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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Let us now consider the story of James, a 46-yr. old man diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. The presence of extensive bony metastases resulted in severe pain and a fear of movement. Married with 2 young children he had significantly limited his activity due to uncertainty and fear of falling. He felt increasingly fatigued and was spending most of his day at home resting.
Referral to a hospital-based outpatient palliative care gym allowed him to gradually increase his exercise levels under supervision. Activities such as recumbent cycling, resistance bands and balance training improved his function and confidence in his body. His mood and sense of belonging increased and he became a committed gym junkie, attending 3 times per week. At times, increased disease activity and pain required further radiotherapy and pharmacological input. He would still make appearances at the gym over these periods to maintain the routine, structure and support he needed.
“It gives you a good feeling of – of not only you’ve done something but you feel better”
Confidence and support through access to professional advice, socialisation and a shared illness experience normalised his situation and helped him forge an identity away from his illness.
"I’m tending to put the sickness in the back of my head and worry about it when it comes up”
He re-engaged with family life – cooking meals and walking his girls to school. He was able to return to his great passion – fishing with his mates. He didn’t catch many fish but he did catch onto life for another 16 months.
11/11/2016 4:11 PM
Excellent read! Great to see the impact of exercise, something widely considered to be "too late" for in the palliative client, having such positive results. It's often an uphill battle initially but almost always pays off!
22/11/2016 10:54 AM
A well written article obviously by an expert in the field. Principles can be applied to acute care patients as well. Look forward to reading ms Savage's next blog
29/06/2018 4:33 PM
Hello, please respond back if you read my comments. For sure, I wish I could write like you because your craft is enough to be an excellent writer, thanks!