Finding Strength and Serenity in the Pool: Overcoming Breast Cancer with Zygo
Amy Goetz, a 61-year-old Chief Communications Officer for a Virginia-based university, has been on an incredible journey since being diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in December 2019. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and her rigorous treatment, Amy has found solace and strength in the swimming pool. Equipped with Zygo, she has been able to conquer physical and mental obstacles while undergoing intensive medical procedures.
Amy's diagnosis came after she noticed changes in her breast at the age of 59. Thankfully, her physician urged her to get it checked, and a biopsy revealed she had Invasive Lobular breast cancer, a type that is difficult to detect through self-examination. "It was a miracle that my doctor caught it," Amy shared. "By the time of the biopsy, it was already 9cm and had spread to 50% of my lymph nodes."
Her treatment coincided with the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, adding a surreal element to her already challenging journey. "I had a mastectomy on January 13, 2020, just about six weeks before the world shut down," Amy explained. "While everyone was advised to stay away from hospitals, I was there every day, alongside medical professionals dressed in head-to-toe hazmat suits."
As she embarked on her recovery, Amy faced another hurdle. The estrogen blocker she was prescribed to prevent cancer recurrence caused severe joint pain, hindering her ability to engage in physical activity. "Before cancer, I was walking 4.5 miles a day and was healthy," she said. "But the medication made it painful to even go up and down stairs."
It was in August 2021 that Amy, reminiscing about her childhood love for swimming, wondered if it could be a low-impact exercise option that would alleviate her joint pain and counteract the weight gain caused by the medication. With her husband working at a college with a pool, she took the plunge and re-discovered the joy of gliding through the water.
"I felt like my old self," Amy recalled with enthusiasm. "It was amazing. I was ready to get back to being fit and healthy."
For ten months, Amy devoted herself to swimming, spending 30 to 60 minutes in the pool several days a week. However, she encountered a roadblock when her mind began to wander during the silence of swimming, leading to negative thoughts and a less enjoyable experience. That's when she stumbled upon Zygo.
Hoping to find a solution that would keep her mind in a positive state, Amy decided to trade a luxury weekend away, gifted by her husband, for the Zygo underwater headphones. "It just changed my life!" she exclaimed. With Zygo, she could swim to the beat of her favorite music and focus on every area of her body. The resistance of the water became her ally in working out and staying motivated.
Not only did Zygo enhance Amy's mental state, but it also had a remarkable impact on her physical recovery. Prior to swimming with Zygo, she had lost range of motion in her left arm after surgery, unable to lift it above her shoulder. However, after incorporating Zygo into her swimming routine, she completely regained full range of motion. "My doctor couldn't believe it," she said. "Zygo has done this for me."
With more surgery in her future, Amy is determined to face her next phase with strength and resilience. "The only thing I can do is to be as strong as possible, so I swim," she affirmed. Swimming not only offers physical benefits but also provides her with a mental haven.
"Many mornings, I've made it halfway to the pool and feel reluctant, but when I put Zygo on my head and the first song starts playing, I jump in. I feel so much better when I get out. I simply feel better about myself, the entire day."
Her inspiring journey serves as a reminder that finding a safe place to heal and thrive is crucial during difficult times.
“In tough times, everyone needs to find their safe place somewhere,” she says. “For me, it’s in the pool with my Zygo.”
As Amy prepares for additional surgeries and recovery, she remains optimistic about the future. "I am able to devote long periods of time to swimming thanks to my 'luxury resort,' Zygo," she expressed.
Amy’s story highlights the power of music, exercise, and resilience in the face of adversity. Her determination to find strength physically and mentally serves as an inspiration to many others fighting their own battles.
“Before Zygo, the pool felt like work for me,” Amy said. “But with Zygo, it’s turned into a haven. I swim faster. I swim longer and after every length, I have a smile on my face.”