When someone begins a chemotherapy regimen, they prepare themselves.
They prepare themselves for nausea and vomiting. Infections. Hair loss. Fatigue. Bruising. Appetite changes.
They prepare themselves for a long, difficult journey.
Almost no one prepares to get stronger during this journey.
But, this is exactly what happens to most of the patients we serve!
Most of the patients who exercise at Maple Tree during chemotherapy finish treatment STRONGER than they were when they began!
How can this be? It almost seems too good to be true!
At Maple Tree, we have developed a unique phase system of exercise oncology. Each patient is grouped into a phase, according to where they are in their treatment plan. These phases are as follows:
- Phase 1: In chemotherapy/radiation
- Phase 2: Completed chemotherapy/radiation; did not receive chemotherapy/radiation
- Phase 3: Completed Phase 2
- Phase 4: Completed Phase 3 – successfully in remission and apparently healthy status
This phase system allows us to customize each workout plan according to the treatment status, strengths, and weaknesses of the patient.
Because each workout is individualized, the patient thrives!
We monitor intensity levels to protect patient immune function. This keeps blood counts high enough so the patient can keep receiving their medicine on schedule with fewer treatment breaks.
We monitor cardiac function. Cardiovascular exercise helps to strengthen the heart, even when the patient receives chemotherapy regimens that are cardiotoxic. In some cases, patient’s hearts become stronger than they were before chemo. It’s almost as if their hearts were not exposed to the treatment at all!
We monitor range of motion. Often patients come to us with their range of motion severely compromised by cancer surgery. They’ve lost the ability to reach overhead to do even simple things like washing their hair or taking dishes out of the cupboard. On average, our patients improve their range of motion by 100% or more!
Finally, we monitor muscular strength. Our patients need strength. Strength to get through their treatments. Strength to navigate the doctor’s appointments. Strength to continue working. Strength to continue caring for their families. Strength to continue caring for themselves.
On average, our patients experience a 62% increase in muscular strength – DURING treatment.
Do they still experience the nausea and vomiting? Infections? Hair loss? Fatigue? Changes to their appetite? Yes – they do. Chemotherapy is still chemotherapy. It is still a hard road.
Yet, our patients find strength they didn’t know they had. It was there all along – we just give them the tools they need to use it! Their resolve to stay active helps them to better tolerate the hard things.
They’ve got what it takes to thrive in the middle of the toughest journey of their life!