I remember asking during my very first ‘chemo teach’ meeting, back in November 2017, “Can I keep riding my bike through this?” My oncologist had just explained to me the plans and logistics for my initial chemo protocol. In preparation for my Stage IV cancer surgery, I would be getting a steady cadence of chemotherapy infusions. It would be ‘1 week ON 2 weeks OFF’ over the 4 months approaching the surgery. Each session would involve a long 5-6 hour ‘chair sit’ session at the cancer center, immediately followed by another 48-hours connected to a mobile-infusion-device that I would carry around with me and wear at home. It all sounded dreadfully awful – really daunting and grueling and it confirmed many of my worst thoughts. I was in fact, no doubt about it, the newest resident of cancer mountain. I had crash landed on it, as people most do, with levels of disorientation, uncertainty, disbelief, fear, and panic like I’d never experienced before. Then, to my surprise, at the same time I was learning about the very dark dangers of my cancer and extreme treatment plan, my doctor’s answer to my question turned out to be the very first really hopeful thing I would hear on this very long, very tough path.
Her answer was … ‘Yes and you really should if you can! Staying physically active through treatment is highly recommended. It is a key common denominator we see in people who are surviving cancer today. You should keep riding – as long as you feel you can do it.” She went on to explain that exercise during cancer treatment has been proven* to:
- Reduce your risk of depression and anxiety
- Decrease the amount of time you need for hospital stays
- Make your treatments more effective at destroying tumor cells
- Improve your chances of surviving colorectal cancer, other cancers, and other diseases
Once I heard this, I decided immediately that cycling would be my main form of exercise. In addition to its medical benefits, I knew cycling could give me a sense of calm and control amidst all the chaos that comes with cancer, some feelings of forward progress on my fitness, and an endless outlet for new goals, connections, and activities I could look forward to in the future. And so, with my doctors’ blessing and green light, I started pedaling … and pedaling … and pedaling.
Fast forward to present … 3.5 years+, 4 surgeries, 25 rounds of radiation, and 46 rounds of chemo later … My cycling exercise has delivered on all of those benefits and much more. What started out as a few miles here and there to clear my head of ‘chemo fog’ has become something much bigger that consistently brings together my family, friends, acquaintances, and fellow cancer-fighters. We support each other and we support important cancer-research-related charities. This past weekend, I passed Mile 4000 on my e-bike*. (That means I only need 21,000 more to go the equivalent distance of one full lap around the world! ) And, later this month, my clinical trial treatment will launch on Monday, June 28th. My doctors at UCSF say my regular cycling exercise has helped put me in the best possible condition I can be in for this very big step. They call me ‘A Walking Miracle And The Future of Medicine‘. I am living proof of what is possible with today’s new and progressive cancer treatment solutions. That is a strong source of hope and inspiration for everyone in the cancer community and that’s something we are working to share near and far.
It’s T-Minus 2 Weeks to My Clinical Trial Launch
Our breakthrough clinical trial is approaching fast*. We will keep you posted on our progress through this blog. You can subscribe below to received notifications of all our new updates.
Thanks for all your support from near and far. Mady, Nat, and I are forever grateful.
We welcome you to share my story with anyone you think it may help.
Support cancer research.
* ASCO / Cancer.net – Exercise During Cancer Treatment – Article Link
* Cycling Weekly – How Much Exercise Do You Get On An E-Bike – Article Link
* PACT Pharma / UCSF Clinical Trial – Past Blog Post Link