Catching Up on Z’s: 5 Tips for Exercising to Cope with Cancer-Related Insomnia and Fatigue

You don’t have to be tired all the time just because you have breast cancer. In anticipation of our Wednesday, July 20 Twitter Chat, Oncology Exercise Specialist Sami Mansfield shares tips to help you get moving to cope with fatigue.

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Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve cancer-related fatigue and insomnia.  While you may feel like resting when you are tired, know that even a little movement will help you physically and mentally. After a cancer diagnosis, most patients decrease their exercise and physical activity due to not feeling well, having other obligations such as appointments and often because of emotions such as anxiety and depression.

Lack of physical activity leads to a loss of lean muscle tissue which is most often strength muscle (versus aerobic muscle) and makes  activities such as stairs, grocery shopping and laundry more exhausting. It is important to keep exercising at an appropriate level for you and to prioritize strength building exercises such as chair based leg lifts, arm curls and shoulder presses to keep your muscle mass.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Small bouts of movement provide quick endorphins that will help  you feel better quickly. Set your timer for 5-minute sessions to get started and work by adding one minute per week.
  2. Try to exercise when you have the highest energy but if that varies, find a regular time based on your pre-diagnosis body clock.
  3. Put an appointment on your calendar and set a reminder.
  4. Use chair based strengthening to get started. Use your body weight only or add some small items such as soup cans.
  5. Put on some music that you enjoy. It doesn’t need to be fast but allows you to focus on moving rather than sitting and watching TV.
  6. Write down your goals and “why’s” for exercise, read these often to remind yourself why it is important.

Want more tips on coping with sleep problems? Join Sami and our tweeps on Wednesday, July 20 at 8 p.m. (ET) for our Twitter Chat Catching Up on Z’s: Coping With Cancer-Related Insomnia and Fatigue. Use #LBBCChat to follow along or join the conversation!


Sami Mansfield is an oncology exercise specialist and the patient wellness program development manager for the University of Kansas Cancer Center, an NCI cancer center in Kansas City, KS. Sami runs her own organization helping people through Cancer Wellness for Life. Sami sees first hand the importance of exercise to reduce side effects, maintain strength and the ability to withstand and recover from aggressive treatments and surgeries. 

#mybodytude: Finding Empowerment and Rediscovering Beauty After Breast Cancer

AnaOno Intimates Founder Dana Donofree’s blog post for #mybodytude campaign. Read other posts in the mybodytude photo diary series.

Coping with scars, pain, weight gain or loss, hair loss or thinning, and other side effects of breast cancer treatment can leave you feeling less confident or in control of your body.

Dana Donofree felt this loss of confidence and control after she was diagnosed at age 28. The AnaOno Intimates founder shares this #mybodytude photo diary about the steps she took to feel beautiful and take back control after treatment.

Join Dana 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.

Dana Diary Photo 1

This was before cancer. At age 27, life was endless and time was forever. I was untouchable. Everything as I knew it was great. I was getting married to the man I loved, and I had a rockin’ career. It was all going the way it was supposed to go; the way I’d planned. I was active and taking care of myself (for the most part) because after all, I was prepping for my “Big Day.” I was in the best shape I had been in since high school. I was, for once, happy within my own skin. Looking in the mirror was a proud moment; I worked hard for it! #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 2

Then my world came crashing down around me. There was about to be a continental divide between what would be “Life Before Cancer” and “Life After Cancer.” How could I have ever been prepared for this derailment and what would be the new road ahead of me? I was 28, about to lose my breasts to cancer and who knows what else. I thought I was lucky to not have much “attachment” to my breasts – I was a booty girl, and so was my fiancé – but that didn’t matter in the end. I wasn’t at all prepared to be stripped bare; to be reduced to nothing but my shell, without anything left to define me or my identity. Instead, I thought “I got this.” I thought I was “OK.” #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 3

