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Fitness champ Derina Wilson is fighting back from breast cancer



When Derina Wilson attended the Arnold Sports Festival in March 2018 at Fitness International, she knew it would be on stage for the last time.

The hottest emerging star in her division, Wilson was sixth in the prestigious competition thanks to her fitness routine an appealing turn to Alicia Keys "Girl on Fire". The performance was inspired by Wilson's deceased father, who was often described by friends and family as a "phoenix uprising". Ironically, Wilson rises from the ashes himself.

Wilson was on stage at the Arnold Sports Festival when she revealed her diagnosis of stage 1

breast cancer. At the same time, she announced that she would have a double mastectomy in the coming days and was determined to return to the scene as soon as possible. Eight months and two surgeries later, the 38-year-old yoga and Pilates teacher from Islip, Long Island, makes her promise. Wilson is aware of the challenges of her recovery and returns to the gym to attend Fitness International in 2019.

  Phoenix Rising: Derina Wilson

It will be a tiring journey, but if anyone can, Wilson can. Wilson, a former elite child gymnast, came to the fitness contest in just four years. She was almost immediately successful despite her age and the fact that she was not a bodybuilder. She had a long and varied history of sports, including volleyball, dancing, cheerleading, fencing, diving competitions and gymnastics. She also trained gymnastics for years.

For years, friends had told Wilson that she would form a perfect fitness competitor. When she practiced gymnastics and found herself at a crossroads, she realized that she was ready to compete. After just two competitions, she earned her pro card. She participated twice in the Fitness Olympia, finished in 13th place in 2016 and rose to 2017 in eighth place. The invitation to the Arnold Sports Festival remained on their to-do list until 2018, when this happened as well. [19659007] The Diagnosis

Unfortunately, Wilson's fitness career was not the only thing that made progress during that time. Six years ago, she consulted a doctor about cysts that she found in her breasts. The doctor told her that they were benign and recommended a check-up visit for six months. Only she never made that second appointment. She lost her job and medical care as she moved home to look after her sick parents. Wilson's mother was a long-standing heart patient and her father was a dialysis patient. As with so many full-time caregivers, Wilson did not have enough time to take care of her, let alone herself. After her father's death, Wilson did not want to increase her mother's stress by revealing her own medical problems. She kept her problems to herself.

"I've had symptoms for more than a year and a half," she admitted. "I was in pain, I had a lump, I had bloody discharges from one of my nipples, but I hid it, I did not want to burden my mother's life, so she lost her, My husband – my dad – and had trouble, hers I did not want her to get sick with me and had no health insurance, so I kept it very, very quietly, even after my mother died last summer I kept it quiet until I had health insurance again. "

  Fitness Champion Derina Wilson Fights Breast Cancer

In January 2018, Wilson happily prepared for Fitness International when she received the official cancer diagnosis. 19659002] "The first thing I asked my doctor was: Can I take part in Arnold?" She reminded herself. "It was my dream and I had to do it." The doctor said yes, "but he also said that I had to quit after my competition because my cancer had the potential to spread quickly."

Preparation for Competition and Surgery

When Wilson continued to train for the contest, she made several changes in her diet and lifestyle.

"I made a complete ketogenic diet with lots of fat, some protein and low carbohydrates – all organic," she said. "My trainer Lena Squarciafico has added healthy foods such as turnips, apricot kernels and blueberries to my diet so I started drinking filtered water and teas."

Since the surgery was scheduled immediately after the competition, Wilson was unable to dehydrate. For the body round, which is the bodybuilding part of the competition, one has to cut it off: "My diet did not put me in the best shape for the competition, but she would keep me healthy for my surgery. "

On the Road to Fitness International, Wilson's goals were modest, considering she was eighth in the world at the time.

  Preparation for Competition and Surgery

"I just wanted to reach the top 10 on my first Arnold," she says. When she trained for the competition, she started to get tired, "but as a top gymnast I am used to pushing myself, I also have much more rest and just tried to listen to my body," she said.

Wilson's strong performance in the routine lap led her to sixth place overall, a better result than she had dared to hope, due to her low position in the Physique round.

After the competition, Wilson thought. She realized that years of constant stress had contributed to her condition.

"My body was in attack mode because I lost my father and then my mother, I was traveling internationally, working full-time, working out full-time and living alone for the first time in years," she said, "I'm not feeling well Eat or have not slept enough – the basic things you should not do. From the outside, I may have looked like a healthy person, but I did not take care of myself. "

In response to the diagnosis, she began using various stress reduction techniques." After so many stresses, "she said," I started Yoga, Pilates and Mindfulness. "

Surgery and Healing

Stage 1 breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis, however, which can be treated and the prognosis of Wilson was good, despite her delay in the follow-up of her original doctor the tumor was relatively small and had not spread to the lymph nodes until its preparation for treatment, and she knew from the beginning that she should opt for a double mastectomy if it was necessary to prevent the spread of the cancer

Wilson began a treatment that required two surgeries and first had to reconstruct herself and then a second surgery to introduce the breast implants. The process did not start well: During the reconstructive surgery that took place immediately after Fitness International, Wilson had a severe allergic reaction to the muscle relaxant used in the surgery. A month later, with appropriate precautions, the doctors tried again and considered the operation successful.

  Phoenix Rising: Surgery and Healing

Her recovery from the first surgery went well. The doctors thought it would take six months for her to return, but her body did it in three. Nevertheless, Wilson was unemployed for four months.

She admitted that it was financially difficult. Her oncologist's grants and a GoFundMe campaign started by her colleague Sally Williams, who herself had undergone a double mastectomy, helped her. After all, Wilson had to get food stamps, but only for a short time.

After the second surgery last September, everything seemed to go smoothly until she got an infection.

"Three days after surgery, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and had to vomit, having fever, chills, headaches, body aches and pains," she said.

Several doctor visits and a strong course of antibiotics later, Wilson was ready to begin her journey back to the fitness stage.

Returning to the gym

In October, Wilson got the OK to start training again.

"I can train legs and abs, but I can not lift 20 pounds over my head anymore – and I can not do chest exercises," she says. This is her fitness program for the rest of the year she wants to start her contest training.

  Phoenix Rising: Return to the Gym

Wilson knows that it needs physical preparation for a strenuous fitness program, especially given her history of spinal problems, which has been exacerbated by her recent illness.

"First and foremost, I have to strengthen my back," she said. "My spine doctor prescribed a mix of physiotherapy, drug release therapy, massage and acupuncture, and he must surely prepare me for the competition day in March 2019."

A happy but not immaculate journey. 19659008] In retrospect, Wilson admits she may have done things differently.

"If I could do it all over again, I would have listened to my oncologist and gone to that second appointment," she confessed, "and I would have done it. I also told my friends and family to help me Instead of keeping it secret, to save them from hearing the C word. "

It was an exceptionally hard ride for Wilson, but if all goes well, she will be on the stage of Fitness International in March 2019 and they will do it with a new version of your Phoenix Rising routine.

"When I start playing next year, I'll bring that routine back because that phoenix is ​​definitely going to rise again," she said.


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