allow yourself to feel these feelings," she notes. "The thing I would recommend is don’t dwell on these feelings forever. Recognize those feelings and then move on feelings you want to have.”

3. Move your body.

“It’s really hard when you have so much pulling your body down to want to get up. Find motivations," urges Carla. "Use your family and your community to move and get going again.”