Participant Spotlight: Deborah Hill

The day you’re diagnosed is a day most cancer survivors never forget. In some ways, it’s as if time stops for just a second before speeding up very quickly as treatment begins. That is exactly how Survivor Fitness participant Deborah Hill described the experience for her and her family.

Finding Out About Her Diagnosis

“February 14th, 2020 is a day I’ll never forget,” Deborah explained. “I was told that I had breast cancer. The word cancer was all I heard. I walked to my car and sat there thinking, ‘What just happened?’” 

That moment was the beginning of a nine-month battle for Deborah and her family. Deborah had been married for 40 years and had three children, two grandchildren, and another one on the way at the time of her diagnosis. Her family proved to be her biggest source of inspiration during her treatment and recovery.

“I had so much to live for, so I was giving it my all!” 

Deborah’s treatment plan included an intense combination of approaches. She began four months of chemotherapy after her diagnosis and then had surgery a month later. A few months after her surgery, Deborah began radiation. Like most cancer patients, Deborah faced a lot of new physical challenges during treatment—fatigue, muscle loss, joint pain—along with the fear and uncertainty that each day holds.  

“I was exhausted, but I never gave up,” she said. “I kept my faith and had family and friends that fought this with me. They were my biggest cheerleaders to push through.”

After nine months of fighting the pain, fatigue, and emotional rollercoaster, Deborah finally finished her treatment plan.

Encouragement and Support at the Right Time

After radiation, Deborah was put on a hormone blocker to reduce the risk of recurrence. She wanted to start exercising and doing activities that would help her return to her normal routine. This proved to be more challenging than she thought.

“I thought things would just go back to normal after a few weeks. I was so wrong on that,” Deborah recalls. “After a year of trying to fight, being so fatigued and just mentally exhausted, I realized I needed help getting back on my feet.” 

That’s when Deborah started with Survivor Fitness. While she was initially hesitant, she realized that working with someone would be more beneficial than trying to do it herself.

“I realized I needed help—not only for what I needed to do but what I can do,” she said. “I was scared that I would do something wrong, and I needed a person to say, ‘It’s OK, you can do this!’”

Through the program, she quickly experienced how a personal recovery plan could help her regain her strength physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

She worked alongside her Survivor Fitness trainers Sam, Spencer, and Matt to find encouragement, even on days when she didn’t feel great. Their support made a tremendous difference. They listened to her needs each week and continued to push her to do her best. Through their encouragement, Deborah realized that she could and will get better every week.

“The trainers have helped me with getting my confidence back,” Deborah said. “They are also great listeners. If I have a really emotional day, they take the time to listen as we work out.”

Healing on Every Level

Deborah’s commitment to her recovery has made a tremendous difference in her experience of life after cancer. She believes that Survivor Fitness has been a place of healing for her—physically, emotionally, and mentally. She credits the program and her trainers for helping her get to where she is today on her health and fitness journey. 

“Survivor Fitness has been life-changing during my recovery. It has been a great healing place for me.”

We are extremely grateful to Deborah for her participation at Survivor Fitness. To learn more about becoming a Survivor Fitness participant, connect with us today.