Fighting Breast Cancer: a survivor's story
Kate Alpha has been fighting the effects of breast cancer since October of 2015. She remembers her son telling her that she'd never get cancer because she ate salads and ran all the time. Two weeks later her mammogram came back clear, but she also requested a sonogram (her mother, other relatives had breast cancer, and she had dense breasts). The test found a mass.
Kate had a double mastectomy , and began radiation treatments. She says she 'drove her doctors crazy' asking to start an exercise program, and began walking, then running, though she had trouble coping with fatigue. She set a goal of doing the Iron Girl Triathlon, and was able to, in August 2016.
Kate, a speech language pathologist at Baldwinsville's Baker High School, had side effects from the drugs she was taking, and this past August had a second major surgery. She expects to have to undergo one more.
Kate's mother has gotten her into another form of exercise, introducing her senior exercise coach Fred Wilson, who's also a Cancer Exercise Specialist. Wilson concentrates on helping breast cancer patients, and says his programs continue help, after patients finish physical therapy. He concentrates on rebuilding damaged upper body muscles, and says the exercise helps combat the fatigue that is a result of the drugs used to treat cancer. (his next session is at the Go Figure Gym in Camillus, Thursday 4pm)
Throughout the fight, Kate has found exercise to be her stress reliever. As she says, it gives her control over something, amidst many developments out of her control. She looks forward to next year's Iron Girl, and says she's marking the calendar, counting the days to when she's officially declared cancer-free.