Cancer Rehabilitation

When life gets busy, writing tends to fall by the wayside as I have mentioned before.  I wanted to pop in and give a little update on what has me so busy and assure you that I have been working on some posts for the future.  Next week I officially start grad school!  It has been a long time coming, but I have been truly blessed to be able to take time and really invest in what I want out of a career.  My degree will be in exercise physiology with a concentration in cancer rehabilitation.  I am beginning to train clients on a weekly basis and it has been extremely rewarding.  I want to continue to be involved in research and advance this field in order for clients to have insurance coverage.  The treatment from cancer leaves people with many different forms of toxicities which exercise can help alleviate.  For example, cardiotoxicity from chemotherapy weakens the heart muscle and pulmonary toxicity makes it difficult to transport oxygen from environment to cells.  Exercise on the other hand strengthens the heart and increases cardiac output as well as strengthens the intercostal muscles to increase lung capacity and improve ventilation.  These are just two examples of many in which exercise improves the awful side effects caused by the treatments from cancer.  Exercise improves cancer related fatigue and improves psychological function as well.  All of this comes from research at rehabilitation centers and I am excited to be involved!  Coming from a background of athletics I thought that I wanted to train athletes and help them get to a high level of competition.  After my spinal fusion surgery and seeing a family member go through treatment for cancer I realized that it is much more important to me to help people achieve a better quality of life.  I want all people to be able to do the simple things in life like carry their own groceries and tie their shoes.  I didn’t realize all of the things that I take for granted sometimes.  I like to train at a high level and some people just want to be able to walk down the street.  It is a very humbling environment to work in.  The progress that I have seen from various clients over the summer makes my heart full of joy and I know that this is the career I want to pursue.  I may not end up just in cancer rehabilitation, but anyone struggling with chronic conditions can benefit from exercise and I hope to be one to help them achieve their goals!

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