Author: Tony Trott
It is, however, unexpected in a positive way! I would never have guessed in a million years that I would join a gym. But I did just that earlier this year. There were several reasons why I joined; getting in shape and improving my strength, both physically and cardiovascularly was of course important, but the main reason I joined was because I heard a doctor and it reframed my view of exercise. He described exercise in the context of cancer as a treatment and not just a wellness or fitness activity.
I was diagnosed with B-Cell, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma last year and I’m in what is often termed as a ‘wait and see’ mode; keeping an eye out for any specific changes or symptoms, seeing my oncologist every three months for blood work, and having a CT Scan every six months to make sure it is not spreading. Currently, it is low-grade/stage which means that it is non-aggressive and highly treatable. You might look at that and say, great, you don’t need any treatment with adverse side effects like radiation, chemotherapy, or medication. On the other hand, one can feel like you aren’t doing anything to treat the cancer. What I have learned is that treatment can be viewed as continuing to live your life, eating well, and exercising.
I am doing my best at those three things and trying hard to remain positive and not worry. However, I must admit that because I have a degenerative disability, I am hyperaware that changes can occur slowly and may be virtually unnoticeable until they become a problem.
But until then, I will continue to live as best I can, and that includes exercise!