RECOVERING FROM CANCER

TURKISH DELIGHTS

My abject apologies to regular readers for being absent from Hub Pages for 2 weeks now.At the same time can I greet old and any new readers with best wishes from Alanya in South East Turkey.We are here for 8 weeks at our apartment here which we bought off plan in 2006 and which has repaid our investment in spades ever since. Mind you it was here last year that, unbeknown at the time my problems were rapidly developing. It was but 2 days after our return that my bowel perforated, leading to the operation which, fortunately for me it now seems, revealed the Peripheral Lymphoma, about which many hubs have been written and followed my progress through the difficult days of Chemotherapy, Lumbar Punctures and Blood Transfusions et al!

Now, almost 11 months on, thanks to the excellent treatment at my NHS Hospital, the care provided by my wife, and the total support of family and friends worldwide, I am returned to a place that I feel totally at home in and ideally equiped for the next stage of recovery as I believe to be necessary. Thanks to excellent communication with my Consultant and his team, I am here instesd of being Hospitalised in London for 4 weeks to undergo High Dose Chemo and Stem Cell Transplant procedures. The saga of reaching this decision is contained in full in earlier hubs of course, so no need to elaborate here. Sufficient to say that a deal was struck by myself with my Consultant which took me to a further PET Scan which thankfully showed continued remission and thus, I was allowed to come here and the Hospital has moved me to a "Watch and Wait" programme. For my part that allows me to throw myself full time at a Remedial Exercise Programme devised by myself to fit my own body and age and my personal belief in the power of Exercise, Rest and, as always, Positive Mental Attitude

14 DAYS OR SO INTO THIS SELF DEVELOPED PROGRAMME I AM PERSONALLY DELIGHTED AT PROGRESS.

Turkey can always be relied on at this time of year, to provide the ideal climate for such a programme as I am engaged upon, giving as it does wall to wall sunshine, abundant facilities and also the ideal environment for that other essential ingedient, namely rest.

REST AND RECUPERATION.

I am now chrnologically 71 years of age but am led to belive that Physiologically, I.am below 50 years.Essentially, that means that apart from the little matter of the cancer, my main operational organs are in a decent state. The Chemo has damaged the muscle wall of my heart a bit but that, I am told will self repair and I will see the Cardio team on my return to check progress there . Meanwhile I am informed that sensibly developed exercise is no problem. Thus, my initial career in Physical Education and my subsequent work in developing specific fitness for footballers has been invaluable in that the principles involved stand true and with sensible adjustment to cover my age and the 9 months of Chemo etc. are the basis for progress.

I have indicated in earlier hubs that at home, via my treadmill and regular extended walks I have been building a base level from which to launch the programme I am now embarked upon.This has since Day 1 here has been based on both the Gymnasium and the SwimmingPool .Basically in the Gym I started at 6.0 kms speed for 15 minutes daily and am now at 7.0 kms speed for 15 minutes, without being unduly stressed. Secondly, a 3kg programme with dumbells continues but is now supplemented by a 4 unit circuit of upper body strengthening, again daily. I am delighted to say that these parts of the programme now involve my wife who is making rapid progress on removing her small ,but to her, annoying Bingo wings!

At the pool, I have been delighted at the rapid progress made. Starting from 5 WIDTHS, I am now back to 20 LENGTHS daily of the 30 metre plus pool. My swimming is deceptive as I am even much slower than I look but thankfully speed is not an item on my programme.The total swimming time is less than 35 minutes now. I have already done 25 lengths to extend myself but have decided to stick to 20 as the best number to retain my interest to perform daily.

Of course, I have no medical knowledge to let me know that my fitness regime will assist the remission process but I do have an inner belief that it will and that helps drive the PMA ever stronger.There are still flies in my ointment in that despite the warm climate, the Neuropathy symptoms in my hands and feet are not improving at all. That is a worry but again, it will be addressed on return to UK.

The items above encapsulate the recuperation programme but it allows for plenty of rest also. Poolside reading, cooking with really fresh produce and leisurely strolls along a glorious sea front are very much included as is the recounting of all that has happened to me since I was last here to owners who, like ourselves return here at all sorts of differing times. Never a dull moment, and with members of our own family having been here or yet to come, we find ourselves fully integrated and more relaxed about things as each day passes. I shall be returning to do more hubs from here. I have been asked to do a hub about the perforated bowel that triggered everything off last July and that will follow shortly.For now, rest and recuperation in full swing that memory gets ever more distant.

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