So I took the opportunity to have some fun. My only regret? NOT dyeing my hair bleach blond! I always wanted to be a blond, to see if it was true that they really have more fun. I knew I was having (and have had) my fair share of enjoyment before the darkness. And, I guess the doctor appointments and my cancer schedule left me without being able to add in one more hair appointment. Instead, my bestie chopped off my locks, and we went all Sharon Stone with it. I still loved my look; to me it felt liberating and SEXY! And I thought I rocked it, still totally felt like myself, and cancer wasn’t going to strip me of that. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 4

The only thing I wished for during chemo was to drop those stubborn 5 lbs I couldn’t lose while getting ready for my wedding. Looking back that wasn’t exactly the healthiest wish because when I did lose the weight, it plummeted to a sickly number, not a sexy number. (And, then it came back with vengeance and spite piling on more pounds than before cancer). Even though my rock star shaved head look got tons of compliments – though I figured those people had not the slightest clue it was an illness, not a fashion statement – I realized none of this was about my weight or my looks. It was about my survival. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 5

But then, after the treatment and the hell, the post-cancer reality set in. Everything was gone. My breasts, my hair, my eyebrows, eyelashes. Nothing left but the shell of what my body and I used to be. I struggled with wearing a wig or drawing on my eyebrows, because there was a part of me that felt like I was lying. I wasn’t telling the world who I was exactly when I covered up my bald head or added on eyebrows. I also felt lost because of how I looked. I didn’t have hair to style, eyelashes to build up with mascara or even clothes to wear. I didn’t know who I was. I mean I knew I was still me, but my personality and identity had so much to do with how I expressed myself through fashion and style. But there was nothing to style and nothing fit. So I tried to figure out who I was again; it was like puberty all over. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 6

I did come back around, slowly but surely. I realized the “new” Dana was much like the old “Dana,” but with bigger and badder ideas and a renewed inspiration to enjoy life! I did get married, a year later, and we celebrated in Las Vegas like we were supposed to do before cancer rearranged a year of our lives. And once on the other side, I had fun EVERY second of the way! I came to love my new me. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 7

But, my body image and self-esteem about my looks were not bouncing back as quickly. Before, I had no problem looking in the mirror, doing a little twist and checking myself out, but after cancer, I could barely even catch a glimpse. For me, it was the scars. I felt alien. I felt like a broken doll. I had to look at myself every morning, and get dressed every morning and with every morning, I got more and more depressed. Something was missing, I lost control. So I decided to TAKE IT BACK! I decided to take my life and my body image into my own hands. The first way I did was searching for inspiring tattoos that could help me mask my scars, and then I did it. I got a mastectomy tattoo. I made a decision and did something I WANTED to do: something that made me feel beautiful and was of my own choosing. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 8

And I realized, if it was going to take me tattooing a “Tree of Life” around my body, in the shape of a demi bra (because none of my own bras fit me any longer), than you know what, I was also going to make that change. And with my ideas, my sewing machine and my determination, I was going to make intimate apparel that also fit my new body. Because covering up my sports bra wasn’t making me feel good about myself either. I made another decision to bring empowerment and beauty back into my life: I launched AnaOno, lingerie for survivors by a survivor. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

Dana Diary Photo 9

So even though I lost myself, I found her again. A better me. One that had changed and evolved and one I am now proud to call me. Times were dark, and many days I wasn’t sure where I would end up. Now, looking back on my journey five years ago, I am proud, confident and strong. Everything I was before cancer tried to take it away. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #selfesteem #loveyourself #everydaybeauty #yougotthis

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.

Hear more of Dana’s story during our free program tomorrow Thursday, July 14, Love, Sex and Relationships: Body Acceptance After Diagnosis.


Dana Donofree was diagnosed with ER positive, infiltrative ductal carcinoma at 27. She currently lives in Philadelphia with her loving and super supportive husband. They love hiking and biking when the weather allows for it, and dancing and yoga to stay healthy! She fills her days working on AnaOno, a lingerie line for breast cancer survivors, and loves every moment of it!  Follow Dana and get the latest from AnaOno on Instagram: @AnaOnoIntimates.

