Athlete of the Month: Janice ReillyFriesen 5k victory on 9/12/10 was actually the latest in a series of personal victories, beginning with a firm decision she made in back in March of 2006...
“In Feb. 2005 I did my first duathlon. At that race, I made the
US team to go to the World Duathlon Championships held in . Within a month of that, I felt there was something wrong with my body and even told my husband that I believed I had cancer. One year later, in Feb. 2006, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had competed much more in running and was new to the duathlon. Shortly before my cancer diagnosis, these were my running times: Australia
10k, Old Reliable,
Half Marathon, Pomoko Running Crab,
5k, Run for the Oaks,
My diagnosis came as a surprise since I had no known risk factors and no family history. I found the lump in Nov. of 2005, but a mammogram didn't show it at all and when seen with ultrasound, it was thought to be just a fibrocystic area. A recheck 3 months later was brushed off by the radiologist as a benign growth, even though it had grown 1/2 again in size. Lucky for me, my husband is a physician that deals with cancer everyday and he sent me for a biopsy. It was a fast growing tumor that had to be removed. I was fortunate that it was an early stage. The Oncologist started me on a very aggressive chemo regimen which began the beginning of March and I ended treatment early June.
During my chemo I decided I was going to live my life as close to normal as possible. I volunteered at my children's school and did my best to run every day, even if it was just down to the end of the driveway. Just after my last chemo treatment, I did the Komen Race for the Cure 5k. There were lots of people there for support. My family and running buddies helped me run the whole way and I finished in a time of 22:05. I felt like I had accomplished my goal of not letting the cancer run my life.
Over the next year I had very little energy and almost felt like my muscles were drying up and sticking together. I attempted to run as much as I could, but it was not enjoyable and it hurt much of the time. I spent the next 3 years with injury after injury. In early spring 2010, I started coming to APC because I had heard great things about them. My desire to race was returning, but I knew I needed to find someone who could figure out what was going on with all my injuries.
Everyone at APC has been great. The clinicians all work together for the benefit of the patient. I love the multi-focal approach they have of educating the patient as well as looking for the root cause of a problem. They teach the patient strengthening and stretching (dynamic) to help with the healing but to also prevent the likelihood of the injury returning. Most importantly it is a very hands-on approach and I have never felt like just a number. They treat the whole patient. I'm so thrilled to have found Jaime and Doc [Jason Davidson]. I am now running pain free (with the exception of being out of shape) for the first time in 4 years. I believe with their continued support, I will be able to achieve my goal of becoming a nationally competitive runner again. Doc and Jaime, I don't know what I would have done without y'all! Thanks for everything.
Read more about Janice in Chip Alexander's News and Observer article: Two Races, one goal: to fight cancer
Janice, all of us at APC are proud to support you in your recovery, in your growth, and in your victories! Thanks for making us a part of it!