When Tony Flude talks about his battle against cancer, he understandably gets a little bit emotional.
‘When I came out of hospital at the end of September, I had to be lifted in and out of bed,’ Tony says. ‘I’d been receiving chemotherapy and got an infection, so I spent a lot of time in ICU. My body had wasted away.’
But Tony is determined to keep fighting. Now thanks to a new program at St George’s, Tony is well on his way to regaining his independence.
The Oncology Rehabilitation Program is specially designed for cancer survivors and their carers to build strength, stamina and confidence to recover after treatment for cancer.
The eight week program is run by a range of health professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, social workers and psychologists,
Project Manager Andrea Shone says the program offers twice weekly exercise sessions as well as information sessions on topics such as healthy eating, dealing with the emotional impact of cancer, relaxation, managing fatigue and linking into community services.
‘The program also offers information and strategies for carers in their support of loved ones receiving treatment for cancer,’ Andrea says.
After two months of sessions, Tony says the program has made him much fitter and he can now do most of the things he did before treatment.
‘I’m almost back to normal, walking around, lifting weights. I’m almost doing now what I was doing before I went in to hospital, but I still have a little way to go.’
‘I want to get back to doing the practical things I was able to do, like catching public transport.’
‘The staff are particularly trained to my needs and we have been able to build a one-to-one relationship during the program.’
‘The focus on exercise, education and relaxation has helped me stay focused on regaining my strength and muscle mass.’
The pilot program has been supported by a $100,000 grant from The Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program and Department of Health and Human Services.
For enquiries and referrals please contact the St Vincent’s Community Rehabilitation Services on 9231 2324.
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