#mybodytude: Learning to Trust and Love My Body – Scars and All

Kristina Schermerpanelist for our July 14 Breast Cancer 360 program,  learning to love her body after breast cancer for the #mybodytude campaign. Read other posts in the mybodytude photo diary series.

Most people go through times of both positive and negative body image. After her breast cancer diagnosis, Kristina Schermer developed a negative body image and had to learn how to love and trust her body. She discusses her experience rebuilding her self esteem in this #mybodytude photo diary.

Join Kristina 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.

2016 Photo 1

September of 2014, I was 26 years old. BRCA 2 positive and a year in recovery for an eating disorder. I had worked so hard to learn to love my body just the way it was and could have never anticipated it being forced to change as a result of cancer. Breast cancer was a new step in recovery, a new place to look myself in the mirror and love my body for what it is and what it will become…. Scars and all. #mybodytude #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

2016 Photo 2

The day I stood in front of my sink brushing my hair as it fell at my feet, I knew it was time. I gathered my closest friends and drank champagne while we cried and laughed shaving my head. Loving a bald head was a new step in loving the body I have…. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

2016 Photo 3

With my shiny new head, and loss of weight due to chemotherapy. I embraced the end of chemo by celebrating at the Houston Rodeo with my parents. This photo is a symbol of strength, and a woman I am so proud to be today. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

2016 Photo 4

As I recovered and my hair grew, I remained in menopause and slowly began to gain weight. The menopause and tamoxifen only accelerated this process. I remained hopeful and honest about my struggles in how much my body fluctuated but never stopped trusting it to balance out. Even today it still seems to be adjusting…. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

2016 Photo 5

One year from being diagnosed I honored my journey by running 13.1 miles. Each mile I dedicated to a particular part of my breast cancer year. Just seven months from completed chemo I crossed the line with my sister at the Denver Rock N Roll Half Marathon. It is amazing what the body can do. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive #halfmarathon #rnrhalfmarathon #rnrdenver

2016 Photo 6

This photo taken just a few weeks ago. Still wearing hats, smiling and continued to honor and love my body for not only surviving but allowing me to live life full and with great joy. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

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.


Kristina Schermer was diagnosed with BRCA2-associated breast cancer one year ago, just weeks before her 27th birthday. She had fertility preservation, a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Ms. Schermer works for a private real estate equity firm and enjoys biking, watching sports, trying new restaurants, sharing a good glass of wine with friends and traveling the world. She has a blog, www.myheartspitterpatter.com. Follow her on Instagram: @kmschermer.

#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

#mybodytude: Coping with Changes from Breast Cancer at Age 21

Meagan Anderson’s #mybodytude photo diary on having breast cancer at age 21.  Read other posts in the mybodytude photo diary series.

Women diagnosed with breast cancer in their teens and 20s have unique needs and challenges, especially when it comes to body image. Meagan Anderson shares her experience diagnosed at age 21 in this post for the #mybodytude campaign.

Join Meagan and others: go to Instagram and share your selfie after a breast cancer diagnosis! Use #mybodytude and you’ll have the chance to win a Visa gift card!

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

My name is Meagan, and that is 21 year old me! I haven’t had short hair since I was in elementary school and loved my long hair. In a few short months my entire world would turn upside down. I’ll be telling you a little about #mybodytude and how it changed at getting diagnosed at 21! #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

I took this picture the day before I was diagnosed. Smiling after having a small surgery and thinking I was going to start getting better. Oddly enough I didn’t cry when I was told I had cancer but I cried when I had a clump of hair come out in my hand. #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

I hated being bald, people would make rude comments to me or call me a man. I bought a wig but I think my expectations were to high because I wanted it to be like my own hair. So I wore beanies… A lot! #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

I finished chemo after what seemed like an eternity, but was only 3 months. Around 3 weeks after chemo ended my hair started to come back! Thankfully it came back all at once, which was awesome! #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

This picture was taken about a month ago, at 11 months after diagnosis! I get a lot of compliments from doctors, nurses, and friends about how fast it’s growing in. I’m beyond happy it’s growing back and with it my confidence grows more and more. Not just because of my hair but because I’ve adopted #mybodytude of if you don’t like me or judge me over something I had no control over then that’s your problem. If you want to hear more about my story check out the living beyond breast cancer event on the 14th, where I’ll be one of the people speaking! #mybodytude #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #bodyimage #bodypositivity #ayacsm #bcsm #bodypositive

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 of Meagan’s story during our free program on Thursday, July 14, Love, Sex and Relationships: Body Acceptance After Diagnosis.

