Move Me Monday Storyteller - Michelle Lo
Thank you to Michelle Lo for sharing your story with us and your continued support of AKTIV Against Cancer.
I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2002 while my husband and I were living in Japan. Obviously, cancer made a big impact on my life. So I came home to New York to be treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by Dr. Jatin Shah. I was operated on to remove a tumor in my tongue along with a radical neck dissection to remove infected lymph nodes. It was a trying time going through 35 rounds of radiation after surgery. At times, I wasn’t sure how I could get through it. But with the support of my family, friends, and the wonderful staff at MSKCC, I found the strength and courage to persevere.
I was always into fitness, but it wasn’t a priority in my life, because my job was the priority in my life. So I didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. Once I was sick, I realized that I really needed to take better care of myself – not that I wasn’t taking good care of myself. I felt that I had been given a second chance at life, so I needed to capitalize on that. Exercising became a part of my daily routine. I do feel that incorporating physical activity into your recovery process is a huge part of being able to grow and recover from illness. Five years ago I was turned over to the survivorship program where I met with a nurse practitioner. She felt that my survival was largely due to the fact that I incorporated physical activity into my daily routine. I try to work out five days a week, which doesn’t always happen as much as I’d like. She really felt that was an integral part of my ability to survive the way I have. I now no longer go to MSKCC. Last June, in 2019, was my last visit and they told me they don’t ever want to see me again; a bittersweet time for me. My husband, David and I opened and operate two Club Pilates studios on Long Island in Garden City and New Hyde Park. Having experienced the success in my own health, I wanted to help those looking to live a better and healthier lifestyle. I am forever grateful to all those who helped me fight this fight especially those at Memorial Sloan Kettering. I’m excited and honored to be a part of #MoveMeMonday as exercise is part of who I am today.