Tony, aged 75, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer nearly seven years ago, credits Derby County Community Trust’s Active Recovery Programme for keeping him highly motivated throughout his treatment.
Within a few months of diagnosis he had the tumour removed, but in a routine check-up six months after the procedure, tests indicated that the prostate was not fully removed.
This meant Tony had to begin a course of aggressive radiotherapy, where he had 33 courses in just two months, leaving him physically drained.
Despite the treatment being successful in removing the prostate, 18 months later significant bleeding led to a sigmoidoscopy which discovered radiation burns. There was no treatment option, only to wait and hope that the burns would heal and scar over.
Almost six years after his initial diagnosis, Tony was discharged by his consultant in May 2018, but still requires follow up tests as a precaution.
Throughout his illness and treatment, Tony was a member of the Derby Prostate Support Group, and was invited to a Macmillan Health and Wellbeing Event at Pride Park Stadium. The Derby County Community Trust team gave a talk on Active Recovery, an exercise programme designed to complement cancer treatment and recovery.
Tony got in touch with Derby County Community Trust’s cancer advisor, and due to living outside the city of Derby, agreed to try one session a week. He’s not looked back ever since, and is a dedicated member of the group, who not only has helped himself by taking part but spreads the word about the programme to ensure as many people who are overcoming cancer can gain the additional support.
From diagnosis and through treatment, Tony felt significant physiological changes, which led to behavioural changes and psychological problems. He experienced a loss of self-confidence and low self-esteem, and his family were affected too as they found it difficult to come to terms with everything that was happening.
Through joining the Derby Prostate Cancer Support Group, Tony and his family realised that they were not alone with their problems, psychological therapy improved his self-esteem and helped his family to understand the changes and the impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Active Recovery improved his self-confidence due to improvement in balance, coordination and stamina. Working in a group with others who were overcoming cancer like himself was hugely important to Tony, and most he found that it was highly motivational.
He said: “The hardest part of dealing with cancer diagnosis and treatment was the way it changed my behaviour and feelings, as this didn’t just impact me, but my family. Support groups, therapy and Active Recovery helped us realise that we weren’t alone in what we were going through.”
“Active Recovery really improved my self-confidence as I was able to better my balance, coordination and stamina. Working in a group with others going through similar experiences to myself was really motivating as we were able to support one another.”
To find out more about the Derby County Community Trust’s cancer rehabilitation programmes, please see: https://www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com/programmes/health/active-recovery/