When Pat joined Maple Tree, she was three months post treatment for Stage IVB Cervical Cancer.
Cancer had taken a lot from her.
She had almost completely lost all sense of balance and relied on a wheelchair or cane to get around. A bad case of orthostatic hypotension made walking even more difficult. Pat also had a compromised immune system, type 2 diabetes, and had been sedentary for most of her life.
Pat’s oncologist referred her to Maple Tree so that she could “get back some of the things cancer treatment had taken” from her.
Even though Pat knew she had to make some changes in her current lifestyle, she still was hesitant to begin an exercise program at Maple Tree.
In fact, she recently told us that she was “more afraid to come to Maple Tree than she was to begin chemotherapy”.
It has been nearly two years since then, and Pat continues to work out at Maple Tree once a week with our exercise oncology trainers.
Nearly every aspect of her life is different now.
Pat is cancer free….something that seemed nearly impossible when she was first diagnosed.
Pat has been able to reduce her diabetes medicine by approximately 25%.
Pat has experienced a notable reduction in peripheral neuropathy, as well as decreased fatigue and orthostatic hypotension. Her heart rate and blood pressure has stabilized and is more predictable – particularly during exercise.
In terms of her fitness parameters, Pat has made tremendous improvements. Her cardiovascular fitness level has increased by 44%. She has experienced a 69% increase in muscular endurance, and a 40% increase in flexibility.
Her most notable achievement? Pat is now able to walk unassisted.
Two years ago, the thought of exercising at Maple Tree terrified Pat. Now, she is one of our greatest cheerleaders!
She praises Maple Tree’s Exercise Oncology Instructors, not only for their expertise in exercise, but also for the laughter, support, and sense of community she feels every time she walks into our room. She appreciates how they meet her where she is, in terms of capabilities, and tailors programs to build her up. She actually has learned to like that they generally ask her for a “wee bit more” than what she thought she was capable of doing!
Pat offers this advice to future patients who are considering getting started with Maple Tree: “Laugh a lot while you’re in training – especially when you look weird or try something new. Do things you didn’t think you could do. Only stop when it truly hurts, not when you just get tired. And finally, get off your behind and just do it”.
We are so proud of Pat and the progress she has made. It is our joy and honor to serve her, and we look forward to continuing to work with her for a very long time. What we most appreciate about Pat is her courage and willingness to share her story with others. She inspires us to be brave. I hope her story has inspired you as well.
Do something brave today!!