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Elaine Sanders: From Patient to Passionate Yoga Practitioner

Elaine Sanders

“Yoga has helped my cancer recovery and improved my life and my outlook.“

Elaine Sanders
Breast Cancer

Of all the things a cancer diagnosis brings, Elaine Sanders never expected a newfound love of yoga to be one of them.

When she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a type of breast cancer that starts in the ducts of the breast, Elaine’s focus was on treatment. Turns out, practicing yoga became an integral part of her therapy.

The Start of a New Journey

Elaine was diagnosed with DCIS in August 2011. Her treatment included a lumpectomy followed by radiation.

Under the care of her oncologist, Sharad Jain, M.D., at Texas Oncology–Denton, at her regular follow-up appointments, Elaine saw flyers for Yoga Bridge, a local organization dedicated to providing yoga classes for those diagnosed with cancer.

Yoga Bridge’s Denton roots run deep – the organization was founded in part with help from staff, including practice administrator Judie Craven at Texas Oncology–Denton and nurse manager Kelly Parker at Texas Oncology–Flower Mound. With Dr. Jain’s medical approval, Elaine was cleared to try yoga, participating in one of Yoga Bridge’s first classes for cancer patients, onsite at Texas Oncology–Denton.

The first classes were experimental in nature, and as time went on, the program evolved. Elaine evolved right along with it. More than seven years since that first class, Elaine is now a weekly attendee.

Recovery and a Community of Support

“I had always wanted to try yoga, but I never thought about it seriously until I saw the ads for Yoga Bridge at Dr. Jain’s office,” said Elaine, who started at the beginner level and eventually leveled up to the intermediate classes.

“Yoga has helped my cancer recovery and improved my life and my outlook,” said Elaine, expressing how the classes helped her maintain a healthy lifestyle, reduce her stress, and meet other inspiring cancer patients and survivors.

In addition to the physical strength she gained, Elaine said Yoga Bridge strengthened her emotional wellness, too, by being surrounded by with people who had been through similar – if not more challenging – experiences as hers. It also helped her overcome anxiety associated with her diagnosis.

“Yoga has been known to reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety, and to improve emotional and physical wellness,” said Dr. Jain. “For Elaine, and for many of my paients, this is essential. It helps with cancer and treatment side effects, and often improves quality of life.”

Over the years, Elaine said she has made close friends through the program.
“Yoga Bridge is all about unity, friendship, and warmth,” Elaine said. In combination with her cancer treatment plan at Texas Oncology and a years-long passion for practicing yoga, Elaine said her health and wellness continues to be a priority – and will be for years to come.

The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.