This post truly needs no introduction…read on and be inspired!

Hi!  My name is Deb Kiefer.  My cancer story began about 1.5 years ago.  

I went for my annual mammogram and by the time I got to work I had already received a response in mychart so I knew that meant that something was detected.  

A few days later I had an ultrasound and another mammogram and then I was sent for a biopsy.  

Four days after the biopsy I got a call from my PCP with the news that I was diagnosed with invasive carcinoma in my left breast.  

As I was on the phone, I was looking at a sign in my house “God is good, all the time” and amidst tears and a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, reminded myself of that truth!  

A few minutes later, my husband walked into the house after work and I told him of the news from the doctor.  We cried in each other’s arms and then he led me to the couch, where he prayed for this journey before us, knowing that God is faithful and that this was somehow for our good and His glory.  

I was referred to both a medical oncologist as well as a surgeon, both of whom recommended a lumpectomy with lymph node dissection, followed by radiation and then 5-10 years on an anti-hormone drug since it was HR+ (hormone receptive positive).  

On May 14, 2019 I had surgery to remove this nasty little, but aggressive, tumor.  

Next came radiation.  On July 1st I began radiation M – F with my last treatment on August 1st, which was celebrated with the infamous bell-ringing, hugs, and tears of joy. 

I had no idea that radiation would be so exhausting and take so long from which to recover!  

I began my “magic” anti-hormone pill October 1st.  I did not have side affects for 3-4 weeks so I thought… whew… dodged that and found “the” pill for me.  

Ha… boy was I wrong!!! 

When the side affects kicked in, they hit with a vengeance. 

I could barely bend my fingers, would be awakened with pain in my hips, shoulders, legs, feet, not to mention, horrific hot flashes! My joints in my fingers were sore and inflamed.  I could not even get my wedding ring back on. 

In fact, I could barely walk!  

Enter Maple Tree…

Even before my cancer I enjoyed exercise. Therefore, Maple Tree seemed like the perfect help for me to get my strength and mobility back.  

I began my MTCA journey in the fall of 2019 and quickly discovered that I had lost a lot of mobility, energy, and strength through my treatment. My MTCA trainer was so encouraging and made it fun to work out!  I look forward to my sessions each week and to seeing my slow, but sure progress. 

I have now been a part of MTCA for about a year.  

You hear the saying “Exercise is medicine” and it is so true!  For me, it is like taking medicine but all natural and with great affect on my body!  

“Motion is lotion!”  

When I do not work out, I can feel it!  I get stiff and achy again and know it is time to kick it up, even if it is just a walk!  I figure, any movement is better than sitting on my rear.  

I even began taking slow walks a couple of days after surgery.  I had only gone a block and felt like Forrest Gump when he was done running…. haha… I could not go one more step but it was a start!  I told my oncologist from the get-go that I wanted to do this journey as naturally as possible and I’m so thankful she has been so supportive of that! 

I am 60 years old and want to stay active into old age… whenever that may be. 😊

MTCA has been a HUGE blessing in my life and such an encouragement to me!  Thank you for offering this program for cancer patients!  I cannot say enough positive about the program!  If you have a doubt about doing it, don’t!!!  No matter where you are in your cancer journey, they are there for you, walking beside you, encouraging you, and helping you with your healing and wellness!