#mybodytude: How Physical Activity Helps Me Cope With Metastatic Disease

Hear My Voice: Metastatic Breast Cancer Outreach Volunteer April Hines put together this #mybodytude photo diary on stage IV disease, exercise and body image. Read other posts in the mybodytude photo diary series.

After she began treatment for stage IV breast cancer, April Hines discovered that exercise played an important role in helping her cope mentally and physically with the disease and treatment side effects. She shares her story and #mybodytude philosophy in this #MetsMonday photo diary.

Join April and others on Instagram – snap a selfie and use the hashtag #mybodytude for the chance to win a Visa gift card!

Visit LBBC.ORG to learn more about this selfie contest and campaign.

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I’m April Hines, and I’ve been living with metastatic breast cancer since January 2016. This a photo of me on day of the 2014 Grateful Gobbler Walk here in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This selfie represents #mybodytude after completing treatment for my initial diagnosis; I was grateful to able to walk for long distances after finally rebuilding endurance. Staying active is really, really important to me. It’s why physical activity is the focus of my #mybodytude photo diary. #breastcancer #MetsMonday #stageivneedsmore #dontignorestageiv #breastcancerawareness #stompoutbc #metastaticbc #bcmets #cancer #cancersupport #bodyimage #selfesteem #wellness #bodypositivity #bodypositive #thisismbc

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My husband (left) is paddle boarding in this picture. I’m kayaking because I’m not very good on the paddle board. I love kayaking and do it all the time. #mybodytude #breastcancer #MetsMonday #stageivneedsmore #dontignorestageiv #breastcancerawareness #stompoutbc #metastaticbc #bcmets #cancer #cancersupport #bodyimage #selfesteem #wellness #bodypositivity #bodypositive #thisismbc

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The real cool thing about kayaking is that it’s very beneficial for me. I sometimes have lower back pain because of the metastasis to my bones. But once I’m in the water and kayaking, my back doesn’t hurt at all. Kayaking is good for people with mets because you get a lot of reward out of it, and it’s not hard on you physically. It’s great for #mybodytude. #breastcancer #MetsMonday #stageivneedsmore #dontignorestageiv #breastcancerawareness #stompoutbc #metastaticbc #bcmets #cancer #cancersupport #bodyimage #selfesteem #wellness #bodypositivity #bodypositive #thisismbc

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This is a selfie of my husband and I at the summit of Walnut Mountain, hiking the Appalachian Trail. I love hiking. My husband helps me stay active and is very supportive of helping me stay moving to improve #mybodytude. It’s important to have partners and caregivers who can help motivate you to stay active and feel safe while doing it. #breastcancer #MetsMonday #stageivneedsmore #dontignorestageiv #breastcancerawareness #stompoutbc #metastaticbc #bcmets #cancer #cancersupport #bodyimage #selfesteem #wellness #bodypositivity #bodypositive #thisismbc

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Terra, my husband and me. Terra is such a good dog. Dogs are great equalizers when you’re living with a disease like metastatic breast cancer. Terra motivates me because physical activity is important for her, too. It doesn’t matter how hard or great my day’s been – she always has the same enthusiasm for walking. If I have a bad day, her enthusiasm helps me get outside and moving, which helps my #mybodytude. #breastcancer #MetsMonday #stageivneedsmore #dontignorestageiv #breastcancerawareness #stompoutbc #metastaticbc #bcmets #cancer #cancersupport #bodyimage #selfesteem #wellness #bodypositivity #bodypositive #thisismbc

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I use different apps like BeachBody and the programs that come with it (specifically, I use #piyo) to maintain an exercise schedule. Moving my body through these activities really helps me cope with the emotional, mental and physical impacts of metastatic breast cancer. Symptoms and side effects of metastatic breast cancer and treatment can make it hard to stay active. But if you can find an activity that works for you, you’ll get major emotional and physical benefits. Staying on a routine has helped me cope with the side effects of treatment so well for so long. Being as physically well as I’ve been gives me a piece of control to thrive as much as I can. #breastcancer #MetsMonday #stageivneedsmore #dontignorestageiv #breastcancerawareness #stompoutbc #metastaticbc #bcmets #cancer #cancersupport #bodyimage #selfesteem #wellness #bodypositivity #bodypositive #thisismbc

Share your bodytude after breast cancer on Instagram with #mybodytude! Follow these instructions for the chance to win a gift card for joining the campaign.

See what others are posting to #mybodytude on Instagram.

Get more information and hear more personal stories during our free program on Thursday, July 14, Love, Sex and Relationships: Body Acceptance After Diagnosis.


April Hines was originally diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer in October 2012. She was later diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer on January 22, 2016. When she and her husband are not fighting breast cancer, they’re taking care of their dog, hiking and kayaking near their home in the Chattanooga, TN, area, and spending as much time as possible with their two nieces and nephew. Follow April on Instagram: @owlchicksr948

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