Active Together: Peter’s experience content
“Yorkshire Cancer Research and Active Together have made a big impact on my life. The programme helped me recover tremendously from my cancer treatment and I’m now more active. I feel more like myself than before.”
Peter Masling, from Firth Park in Sheffield, was first introduced to the Active Together programme after he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.
The programme, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, provides cancer patients with tailored guidance on exercise, nutritional advice, and psychological and emotional support before, during and after treatment. The service supports people having cancer treatment across Sheffield.
Peter explained: “I went for a check-up with my GP and told them that for the past few weeks I’d been feeling really exhausted. Initially I thought it was just because I was working long days as a chef, and it was winter, so it was dark a lot of the time.
“They referred me for tests and found that I had a growth on my gullet. They then did further tests which confirmed that it was cancer.”
It was decided that Peter would have chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat the cancer.
The 64-year-old was referred to the Active Together programme before he started his treatment.
He continued: “I was quite anxious and apprehensive before going to Active Together for the first time, but as soon as I arrived everyone was so helpful and kind. They really put me at ease.”
The Active Together team designed a tailored exercise programme for Peter to help him withstand side effects from his treatment and, once his treatment had finished, they developed a plan to help him recover and build up strength.
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Peter said: “Active Together helped me overcome my fatigue. When I was going through treatment I was very tired and I’d lost a lot of weight. They designed a programme to help me get back to where I was, to help with the fatigue and build up my strength. I’ve got a lot more energy now because of it.
“They tailored everything to me, and I really enjoyed the activities, I was walking on the treadmill and using the cycling machine as well as doing weight exercises. I found the exercises gave me more energy, more zest for life and they just kept me going. I’m really feeling the benefits.”
The Active Together programme also offers people with cancer psychological and emotional support, to help them prepare for and cope with their treatment.
Peter continued: “I’ve found that Active Together has been helpful mentally. It gets you ready for the operation or treatment and it does help you get through a really difficult time.”
“I attended a course about managing emotions which I found very enlightening. I also received advice from a dietitian which was helpful, and I’m eating much better now.”
Peter has now finished his cancer treatment but has continued to receive support from the Active Together team.
He added: “I think I will be more active with the help of Active Together going forward. I will keep doing the exercises and keep walking and trying to be mentally positive.”
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