Tag Archives: Casey Eischen

Healing well

WARNING: NSFW / graphic content below.

Elephant on chestSo far, so good. Things are looking good and healing well after my latest surgery two weeks ago when a tissue expander was placed on my right side. I am not loving the discomfort I have. Feeling no pain, but the tightness is definitely there! It is that elephant-on-your-chest feeling. Not as bad as after original mastectomy, but still very uncomfortable.

I have not been doing my stretching and range of motion exercises on a regular basis, so time to get back to those at least once per day. No lazy days! I am a fan of the Coach Casey Eischen post-mastectomy exercise program. She designed it specifically for women recovering from breast cancer related surgeries after she had her own PBM and noticed a void in this area. Check out FoobieFitness.com for exercise tips, videos, and nutritional information. Here is the video with level 1 & 2 exercises. These helped me a lot after my original surgery two years ago and each one after that.

And here’s my progress pic: two weeks after tissue expander placement on my right side (left in pic).

First expansion: March 4. Exchange surgery: July 23, 2015.

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Fitness

I can’t wait for this surgery to be behind me! Only a few days left. At 1½ years, this process has taken much longer than I expected and I’m so ready for it to be a distant memory.

One of the things that I have stayed away from during this adventure has been my regular workout routine. I miss it and am eagerly awaiting to be cleared by my plastic surgeon to get back to it. After my last exchange in September ’13, I got that clearance a month out. About the same time I began using the silicone scar-reducing gel and we all know what came next. Ever since then I have been scared to overdo it, so I just haven’t done anything.

I’m not planning on seeing my good ol’ buddy Tony Horton the day after surgery, but I do plan on seeing Casey! Casey Eischen is a fitness expert and nutrition coach that is certified in training women who are recovering from breast cancer related treatment or surgery. She created a great post-mastectomy exercise program that I did after each one of my surgeries (see below). Casey also founded Foobie Fitness as a guide to help women not only prepare and recover from treatment or surgery, but also to educate us on how we can all make small improvements to help live a cancer-free lifestyle. Today I got my Foobie Fitness tank. I am ready!

Foobie Fitness tank


As with starting any diet or exercise program, always consult with your doctor.

Post-op resistance training

Level 3 exercises are here!

I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts, that I began doing simple range of motion exercises while still in the hospital bed on the day of the prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. I was following Casey Eischen’s program. Casey is a fitness expert and nutrition coach that is certified in training women who are recovering from breast cancer and related treatment or surgery.

If you have not yet seen Casey’s first video or want to learn more about her, see: Post-op exercises or Foobie Fitness.

Here is the next video in the series with level 3 exercises. It is for those that are at least six weeks out from their mastectomy and includes more stretches plus a great resistance training routine.

As with starting any diet or exercise program, always consult with your doctor.

Foobie Fitness

Fitness, nutrition, and your health

Speaking of exercise … post-mastectomy exercises are crucial to a full, healthy, and speedy recovery. I keep mentioning Casey Eischen’s program, because it really is a great one and has been working well for me. Every day I do exercises and every day I get further than the day before.

Casey EischenClick here if you’re interested in learning more or contacting Casey Eischen. This amazing lady 1. is a fitness expert and nutrition coach that is certified in training women who are recovering from breast cancer and related treatment or surgery, 2. she underwent a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy herself in November ’12, and 3. she took some time to provide invaluable feedback for this post. Also, be sure to visit (and like) Foobie Fitness, a FaceBook community page run by Casey Eischen.

NotePost-op workouts are one thing. Preparing your body before the procedure is another, and just as important. It is the #1 item on my preparing for surgery checklist: get in the best physical shape you can manage before the surgery. The healthier the body, the more tolerant it is to trauma, and the faster it recovers. I workout on a regular basis, however, I’m no fitness guru, so I would advise discussing exercise with your doctor and/or a certified trainer.

In addition to physical fitness, nutrition is extremely important to aid healing and keep a hand on inflammation. According to Casey, Inflammation is attributed to the improper functioning of the immune system. Check out this meal plan she designed for Simple/Clean Nutrition.

Something that should go without saying – smoking is a big NO-NO.

Details

Pectoralis major, serratus anterior

The breast reconstruction procedure utilizing expanders, and ultimately implants, wreaks havoc on the pectoralis major muscle. The nerves feeding the muscle are snipped when the pocket is created (note: this was the case with my PBM, but may not be the standard procedure for all plastic surgeons, so please talk to your doctor). This causes the muscle to atrophy and lose some of its functionality. The more developed the pec major, the more difficult (read: painful) the expansion process and following recovery will be. A few months before my prophylactic mastectomy, once I knew it was in my future, I began altering my routine. I stayed away from push ups and flys and instead focused on core and legs. After the procedure, because pec major is traumatized, core and legs must pick up the slack.

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up

Maya

Maya

My abs got me out of trouble on day three after the mastectomy. I was sitting on the floor petting a cat and decided it would be a good idea to lay down flat on the floor. That was fine and dandy until it was time to get up. No matter which way I tried to get up, I felt pain. Couldn’t roll over to my side, because I still had surgical drains coming out of me and I couldn’t use my arm to prop myself up if I ever got there. Bending at the waist was not working – my serratus was screaming. I finally wedged my feet under the couch and then used the leverage and my lower abs to bend at the waist.

It was scary as I was laying there helpless, but as soon as I managed to get up, I said to my self outloud: YOU F$@#ING IDIOT! It’s funny now, but wasn’t then. Moral of the story: don’t lie flat on your back three days after surgery, stupid.