Chloe’s MOVE Story

About me, my diagnosis and treatment

Hi I’m Chloe, I am 25 years old and live in Scotland. I work in a nursery and I am also working towards gaining a degree in Childhood Practice. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) on the 9th February 2021 after feeling tired and displaying cold like symptoms, I went to my GP for blood tests as I thought I could have been anaemic I then got a phone call that night to say I need to go to hospital and was then told I had AML. I received 4 rounds of chemotherapy before undergoing a Stem Cell Transplant on the 10th June 2021 and then a further 1 round of chemotherapy post-transplant. Then in September 2021 I was told I was in remission.

Fitness before cancer

Before I was diagnosed with AML. I loved taking my dog Wilson on long walks and done home workouts. My favourite home workouts were HITT based workouts, boxing and strength training.

When I was diagnosed, I had to stay in the hospital for six months but was sometimes allowed home on day or weekend passes. I worked with the physio in the hospital and was given fitness DVDs to follow to try and keep me moving. Then when I got home, I use to take my dog for short walks and tracked them on my fitness watch. I was encouraged to try and keep moving and stay healthy before transplant as after transplant I would feel fatigued and tired and would not have much energy. During my stay in hospital, I done simple exercises using the bed or a chair for support. I also had a mini exercise bike which got my legs moving.  However, recovery after the transplant was challenging, I couldn’t walk long distances and struggled to get up and down the stairs as my legs were so weak. I had to be very careful as I had low platelets and my haemoglobin was also low, I struggled to get motivated as I didn’t have a lot of energy and always felt tired all the time.

The MOVE Programme

After coming out of hospital I was keen to get back into fitness but was scared I would push myself too far and set myself back. I slowly got back into walking and would go on small walks with my dog. One day I decided to try and a low impact homework out.  However, I really struggled and the next day my whole body was in agony. I realised I couldn’t just start back doing the workouts I use to do before my diagnosis. After speaking to my Teenage Cancer Trust Nurse, she referred me to The Move Programme. The programme was so helpful for me and allowed me to get back into fitness without the worry of pushing myself too far and setting my recovery back. I really enjoyed the workouts and loved the weekly programmes which helped me to stay on track and kept me in a routine. I had a weekly Zoom PT session with Helen a Cancer Rehab Instructor which was amazing. Helen really supported me and helped me with my form and posture. Also having Helen there for support meant I no longer worried about setting myself back as she tailored the workouts to me and my fitness level and ensured I as making progress with my fitness.  Helen helped me to not only build my fitness back up but also supported me to work on my confidence.

Reflecting on my progress

Looking back, I use to worry I would never get back into fitness again. I had lost so much strength and I felt as if it would take forever to get that back. Now after completing the 8-week programme, I am feeling much stronger and I am getting my fitness level back. I can now walk-up hills without struggling with my breathing and I now enjoy home work outs again. My friends and family have also noticed a difference in my fitness and comment on how far I have come. Helen has also given me other resources and recommended workouts which I am now working on and she often checks in with me to catch up and I know I can reach out to her if I need any help.

I would highly recommend The Move Programme to anyone who is thinking about doing the programme. It has helped me massively and I know it will help you to, don’t be scared as the programme is specific and centred around you and your fitness ability.