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"Recovery from Cancer and major surgery"

About: Oncology / Cancer Centre Ward 2B Oncology / Physical Activity Classes

(as the patient),

My diagnosis - An aggressive form of cancer of the bladder. I was diagnosed in October 2020. I required chemotherapy from October to December and this was followed by surgery in January for a Radical Cystectomy with formation of the ideal conuit.

My first meeting with Joe, Friends of The Cancer Centre was in February 2021 for an initial assessment. I started classes with Joe shortly thereafter. Joe, the Physical Activity Coach was very considerate of my abilities when joining his class. It was some 6 weeks after my operation and I was still quite nervous about putting my body under too much pressure. The classes enabled me to start moving more and with his guidance and expertise I slowly began to regain my fitness levels and work towards being able to under-take other activities, something as simple as going out for a walk.

The class that Joe runs in my opinion is very well structured. I was welcomed into the virtual group each time and asked if I was fit and well to do the activities. The activities were then explained and demonstrated by Joe before, as the patient I carried them through and I must say Joe again encouraged and kept me right in what I was trying to achieve, giving instruction when required, encouragement and a well done at the end of the session.

During the time I was involved in the classes, I found my confidence growing and a realization of my ability to do the exercises. I found that I enjoyed them and looked forward to the next session. The professional way that i was guided through the session left me feeling well exercised both physically and mentally.

Apart from the object of the course - regaining my fitness levels and confidence, I feel I should comment that Joe was very patient with my lack of IT skills in getting onto the TEAM website and was courteous and professional with my husband who always had to get me online. This gave my husband and myself a shared interest in the classes. So thank you. At the end of my time on this particular course, I felt I had forward both physically and mentally and was more confident in going outdoors and undertaking further activities.

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Response from Bernie McGreevy, Principal Physiotherapist, NI Cancer Centre, Belfast HSC Trust 4 months ago
Bernie McGreevy
Principal Physiotherapist, NI Cancer Centre,
Belfast HSC Trust
Submitted on 31/08/2021 at 14:50
Published on Care Opinion at 15:20

Dear portstewart,

I would like to thank for you for taking the time and effort to write such a comprehensive review of Joe's classes. I will pass on your kind words to him and I am sure he will be delighted.

It is great to hear of the physical and mental progress you have made as a result of participating in the physical activity classes. Lovely that your husband felt included too.

The physiotherapy team in the Cancer Centre wish you continued improvement in your physical and mental strength.

Best wishes,


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