Patient Triumph: Montgomery woman turns to PT Solutions for healing after breast cancer

brigid-whiteAs a medical assistant in Montgomery, Alabama, Brigid White had referred “99 percent” of her patients to PT Solutions.

White, an avid competitor in sprint triathlons, had previously gone to PT Solutions to treat arthritis in her knee and a bulging disc in her back. So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed to have a bilateral mastectomy in December 2014, White knew that she wanted to incorporate physical therapy, and specifically PT Solutions, into her rehabilitation.

White, 47, a military wife, is a firm believer that physical therapy fixes everything.

“Before I had my first cut under the knife, I went to PT Solutions to see my therapist to see if physical therapy was considered as part of the recovery,” she said, “because I already wanted them as part of my treatment.”

A little more than a year after her surgery, White said that her PET scans show that she is clear on the cancer front. She underwent chemotherapy but never missed a day of work.

Such was her mental toughness that she made sure that she rode a stationary bike throughout her treatment as a way to keep her endorphins up, even if it was for only five minutes.

By late summer, White had regained enough strength after her chemotherapy ended to begin physical therapy. In all, she had 16 sessions with therapist Caitlin Butts at PT Solutions’ Montgomery South location.

Much of White’s therapy involved various kinds of stretching, including some with bands. To help to rebuild her endurance and strength, she performed exercises in which she lifted a large inflated rubber ball over her head.

She had to overcome feeling weak, as well as other feelings that were not physical in nature.

“You have to do what your physical therapist says and you have to be open and communicate with them when something’s not working,” White said. “Caitlin helped me get my strength and confidence back after the reconstructive surgery and bilateral mastectomy because I just felt so weak. It was so wonderful. I love PT.”

White participated in her first athletic event — the Jingle Bell Run/Walk — on Dec. 5, 2015. She walked a couple of miles with her family and her beloved German Shepherd, Gretchen.

“I feel like that weakness from everything is behind me,” she said. “It brought me back to where it’s more normal.”

As White continues to regain her strength, she has her sights set on her first sprint triathlon since the surgery. She last competed in that sprint triathlon in 2014.

The PT Solutions staff will be pulling for her.

“They’re dedicated,” White said of PT Solutions. “They work with you. There isn’t anybody in there who hasn’t been kind, compassionate or professional. I let the patients I refer know they’re going to be in good hands.”