The CanExercise Ethos
I have always been physically active, but firmly believe in doing something that is fun, fulfilling and most of all, effective. I also firmly believe that exercise is a critical and often overlooked component of a cancer patient’s recovery. There is a real, definite need for this type of intervention throughout the cancer care pathway.
Whether you are new to exercise, already an athlete or somewhere in between, I can help you to integrate physical activity into your daily life. We will discuss and review all aspects throughout the course of the programme, modifying the exercise if you are experiencing side effects from treatment, or for those days when you simply don’t feel up to it.
I qualified as a nurse in 1995 and swiftly moved into the speciality of Oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London. It was here that I furthered my career by achieving a BSc Degree in Oncology Nursing whilst working on both the wards and the High Dependency Unit. I then moved to UCLH when I secured the more senior role of Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care and I remained at this post until starting my family in 2003. During this absence from nursing I suffered a personal tragedy when my mother was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Throughout this time I utilised my skills and expertise to care for my mum and was all too aware of how the disease and treatments were taking their toll, both physically and psychologically.
I spent many years caring for a very diverse cancer population, where the ‘rest is best’ philosophy was generally encouraged. This over-emphasis on energy conservation definitely contributed towards a cycle of deteriorating physical functioning and accumulating fatigue that was hard to escape for many patients, including my mum. It sounds really trivial, but some people simply can’t wash their own hair, reach into a cabinet or climb the stairs in their house. All this severely affects a person’s quality of life and I believe this must never be overlooked.