Survivor Stories 2013:
How did you first find out you had cancer?
I had just gotten my first mammogram on my 40th birthday. While I was still in the imaging office, in the waiting room, they told me I had cancer.
How did you react when you heard the news?
I drove myself home from the imaging center, called my best friend, who lives in Rhode Island, and burst in to tears. I told her I had just been diagnosed with cancer. She said I should call my husband at work. I said, “I can’t tell him. He has too much going on.” Obviously, I was not thinking clearly.
What course of treatment were you prescribed?
I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I had bilateral mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation, and saline implants for my reconstruction. Because my cancer is estrogen receptive (my type of cancer grows in estrogen-rich environments) I will be taking Tamoxifen indefinitely.
What most surprised you about your treatment?
As a personal trainer, I was very surprised at how long it takes to rehabilitate from all the surgeries, treatments, and the emotional issues that come up with cancer. After each procedure and/or treatment my doctors would comment that I should be up and around within a couple of weeks. Individually, they were right, but when you add up the 18 months of constant treatments and medical procedures, it takes a toll on you after awhile. It becomes increasingly harder to bounce back.
What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
First, breathe. Allow yourself time to process the news and get educated about what your options are. Most of all, be true to yourself. If you need to cry, do it. If you need to be angry, be it. If you need to laugh, do it.
How long have you been cancer free?
I have been cancer free for five years.
What lessons did you learn from the experience?
Throughout my cancer experience and working with many other patients to transition through their cancer experience, I’ve learned how important it is to take the time to process your emotions, check in with yourself, discover what you need and ask for it.
If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
Appreciate and value your time on earth. It’s far more precious than you realize.
Lockey Maisonneuve began her fitness career in 2004 as a personal trainer. In 2006, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Lockey underwent chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomies, radiation, and saline implant reconstruction. During this time, Lockey experienced the benefits of exercise from the perspective of a breast cancer patient. She found first-hand the importance of exercise for both physical rehabilitation, as well as for emotional well being. To empower other people during and after their cancer treatment, she founded MovingOn, a rehabilitative exercise program, in 2009. Lockey has conducted MovingOn in hospitals, community centers, and health clubs throughout New Jersey and also lectures on the importance of exercise for cancer patients and cancer survivors. Ms. Maisonneuve serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital. Her certifications include: Certified Personal Trainer through the National Association of Sports Medicine and Cancer Exercise Specialist through the Cancer Exercise Training Institute.
Lockey has been featured in national and regional media outlets including Shape magazine, New Jersey Monthly, ABC News, and NJ12. Presently, MovingOn programs have been conducted in hospitals, community centers, and health clubs throughout New Jersey.
Plans are in motion for the expansion of the MovingOn program to reach both nationally and internationally. She is currently expanding her MovingOn programs for survivors of other types of cancer including head and neck, uterine and cervical, ovarian, and Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She is on the Community Advisory Board for the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital and has written blogs on cancer and exercise for sheknows.com, PositivelyPostive.com, IHadCancer.com, and MindBodyGreen.com. Lockey is a representative for BePresent yoga clothing.