Last week, I wrote about New Year’s resolutions and how this year has vastly varied from what I had pictured or planned.

Anyone else?

I have a feeling that none of us were really prepared for this season of quarantine, unrest and confusion.

I sure wasn’t!

Some of us may have fared better than others, but suffice it to say the challenges of 2020 have affected all of us to some capacity.

That’s why we have to look for and celebrate the goodness around us. It’s out there; sometimes we just have to dig a little deeper.

Today I want to tell you about a Maple Tree client named Christine. Her story is best told her in own words:

“My name is Christine. I am 52 years old, a Christian, Wife and Mother of 17-year-old boy/girl twins.  In November 2018, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS). I chose Springfield Regional Cancer Center (SRCC) for my care, and it is through them that I learned of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance (MTCA).

Because of my age and Oncotype DX score (ONCO – 33), my doctors advised a Lumpectomy, followed by 4 rounds of AC Chemo, 12 rounds of Taxol Chemo and 21 Radiation treatments. This course of action took 10 months to complete. In the end, I was very fatigued, both physically and emotionally. I experienced trouble sleeping, neuropathy, joint pain and soreness after lifting much weight in my right arm due to surgery in my right breast. Unfortunately, my life could not be put on hold for another year so my symptoms could improve. I needed to build my endurance to get through an eight- hour workday and then take care of my family. I began walking around my neighborhood which helped somewhat but was not enough. My Radiologist informed me the latest research indicated the only way to gain more energy was to get my heart rate up for 45 minutes 4 days a week. I began a step workout at home but honestly could not even get through the warmup routine. I had a goal, but no knowledge how to attain it.

Now, having worked with MTCA and just six months later, I have advanced to daily aerobic workouts an hour at a time. I no longer feel tired and I have lost 60 pounds. I am starting to feel back to my precancer self.

 As a life-long resident of Springfield, I could have easily hired a personal trainer at any number of facilities. That said, none of them had the experience of working with cancer patients in recovery nor the understanding of the fears and anxiety involved in exercising after such a hardship on the body. Most personal trainers push you to your maximum ability, but cancer patients are unique and limited at first. Strength must be built back up slowly. Derik immediately understood that need and met me where I was. His approach made me feel comfortable. Before we even began, he tested me for flexibility, breathing, blood pressure, oxygen, etc. He worked up a plan specific to my needs and week by week he taught me new exercises to improve my range of movement and stamina. He provided instructions on additional exercises I could do at home and even called me on his personal time to check in on my progress during COVID when we could not work out together.

Our partnership worked and I began to see results rather quickly. I became excited to learn more so I could continue making progress.

Cancer provided me with a perspective of gratitude and joy for every new day of life.

SRCC provided me with quality care and new friendships that have come to mean the world to me.

MTCA gave me the tools and resources I needed to get back to living my life fully. The symptoms I experienced at the end of Cancer treatment are all gone. I am excited for my future and continue to employ the lessons I learned to live a much healthier lifestyle. I’m even looking into ways I can become more involved so that I can help others going through the same journey.”

We asked Christine what she would say to cancer patients who are unsure about starting an exercise program with Maple Tree Cancer Alliance. Her response:

“Allow yourself the gift of MTCA! It’s free, effective and inspiring. If you invest your time and energy, they will provide the knowledge and care needed to help you achieve your goals.”

A HUGE congratulations, Christine!  We are so thrilled by your success!  To sign-up for yourself OR to check out the MTCA facility closest to you please visit:

See below for a couple of pictures of Christine; isn’t she beautiful?!