Success Story: Stay Healthy: You Never Know What Will Be Required Of You by Brandee

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Brandee's success story after pic

My success story is a little different than the typical story. My journey with Cathe began 10 years ago after the birth of my second child. I would record her workouts from Fit TV, onto my VCR and do them while my kids napped. I was immediately and permanently hooked. Working out with Cathe helped get my body into great condition. I felt fantastic, ran marathons for fun, and people often commented on my great arms, or legs.

Fast forward to September of 2014; while lying in bed, I noticed a bump in my lower abdomen. I called my doctor’s office and they suggested an ultrasound. When the tech put the Doppler on me, the “mass” was so large that no one could tell where it was attached because we couldn’t see anything; the mass took up the entire space. After a couple of doctor visits, some blood tests, and CT scan and an MRI I was booked for surgery. According to the information we had, it appeared to be a benign growth which would be removed in surgery; however, should it be malignant we discussed what would happen, organs that would be removed, ect.

On October 27th I went into surgery and had removed a cancerous tumor the size of a football. I was 37 years old with absolutely no risk factors. Six weeks later, I started chemotherapy for treatment of Brandee's success story before picovarian cancer. I did 12 weeks of chemo. During this time I lost 27 pounds, all of my hair, and the ability to do fine motor skills due to nerve damage in my fingers. I risked irreversible lung damage and kidney damage due to the drugs. Now remember I was at a healthy weight and in great shape when this whole thing started. Needless to say at this point I was sick, tired, weak, and just trying to make it through the day. I couldn’t clean my house, cook dinner for my kids, walk my dog, attend my kids school parties; I was only able to lay on the couch and go to my chemo appointments.

I had my last treatment in March of 2015, and had a great conversation with my oncologist. He said he was impressed that I was able to “fly” through this very intense treatment period without any complications. My body was able to tolerate the drugs, and the side effects amazingly well because of my level of fitness; due mostly to the amount of muscle my body had. I never had to have a treatment delayed, and while I felt terrible, my blood work and exams always came back great (considering I was in the middle of chemo).

If it had not been for my workouts centered around Cathe’s fun, hard, fantastic weight workouts, my body would not have had the muscle it needed to tolerate the drugs, and then rebuild itself when treatment was finished.

I have checkups every 3 months and so far, I’m still cancer free!!! I’m even more determined now to keep my body in top notch condition, not only because I look good and feel strong, but because being healthy allows my body to function more efficiently. I’ve always told my kids to “do hard things” because it’s good for you. Take the hard class in school, push yourself physically, and step outside your comfort zone. If you make the choice to do hard things; when you HAVE to do something hard you’ll know what you’re capable of. I choose to do Cathe’s workouts because their hard and they challenge me, and they show me what I’m capable of; not to mention her workouts are fun, and keep me in great shape. I know that Cathe’s workouts will help me to stay in good health; even as I age…..because I told my kids I plan on living to be 100, staying active the whole time.

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14 Responses to “Success Story: Stay Healthy: You Never Know What Will Be Required Of You by Brandee”

  1. Avatar for Jen
    Jen September 6, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    If this isn’t profound motivation, I don’t what could be. So happy for you and your family Brandee!

    Hello Crossfire! (and thank you Cathe!)

  2. Avatar for Karen
    Karen September 8, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    I know being fit has health benefits, but never realized about how the increased muscle would help with the intense chemo regime! So happy and inspired by your story and the outcome. Prayers for continued Good checkups and great health and a long, happy future ahead!

  3. Avatar for Melissa
    Melissa September 8, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! You are such an inspiration!

  4. Avatar for Peggy
    Peggy September 8, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Being strong helps you fight any battle like a warrior. You never know when the next battle will happen so always be prepared. So happy for you and your family. Continued great checkups in your future.

  5. Avatar for Teri
    Teri September 8, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your great story =)

  6. Avatar for Hilda
    Hilda September 8, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    Brandee. Wow! You are an inspiration for sure! Not only in terms of fitness, but as a reminder to get our annual check ups as well. Sometimes we are so darn busy we forget to go to our doctors and only see them when we’re feeling sick.

    You will live to 100 with that outlook. I really wish you and your family the best. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

  7. Avatar for Amy
    Amy September 9, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    Brandee makes a really great point here. I have been trying to explain this to my patients for years. Now I’m just going to print this out so they can read for themselves. Staying the correct weight, not smoking, and exercising everyday will make you superwoman!

  8. Avatar for Allison
    Allison September 9, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Brandee, what an amazing story. All the more reason to workout while we are able to. Wishing you a long and healthy life. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Avatar for JoanMarie
    JoanMarie September 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Brandee, thanks for sharing your story! I am also a cancer survivor & at teh time of my diagnosis, I was in the middle of Cathe’s STS program and in the best shape of my life. Like your experience, I also found that my years of exercise gave me the strength & stamina to get through my treatment and now a year and a half later I am back to STS and feeling stronger than ever!
    I wish you continued health and wellness! Go girl!

  10. Avatar for Monika
    Monika September 18, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    Brandee, you are an inspiration and incredible fighter. So many of us take our health for granted, but you have it in yourself to train hard, yet keep it fun & challenging. One of the many reasons we train with Cathe, wouldn’t you say?! Stay strong, stay fit & stay beautiful & All the best to you!

  11. Avatar for DebbieH
    DebbieH September 21, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Wow, you are a true Cathlete! What a beautiful story! You’re such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story!

  12. Avatar for Karen
    Karen October 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    Thank you Brandee for the inspiration!!! I am also recovering from ovarian cancer with my last chemo treatment being in June. You have motivated me to start my workouts again and move forward!! Many blessings to you, and stay strong!!! Thank you for sharing your story!!!

  13. Avatar for ReneeSA
    ReneeSA October 28, 2015 at 12:50 am #

    I am so humbled by your story. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. We tend to be drawn to working out and eating right initially for the outward benefits to the body and sometimes the immediate inward effects. But who knew of the potential long term benefits. Good for you, Brandee! You are such a shining light to your family and to all of us!

  14. Avatar for Chiquita M.
    Chiquita M. May 2, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    What a beautiful story and thank you for sharing it. Wishing you and your family all the best in this journey called life. Continue to be the inspiration that you are!

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