A cancer diagnosis is never welcome, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your rowing. With sensible precautions and a supportive medical team, you may well be able to continue exercising and even rowing through your treatment and beyond. Patricia Carswell talks to a medical expert and shares her own and others’ experiences
When I first heard the words, “You’ve got cancer”, my first thought was of all the rowing I was going to miss out on. I assumed that I’d be banished to the sofa, and it didn’t occur to me that I might get out on the water.
In fact, thanks to wise advice from experts and fellow rowers, I was able to keep on rowing, despite having a mastectomy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. It made my experience of cancer treatment immeasurably more bearable, both physically and mentally.
Physician, heal thyself
Exercise is a powerful weapon in your arsenal, according to Dr Liz O’Riordan, co-author of the award-winning book, The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer. A now-retired consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon with a PhD in molecular oncology, Liz has had breast cancer herself twice and is a passionate advocate for patients. She’s also a triathlete, outdoor swimmer and strength training enthusiast.
Liz discovered the benefits of exercising through cancer treatment first hand, and is keen for everyone to understand that, sensibly done, exercise – particularly resistance training – can have huge benefits for cancer patients.(more…)