#mybodytude: Redefining Beauty After Diagnosis and Treatment

Tonie Jones, panelist for our July 14 Breast Cancer 360 program,  blogs about redefining beauty for #mybodytude. Read other posts in the mybodytude photo diary series.

After she began treatment for metastatic breast cancer, Hear My Voice Outreach Volunteer Tonie Jones forced herself to rediscover her body’s strength and beauty. The esthetician chronicles her “bodytude” from before diagnosis, after and beyond in this photo diary for the #mybodytude campaign.

Go to Instagram and share your selfie after a breast cancer diagnosis – use #mybodytude and you’ll have the chance to win a Visa gift card!

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

Tonie 1

My name is Tonie. At the age of 43 I had started a new career as an Esthetician and Makeup Artist. I was finally living my dream. I was also thrilled that I had finally gotten back down to a size 10 in jeans. Little did I know I was thin because I was sick. Four months after this picture was taken I was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #baldisbeautiful #bodypositivity #dontignorestageiv #cancersucks #bcsm #breastcancerawareness #metastaticbreastcancer

Tonie 2

I was scared of so much. I was scared of how cancer would change my looks. I was scared of how my clients would react to me as I began to lose my hair and eyebrows. But, mostly I was scared of dying and leaving my three daughters without a mother. I had to fight and, I had to live. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #baldisbeautiful #bodypositivity #dontignorestageiv #cancersucks #bcsm #breastcancerawareness #metastaticbreastcancer

Tonie 3

Man, did my makeup skills come in handy once the hair was gone. I did a lot of wigs and head wraps to hide my diagnosis at work from clients. But, when I would get home and wash it all off I had to face the reality of my life. The image in the mirror minus the makeup and wigs was hard to swallow. It was like watching myself disappear slowly. No hair, no lashes, no eyebrows and no facial expressions. I had become a shell of the person I once was. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #baldisbeautiful #bodypositivity #dontignorestageiv #cancersucks #bcsm #breastcancerawareness #metastaticbreastcancer

Tonie 4

As my hair began to sprout up I faced the challenge of losing my breast. In August 2014, I had a double mastectomy without reconstruction. Talk about changes to your #mybodytude. After, losing so much of myself I physically I had to dig deep emotionally to find myself again. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #baldisbeautiful #bodypositivity #dontignorestageiv #cancersucks #bcsm #breastcancerawareness #metastaticbreastcancer

Tonie 5

This picture was taken at my fist LBBC conference for MBC. This was the first time I was in room with other women who had the same body challenges that I had. It was liberating to look across the room and see others who had just grown their hair back, had just lost their hair and other beautiful women who were breastless. It was the first time in a long time that I had felt beautiful and not embarrassed about my body in really long time. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #baldisbeautiful #bodypositivity #dontignorestageiv #cancersucks #bcsm #breastcancerawareness #metastaticbreastcancer

Tonie 6

This is me today! On July 15th, it will be two years since chemo ended. I’m not cured but I am stable. I am grateful for everyday that comes. The brows are thinner, I am back to wearing my wigs and extensions, Although, I work out pretty regularly I am 25lbs heavier than I was when I was diagnosed. Everyday, I find an issue with my body. I hate summers and tank tops. It’s so hard to work that out with bras and prosthesis. I begin my journey of reconstruction in October. All that being said life is to precious to really worry too much about the extra pounds, and stunted hair growth. I look in the mirror and I see me. Beautiful, strong, courageous me. That’s my #mybodytude. #breastcancer #bodyimage #baldisbeautiful #bodypositivity #dontignorestageiv #cancersucks #bcsm #breastcancerawareness #metastaticbreastcancer

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 of Tonie’s story during our free program on Thursday, July 14, Love, Sex and Relationships: Body Acceptance After Diagnosis.


