The Texas-based CFFL wants to help cancer patients cope with the ramifications of being diagnosed with this disease while providing them with a conditioning program that is appropriate for their needs.
Their goal, as stated on the CFFL web site, is as follows, “ (To) provide a conditioning program to newly diagnosed patients that encourages a sense of control, participation in getting well, and creating a sense of hope early in the psychological experience.”
The CFFL program – for which there is no charge – includes all of the elements that should be a part of everyone’s workout routine while providing both their inpatients and outpatients a high level of customization and supervision. These patients receive aerobic conditioning on treadmills, recumbent cycles and elliptical trainers, strength training with dumbbells and stretch bands, “core” training with the aid of a balance ball and Pilates classes and flexibility training. Patients can participate in the program for as long as is desired.
In addition to these program elements, all patients keep a log that details their individual sessions – just as a good personal trainer does – in order to develop patient accountability and to ensure continued participation. The CFFL monitors the participants’ pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation level during exercise in order to develop a program that addresses the unique needs of every individual. Once discharged from the hospital the CFFL transitions their patients into an outpatient facility.
The program is administered in the home, hospital and/or community centers, and the CFFL actually provides treadmills for patients to use in their homes. All the CFFL requires is a doctor’s referral, and newly diagnosed patients, patients already in treatment, in remission or in relapse following treatment are welcome and can all benefit from this program. The CFFL has no affiliation, which ensures that the program will be available based on need regardless of insurance plan, ethnicity or financial situation.
Here’s a passage from the CFFL website that sums up their approach.
“Traditional cancer management provides diagnosis, treatment, palliative, and end of life care. There are no routine programs to provide rehabilitation for cancer patients. The CFFL provides cancer victims the opportunity to embrace living with hope, purpose, and meaning, rather than enduring survival. Perhaps philosopher Horace Kalen expressed our mission best. ‘There are persons who shape their lives by the fear of death and persons who shape their lives by the joy of living. The former live dying and latter die living. I know fate may stop me tomorrow but death is an irrelevant contingency. Whenever it comes I intend to die living.’
These are great words to live by and thanks to the CFFL, cancer patients are better prepared to deal with, and hopefully recover, from their illness.