Cancer survivor continues to exercise during treatment 03/26/2012
Meet Edward Health & Fitness Member Deb Sowski
Question #1: How long have you been a member of EHFC?
Answer: I’ve been a member of Edward Health & Fitness Center for about 12 years or more. I’ve belonged to other clubs, but when Edward Health & Fitness Center at Seven Bridges opened, it was conveniently located to my home.
Question #2: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Answer: I am 53 years old and I work as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. I am also a breast cancer survivor. Every week, I volunteer at the American Cancer Society, helping breast cancer patients with wig fittings.
Question #3: What aspects of EHFC do you enjoy most?
Answer: Edward is a great club and has lots to offer. Some of my good friends belong to the fitness center, too. We’ve become friends over the years through exercise. I’ve tried just about everything at Edward including Zumba, aquatic classes, spin classes and Step aerobics. Now you can find me in either the weight room or on the cardio equipment.
Question #4: How often do you work out?
Answer: On average, I work out 5 days a week at Edward. My job as a flight attendant takes me away from home, but if I was home seven days a week, I would be at the fitness center, exercising. My work out routine includes one hour in the weight room and one hour doing cardio.
Question #5: Why is leading a lifestyle important to you?
Answer: My family has a strong history of heart disease and I want to do whatever I can to prevent or reduce my risks. I eat a healthy diet and work out almost every day. I want to live a long healthy life so health and exercise are important.
A few years ago, though, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was stunned. I kept asking my doctor, “Why me? How can a healthy person get cancer?”
Question #6: Did you exercise during your cancer treatment?
Answer: Yes, exercise has been an important part of my recovery. On September 9, 2009, I had a mastectomy - and six days later, I went to work out at the fitness center. Starting in October 2009, I started four rounds of chemotherapy treatment and I still went to the fitness center five days a week. Even if I was just walking on the treadmill, I felt like I was doing something that made me feel good. As I recovered, I added more and more to my workout until I had completely returned to my regular exercise routine.
Question #7: What have you learned from your cancer journey?
Answer: I’ll never know why I got cancer, but my experiences have made a difference in my life. On the day that I completely lost my hair, I went to the American Cancer Society for a wig fitting. I was so touched by the tremendous care and support that I decided to become a volunteer. It is very rewarding to help breast cancer patients who just need to talk to someone who has walked in their shoes. I’ve helped so many people because of my journey, and so now, instead of questioning why I got cancer, I say “Why not me.”