by Matt Stemley

At Maple Tree, we LOVE exercise, but we admit there can be some challenges associated with getting started.  Barriers to in-person training include; commitment to coming into a hospital for exercise sessions,  patients may have a fear of going back to the hospital due to unpleasant memories, patients may not have the time available in their schedule to commit to driving onsite, additionally some patients may not be able to start with in-person training due to low blood counts that put them at risk for getting sick.  

Whatever your reason is, we want YOU to know that WE WILL SUPPORT YOU!  We LOVE exercise and we love YOU!!  That is why we are committed to finding the BEST and MOST EFFECTIVE ways to serve more and more patients each year!  One of the ways we are doing that is by promoting our new virtual training services!  This is an incredibly effective way to safely help our cancer survivors and get them back on the road to good health!

Today we would like to share with you the story of one of our VIRTUAL training patients Will!

“I am a 65 year old general, vascular, and critical care surgeon.  My 40th wedding anniversary is coming up in 2022.  I have a family history of many different cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, brain, and bone marrow cancer.  I got diagnosed with prostate cancer in August of this year and had a robotic radical prostatectomy done in early September.  I stayed overnight in the hospital and was discharged the next day.  My surgeon did what is called a TAP block, which is an abdominal wall nerve block to help with post operative pain relief.  As a result of that I did not need any narcotics after being discharged from the hospital.  I had a foley catheter for 10 days after surgery.   I have some previous knowledge about exercise oncology.  The articles that I have read about it are convincing that exercise oncology helps with treatment and recovery.  I contacted Maple Tree to see if I could get into the program and graciously I got into the virtual program.  I worked with Matt weekly as well as doing aerobic and strength training on my own. I had a problem with postoperative incontinence, due to weak muscles.  To help with this, I have also seen a pelvic floor physical therapist.  My first postoperative testing shows no evidence of cancer.  I overall feel, except for the incontinence issue, almost better than I did before my operation.

I think that the peace of mind of knowing that I was doing all that I could do to optimize my recovery and decrease the chances of recurrence through Maple Tree and other providers has been helpful not only for me but for my family and friends as well.

I felt very safe and supported by my trainer.  Some days things just didn’t work, and he made alternative exercises to help keep me moving forward.

I think that virtual training is great in the uncertain times of COVID.  I have told others about the program as well.  Illness is a bit of an isolating event.  I think for some, that a virtual group session would also be beneficial.

When you look at the data that is available, I would recommend this program to anyone with a diagnosis of cancer.

I thought Maple Tree and Matt made a scary time much less so, gave me some control over things, and I have no suggestions right now”.

Will completed 12-weeks in our 1-on-1 VIRTUAL exercise program.  Will started with Maple Tree Cancer Alliance right before his surgery to prepare his body as much as possible leading up to his surgeries and then afterwards to help rebuild his strength up after his surgeries.  From beginning to end, Will was able to build his muscular endurance up to what it was before his surgery and even increase his cardiorespiratory fitness by 10% above what it had been before his surgeries!

It is our highest honor to serve you Will!  If you are reading this and have been on the fence about joining our programs, we STRONGLY encourage you to visit our website and find a location nearest you!  You won’t regret it!  We will get back to you promptly and answer any questions you may have!!