Therapeutic Yoga Classes Providence RI
North Providence, RI
Stories in Hope
The Power of Yoga
by Mary Ellen Ireland, chaplain at St. Mary's Regional Cancer Center
I had finished my breast cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, and 33 radiation treatments when I attended the Courageous Women retreat in Colorado. I was still feeling rather beat up and I was having big problems with my digestion. I went to one yoga class and voila! I was immediately relieved of whatever was wrong with my intestines. I felt great for the first time in a year. Thanks to the yoga classes I attended at that retreat, I took a weekly yoga class throughout my year of treatments, bald head and all. I’m sure it was quite a sight because I had gained 16 pounds from the steroids and could barely move. Yoga gave me a chance to feel normal and in charge of my disease.
The year 2008 has been my year to focus on my health and fitness. I found a DVD of Kundalini Yoga at our library that I have been using at home and it has given me renewed energy. Just last week, I started taking yoga classes again at the local Yoga Academy. I feel like a beginner all over again and it feels great to be alive!
By Sarah Michaelson
It is mid-August and I am sitting in the back of the Old Orchard theatre, watching March of the Penguins. They’re waddling in the snow, the temperature 80 degrees below zero, toward their mating destination. Seventy miles to go: waddle, waddle, waddle, thunk—another one falls into the snow. It’s too cold, too far, one of the penguins is too hungry to go on.
My parents are sitting on my left, watching the movie with me, their faces earnestly following the penguins’ arduous fate. I have tuned out the narration but watch an egg, a potential penguin, get passed between the mother and her mate. The father is not fast enough and the egg is lost; there will be no new baby penguin. The frame moves slowly. I watch the crack expand up the body of the egg and listen to the sound of ice attacking. The parents marched 70 miles for nothing.
I look over at my parents, who flew in from New York this morning. Tomorrow we find out if my cancer is back. My mother looks so worried, but she won’t talk about it.
At the hospital the next day, the surgeon meets with me in a room labeled “Consulting” to discuss the removal of the mass and the removal of one or both of my ovaries. We are on the cancer floor. I don’t look at the bald women with headscarves, sitting attached to their chemo drips. After I enter the room, I do glance at the brochure on the rack by the door labeled “End of Life Planning.” I am cold but sweating. I lost a breast to cancer six years ago. There is a familiar lack of smell in the room, and I am starting to feel nauseous.
I make an appointment with my primary doctor. She is lovely and petite and remembers everything in my records and every symptom I’ve ever told her about. She looks me in the eye while she reports her conversation with the oncologist.
“There are four possibilities,” she sa...
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