“I was 32 years old and pregnant when I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Angela Langlois. “The news was shocking, and I felt so alone.”
When she moved to Nashville from Ft. Lauderdale in 2018, Angela, a native of Chile, immediately started looking for support. Though she found some programs that focused on pregnant women with breast cancer, these programs did not provide childcare.
“I finished my treatments in April of this year," Angela says, "and I was able to start the ABC program in May because the Green Hills Y offered family services. I felt better just because I was getting to leave my home.”
Angela did not know what to expect when she signed up for the ABC program and her first Y membership, but immediately felt embraced and welcomed.
Her two-year-old daughter took a little more convincing, however.
“Katalina did not enjoy Y-Play at first,” says Angela. “She loves it now and drags me to it. She has a best friend there. I am so grateful for the ABC program because my daughter receives the benefits as well.”
Seeing with Different Eyes
Angela graduated from the program in August, and the program has helped her “see with different eyes” and be more positive.
“So many components of Angela’s story could have knocked her down and out,” says ABC Coordinator Namaste Anderson. “She took that first important step of making time for herself. She showed up for the workouts, learned from the nutritionist and grew in the small groups. Angela continues to inspire me with her grit, determination and grace. She exemplifies all that the After Breast Cancer program hopes for our alumni.”
Angela valued all of the components of the ABC program—nutrition, exercise, lymphedema education, and group discussions—and says that one could not be done without the others. But sharing her story and her fears was a large part of her personal growth.
“When you are alone, you have so much time to think, to overthink, to worry,” says Angela. “I would worry if every little pain was going to be cancer again. I talked about this in our ‘journey group,’ and realized other women were experiencing the same feelings, concerns, and questions.
She still stays in touch with members of the group and says in October, several members plan to start working out together again.And maybe even go to a happy hour, she laughs.
"The group has become like family to me," says Angela. "And now realize I am not alone."