When someone receives a diagnosis of cancer of any type, the focus of their attention and the medical practitioners is on the treatment to remove or destroy the cancer cells whether that be surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy.
Life as they knew it goes on hold while they undergo a variety of treatments and cope with the side effects. Then when the treatment is finished they are released back into “normal life” to pick up where they left off.
Unfortunately some of the side effects of treatment include significant fatigue and lack of energy resulting in a much less active lifestyle, while having treatment, than they had previously. Often fatigue is not relieved by rest which adds to making you feel very low in body and spirit. You can feel a bit lost knowing where you want to get to but being unsure of the steps to take to get there. That is where we can help.
There is now strong evidence that if you can exercise while having treatment e.g. chemotherapy is more successful and the fatigue and lethargy is less. However every individual experience is different and therefore what is appropriate for one person is very different for another.
Libby Austin is a Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist and can help you by tailoring an individualised program that is specific to your needs and is appropriate for the stage of treatment or recovery that you are at.
One very important part of recovery following cancer surgery and treatment is correcting postural changes, muscle imbalances and improving stamina. If left, this can cause pain and limit function of other parts of your body and reduce stamina further, but everyone’s speed of recovery is different – so be patient.
The other factor that is often underestimated for anyone undergoing cancer treatment is that it is extremely stressful and can make you feel emotionally battered and socially withdrawn. Learning how to be proactive about managing stress with meditation and exercise and reconnecting with others socially is really helpful. It is a time to let go of the unimportant things, and focus on the important things to improve your quality of life and get back to doing the things you enjoy.
Libby sees both men and women for assistance during and after their cancer treatment.
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