Blogs > Nadiyah’s story: Moving beyond lymphedema | BeACTive

Nadiyah’s story: Moving beyond lymphedema | BeACTive

After a breast cancer diagnosis, Nadiyah discovers new ways to exercise and thrive while she navigates lymphedema and sciatica.


Overcoming physical limitations

Prior to her diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer at 29, Nadiyah did not really exercise. Since diagnosis, she has been trying to become more active, but lymphedema, spinal stenosis, and sciatica are real issues for her. Sometimes Nadiyah is concerned about causing injury to herself, but she knows that exercise is a gateway to a long, healthy life – plus, Nadiyah has new reasons for wanting to stay strong for many more years! So, she turns fear into fuel and embraces physical movement with self-compassion, determination, and resilience.

Nadiyah poses in a parking lot

I would recommend to someone that is hesitant to exercise as a breast cancer survivor to just get moving, do what you can, and take your time.



How can you get more exercise in your day?

Getting started:

• Keep your phone a few feet away from you whenever possible

• Walk with a friend, to a friend’s house, or just go for a stroll

• Dust, sweep, vacuum, or mop your home

• Do gardening or yard work

• Park far from your stop and walk (or get off your bus/train early)

• Touch your toes, march in place, and stretch every bathroom break

• Put your favorite music on and dance whenever the rhythm moves you!

Don’t forget to:

• Start slow if you haven’t been active in a while

• Wear your compression garments when exercising

• Take physical activity at your own pace and set goals that are achievable for you

Tip:  Jotting down your goals and tracking your progress in a notebook, planner, app, or calendar can be a great way to stay motivated.


Let's BeActive together!

Join Nadiyah and the other participants in our new, 3-week exercise series featuring 9 workouts of about 20 minutes each and designed especially for people who are going through or recovering from treatment, preparing for surgeries, or regaining mobility after surgery.


Additional resources

Learn more about inflammatory breast cancer

Get the information you need about lymphedema and available treatments

Watch the session recordings from the 2023 Knowledge is power: The Black breast cancer experience


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