Tonie Jones is an ethetician in the Denver, CO area known as The Brow Snob. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2014. Follow her on Instagram: brow_snob.

#mybodytude: Physical Changes and Clothes Shopping After Stage IV

Bald Ballerina and Hear My Voice: Metastatic Breast Cancer Outreach Volunteer Maggie Kudirka’s #mybodytude post on her body image and clothing style changes after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Read other posts in the mybodytude photo diary series.

 

Your attitude toward your body and how you express it may change after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. In this photo diary, Bald Ballerina Maggie Kudirka discusses how treatment for metastatic breast cancer changed her approach to clothes shopping and her overall “bodytude”.

Read Maggie’s photo diary and share your bodytude about breast cancer and body image on Instagram! Use #mybodytude and you’ll have the chance to win a Visa gift card!

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

1st picture

I’m Maggie, also known as the Bald Ballerina, diagnosed at age 23 with metastatic breast cancer. I was a thin but curvy dancer with a full bust – far from the small-breasted ideal ballerina shape. I often wished my breasts were much, much smaller. It would make fitting into costumes and finding clothes that fit much easier. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #metastaticbreastcancer #terminalbreastcancer

2nd Picture

Before I was diagnosed, I wore bright, colorful clothes; there were very few neutrals in my closet. I don’t know if it was because I was more carefree or if it was because I had to wear black leotards in ballet class. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #metastaticbreastcancer #terminalbreastcancer

3rd Picture Photo Credit Lucas Chilczuk

One of the challenges of being a dancer with a full bust is keeping your chest from becoming a distraction. You don’t want people watching your bust go up and down during a jumping combination or checking out your cleavage when you bend forward. So I had to find good, supportive bras and then find leotards that covered up straps. (Photo Credit: Lucas Chilczuk) #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #metastaticbreastcancer #terminalbreastcancer

4th Picture

The morning after my double mastectomy was one of the happiest days of my life. The source of my cancer was gone and I finally had the body I always wanted – no reconstruction for me! My surgeon Dr Neil Friedman told me that was my silver lining. My smile tells the whole story. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #metastaticbreastcancer #terminalbreastcancer

5th Picture. Photo Credit Andrew Holtz

Since I no longer needed a bra, I could wear any kind of leotard – spaghetti straps, low back, one shoulder, etc. I loved the freedom this offered me. Later that year, I worked with one of my favorite choreographers on a new piece. It was a relief that I did not need to worry about how supportive the costume would be. Photo credit Andrew Holtz #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #metastaticbreastcancer #terminalbreastcancer

6th Picture

Cancer raised my awareness of the toxic chemicals that are ubiquitous in our environment, not only in our food and household items, but also in the fibers used to make our clothing. I now make an effort to purchase clothes made from organic, sustainable fibers that are undyed or dyed using non-toxic natural dyes. As a result, my color palette has become more muted and neutral. I appreciate the subtle shades of undyed natural fibers like wool, linen, and cotton and I like that no toxic chemicals were used to produce or dye the fibers. #mybodytude #breastcancer #bodyimage #metastaticbreastcancer #terminalbreastcancer

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.

Learn more about body image, dating and relationships during our free program on Thursday, July 14, Love, Sex and Relationships: Body Acceptance After Diagnosis.


Maggie Kudirka, known on social media as the Bald Ballerina, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2014 at age 23.  She was a member of the Joffrey Concert Group in New York City before the diagnosis put her dancing career on hold. Following surgery, Maggie went back in the studio to work on regaining her strength, stamina and technique. She hopes to return to dancing in New York City again. Learn more about Maggie on her website, baldballerina.org, and follow her on Instagram: @baldballerina.