This woman took up golf to battle her post cancer treatment depression… and it completely worked
A woman who suffered from depression after having treatment for cancer has said that taking up golf has helped turn her life around.
Yvette Spacie, 55, from Chesterfield, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and, following her treatment, found herself struggling to keep up with her previously active lifestyle.
But, after taking up golf at a unique women’s only academy at Tapton Park Golf Course, she has not only overcome her depression, but found a new sport that she loves.
Yvette’s cancer was detected after a routine mammogram showed a lump in her left breast. Following an ultrasound and biopsy, she underwent surgery to remove the lump and lymph nodes in her armpit. She then began a five month course of chemotherapy, followed by three weeks of radiotherapy.
Yvette, who has four grown up children, said: “Being diagnosed with breast cancer was a huge shock as I had no symptoms at all. It was totally unexpected.
“I have always had an active lifestyle when and in my mid-30s I took up archery, getting to quite a high standard. I also walked a lot, went out bike riding and loved skiing.
“After my diagnosis, I was keen to remain active as much as I could and, throughout the chemotherapy, I walked every day – even when I felt dreadful. On the bad days it was hard, but it helped me so much mentally and physically.”
Once her body had healed from the surgery, Yvette was also able to take up archery again.
However, the medication Yvette was put on following the chemotherapy and radiotherapy started to leave her feeling weak and unable to keep up with her usual activities. She soon slumped into a depression as she struggled to come to terms with the changes in her life.
Yvette, who lives with her partner, Phil, said: “It was so hard. I kept thinking ‘what’s the point in being here if I can’t do the things I love’. I fell into a rut.”
Yvette saw that she needed to do something new to make a positive change in her life and began to look at what she could do to get back on her feet, when her friend suggested she try golf.
Yvette said: “We went to our local driving range and the after effects weren’t too bad – I didn’t feel too exhausted or weak.”
Shortly after this, Yvette saw an article about a new initiative at Tapton Park Golf Course aimed at encouraging more women to take up the sport.
The ‘Fame Academy’ launched by former European Tour golfer Fame Tate had been designed specifically for women who have never played golf before and the group coaching sessions featured around six women of similar playing ability.
Yvette enrolled on the scheme and soon improved her golf skills and, after meeting other women during the sessions, she now plays at least once a week.
She said: “Rightly or wrongly, I’d always seen golf as a man’s sport and I didn’t know any other women who played. But because the Fame Academy is women only it’s a great way of encouraging more women to play.
“I’ve since taken out a membership at Tapton Park and, thanks to Fame’s patience, I am seeing lots of improvement all the time. I am so happy I’ve found another sport that is challenging and I enjoy so much.
“I will never get back to my old self because cancer has completely changed my outlook on life. But I am in a much more positive place now – and golf has been a huge part in helping me get to where I am now.”
Fame said: “Golf is really beneficial for both mental and physical wellbeing, as well as being a really good way to socialise and meet other people. It’s great that Yvette has benefitted so much from the academy and I’m pleased that it has helped her so much in her recovery.”