Things have changed quite a bit since the last time we met. And while we are still in the thick of things, we're welcoming April with a hopeful spirit, and would love for you to join us.
It's always inspiring to meet one of our Survivors, but in times like this, it's especially motivating.
Mary Martha Meade, our April Survivor, learned she had Stage 4 breast cancer one year after surviving a heart attack. Talk about a strength!
Still, if you ask Mary to tell you about her journey, fighting cancer and other health issues take a backseat to stories of friendship and family.
"Mostly, my story is about people, my family, my girls from church, my healthcare team. From the beginning, my family has been by my side, driving through the night, helping with every aspect of life, sleeping in the hospital," she said. "My girls from church filled my fridge, made sure I had a social life, and took me to movies and dinner. I never feel alone or lonely."
A beautiful thing to feel that secure and supported, especially as you're stretched thinly in so many other ways.
"Living with breast cancer is a lot of work," she said. "The everyday tasks of exercise, nutrition, (and) proper rest, takes time and focus."
A couple of staples in her daily regimen include hitting the gym, juicing, and medicinal cannabis to help sleep.
And Mary doesn't just hit the gym once in a while. She goes four to five times a week and also has a trainer.
"The body works better when it moves and stretches so I go, even if I don't want to."
Very impressive! And she has a therapist too, so she covers all bases with mind, body, and soul.
Calling her therapist a "game changer," Mary tells us she helps her "navigate this new world" including ongoing paperwork, bills, tests, and prescriptions.
But Mary's not all work and no play. As a Jersey resident, she loves to visit the shore in warmer months, and play in the snow in the winter.
Her greatest take away from her experience has been self-care.
"I have learned to take care of this body," she said. "It needs to be in the best shape it can be. So my advice to everyone, take care of yourself."
While Mary shared her story with us long before COVID-19 entered the scene, her journey and self-care tips are super relevant, all the time, but especially during these times.
We know we can't hit the gym right now, but practicing self-care can easily be done at home. Remember, it's a mind, body, and soul thing - not just a body thing.
So we encourage everyone to take some time each day to decompress and make sure you're filling up on nutrient-dense foods, including of course fruits and vegetables!
Until next time, keep up with us on Instagram - keep healthy, safe, and six feet apart - and always keep your Eye on Strength!