Saint Malo. Suffering from cancer, they are doing better thanks to adapted sport

“I lost 10 cm in size, but I recovered breath, muscle, balance. I feel better physically and morally. » Suffering from multiple myeloma, Annick, 66, has already had two autografts, in 2014 and 2019. “I had lost my hair, I lived alone. I thought it was over. »

A friend tells her about adapted physical activity (APA), the only one authorized in the areas of Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine) and Dinan (Côtes-d’Armor). « When I see what I can do today, it feels a lot of good », says this smiling lady on an exercise bike.

“We are looking for something other than chemistry”

Accepted in the protocol, Annick comes twice a week, to a room at the Bretillian Cancer and Radiotherapy Institute (ICRB), next to the clinic. A separate corner, which is no longer a hospital or a clinic, but not really a gym. Here, the patients are only three maximum. « We come to look for something other than chemistry, drugs, treatments », underlines Laurence, 51, operated on for breast cancer in 2020.

“It’s also not the same as being dropped in a gym. There I come as part of a healing protocol. » To be able to benefit from this supervised care, patients must have a chronic pathology, a long-term condition. But 95% of them are followed in oncology, with treatments that end in « i », hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy…

Alexandre Lorand, teacher in adapted physical activity, supervises each patient. | WEST FRANCE

Two one-hour sessions per week

“About 30% of patients come during their treatment,” says Alexandre Lorand, adapted physical activity teacher. Adapted physical activity improves its efficiency, fights against its undesirable effects, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, reduces muscle wasting… The list of benefits is long. “I can schedule a session after the radiotherapy treatment. It is possible but you have to be motivated. »

Alexandre Lorand adapts to each patient, depending on the treatment, their pathologies, and the way they feel on the day of the session. “I work with Doctor Jallageas, the rehabilitation doctor who draws up the protocol (read further), oncologists, nurses…” For Laurence and Annick, two sessions per week are scheduled. This is the rule for all patients.

“I put the disease in a corner of my head”

Laurence’s program is based on cardio, muscle strengthening and rehabilitation of the affected upper limb. She also walks and dives outside the sessions. While Annick has been working for a year and a half and 80 sessions, on mobilizing her back, cardio, general strengthening and balance. “I practice hiking and Nordic walking. I like being outside. »

The disease, they do not talk about it during these sessions. “Only at first, yes. There was a time when I needed it,” Laurence said. Like Annick, but for now “I put the disease in a corner of my head… as long as it doesn’t come back”.

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