Krop og Kræft

September 2, 2010

There are frequent media reports about the sorry state of the health service in Denmark with long waiting times etc. I can only speak from my own experience which so far has been close to exceptional.

Another example of this is Krop og Kræft (translates as Body and Cancer) which is an offer for chemo patients in this region. Based on the principle that physical exercise can relieve some of the physical and mental side effects of chemotherapy, it is a programme with strength and condition training, relaxation and massage four days a week for 6 weeks. This is offered by the health service – free of charge!

I started Krop og Kræft this Monday, having been really looking forward to it since I found out a couple of weeks ago that I had got a place. Actually the main thing I was looking forward to was not the training itself, but having a fixed weekly routine. I’m used to having a really busy calendar a bit like a jigsaw puzzle and I have been a bit depressed by the feeling of being on “standby” while everyone else is buzzing around in their busy lives.

I had also been looking forward to getting out and meeting some new people. Until now I’ve deliberately avoided participating in anything like cancer support groups. The idea of sitting around with others discussing how awful everything is horrifies me! I’d much rather be with friends and family who can talk about other things and can have a laugh. Yet, in some way there is an appeal to being with others who are going through some of the same things and in Krop og Kræft we are getting together over something positive.

So far it is absolutely living up to my expectations, though I’m actually finding it quite tough having a routine – and this is my “good” week! We have training Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12.15 to 15:45 and on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 12:15, and I have to commute into Copenhagen. Before this week I have been having an afternoon nap most days and I can feel that I am missing it! I have no idea how it is going to go when I have my “bad” days, though I will of course need to miss it on my worst days – those days when even brushing my teeth seems like a huge challenge… (but luckily that is usually only 2-3 days out of every 14!).

It has also been great meeting the others. We are a “team” of around 15, though we are never all there at the same time as obviously people have to have days off when they are having their bad days. There is plenty of “space” in our programme for chatting and sharing which is really great. And it is amazing to see how we all arrive in our various stages of fatigue, depending on where we are on our chemo cycles, and yet everyone throws themselves into it with much enthusiasm and laughter! I’m not sure that a stranger walking in who didn’t know would ever guess that this was a bunch of chemo patients (apart from the fact that we are all bald of course!).

We started off by having individual strength tests on the machines as well as a cardio test and based on that have been given individual training programmes. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we start with a warm up before doing our strength and cardio and then have some kind of relaxation exercise afterwards. On Tuesdays we get introduced to different kinds of “body consciousness” exercises (yoga, meditation etc) and once a week we get a massage!

The programme lasts for 6 weeks and I’m looking forward to it! It has made a huge difference to how I feel about the last part of my chemo treatment and I think it will be a great springboard for getting back to “normal” after this is all over…..


2 Responses to “Krop og Kræft”

  1. […] really sleep very well and today I don’t feel that great. However I am determined to go to Krop & Kræft this afternoon although it does seem rather overwhelming just at the moment…. Normally I […]

  2. […] like anti-nausea tablets, food, teeth-brushing etc. Needless to say I didn’t make it to Krop & Kræft, but the days where I would be annoyed with myself for not doing something I had planned to do are […]

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