Steps to Wellness: Physical Rehab for Cancer Survivors

(peaceful music) – I was diagnosed about a
little over four years ago with lymphoma. I just didn’t like the fact
that during the chemo treatment I sort of deteriorated. This nurse that saw me
going through this said, “You know what you ought to try? “You’re still in pretty good shape, “Why don’t you try this new
program that they’ve gotten?” Steps to Wellness is what it was. – So Steps to Wellness
is our medically-based exercise intervention
for cancer survivors. And it was set up five years ago now, and the purpose is to provide
exercise opportunities for cancer survivors when
they finish treatment. Sometimes people find us during treatment, and that’s great, but usually people have
finished their cancer treatment, and they come and exercise with us. Steps to Wellness is 12 weeks, and individuals exercise twice a week. The exercise intervention is a combination of both resistance training
and aerobic training. Before they enter the
program, they are evaluated by a physical therapist and a physician or a mid-level provider to make sure that there aren’t
issues that might come up, and be a problem during
the exercise intervention. – I’m Rebecca Reynolds. I’m one of the exercise trainers for the Steps to Wellness program. I’ve been here for about four years. And I help navigate the patients through an exercise program. So really what I’m here
is to help them learn how to use the equipment, how to do different
settings on the equipment. I take their heart rate
every time that they’re here to make sure that they’re exercising in a safe range for them that’s also gonna give
them cardiac benefit, and more endurance and
a higher fitness level. – Britta and Rebecca have been wonderful. When I went, I was not
necessarily in great shape and they were very kind,
they’re very thoughtful. They’re both very, very
knowledgeable about exercise. They’re both in great shape
and they work diligently at it. So they walk you through the program. They show you how to do the
exercises, they follow-up. So they’re always looking,
they’re always making sure you’re doing things correctly. If you are doing an exercise incorrectly, they’ll come over and
say, “Well, try this,” of if you’re bored with an exercise, “Why don’t you ramp it up by doing this.” So it’s great to have them there. They’re great motivators too. – Some days I would, “Oh, I’m
not gonna go to this today, “it’s just too hard.” And I would get here, and
within about fifteen minutes, I’d get exercised a little bit, and for something, I
don’t know what it is, it makes you feel good
while you’re doing it. – Cancer patients when
they finish treatment can be pretty beat up, and especially individuals who have had to go through like an inpatient chemotherapy
to treat acute leukemia. We send them home a lot less functional than when they hit the
door of the hospital. – I see people coming in
that are maybe apprehensive, don’t really know what
they got signed up for, and they come in to,
hopefully, a welcoming, safe, and believe it
or not, fun environment that maybe you could
see that there’s a sense of comradery that really happens. And I think that that happens as soon as they walk in the door. So they can be, maybe weak in their minds, but they start to learn things that they’re actually good at that maybe they didn’t know, or how strong they actually are. – At 60 I’m in the best shape
I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve met several friends there. We have a comradery. We are all in the same boat,
we’re all cancer survivors. We have similar situations, we have similar anxieties about
going in for another biopsy, or another follow-up. It’s always nice to have
somebody you’re friends with that you’re talking to
as you’re exercising. Which may not always be a blast, but it sure is fun to have
someone you’re talking to, talking about books or whatever may be, but the social aspect has
been instrumental to me too. Very helpful. (peaceful music)

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