Exercise and chemotherapy, what could go wrong?
Posted: Thu, 30 Aug 2018 16:04 by Mr Tom Harwood
BLOG 1: I little introduction to how I cope with exercise after cancer treatment
Having never blogged, lets see how this goes! With a story to tell and a purpose, now seems the perfect time to write about my journey through Testicular Cancer and getting back to doing the things I love.
It's not my plan for this to be all doom and gloom, though. Cancer helps puts things into perspective, and this whole ordeal has been an experience that I am determined to help me get the most out of life. As preachy as that sounds, the cancer process hasn't been as bad for me as it could have been, and I want to share that experience and why.
This first blog will set the scene a little and explain why I'm writing.
So what is the plan with the blog?
During chemotherapy I missed doing the things I loved. However I quickly realised it was the things I loved doing that helped the chemo process go so much smoother. That thing was exercise.
So my plan is to write a little bit about my diagnosis and treatment, but mainly my journey back to exercise and some of the lessons I'll learn along the way. This will be an honest account of how I cope or struggle with my body recovering, with some challenges, facts and figures, and fundraising efforts along the way.
If this helps just one other person, as well as document my journey, then I'll be happy.
A little bit to set the scene…
I'm 27 years old; I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer at the beginning of April 2018. Although with my family history and other risk factors, the news still knocks you a little. I've been healthy my whole life, playing sports and just enjoying being active. You do wonder, why an earth me. But cancer can hit anyone, so that was something I got over pretty quickly. Testicular Cancer is also one of the most treatable and curable forms of cancer; this helped my attitude and positivity towards the condition significantly.
Growing up I had quickly realised I was not going to break any records with my sporting ability, but I loved it nonetheless. I think knowing this has helped me enjoy sport and enjoy being active my whole life. With this, and working in a sector that lives and breathes promoting healthy lifestyles, I knew for well how good exercise is for you. It wasn't until the chemotherapy started that I appreciated being young, fit and healthy. But now with my fitness is currently at rock bottom, the journey back will be an interesting one.
Some of the challenges I'm expecting…
- How long will it take to feel fit again? Sounds like an obvious one, however the experts say it could take up to a year to feel 'normal' again.
- What will I do to stay motivated? If the process could take 12 months, I'm going to need different exercise to help.
- Will I be able to do it all on my own? Similar to the above, someone will keep me company, won't they...?
- Will people read my blog?!
Stay tuned as I discover the answers to the questions above…
Throughout the year I will be fundraising for MacMillan and the Addenbrookes Charitable trust. These two organisations have been great, so keep an eye out for more information!