“I was terribly overwhelmed when I learned my diagnosis,” says Rick Flockhart, a prostate cancer patient who utilized the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center. “I’m thankful for my care team and their help in making the best decision for treatment. Their friendliness and ability to make the process as easy as possible calmed my nerves.” His care plan consisted of 40 radiation treatments at the UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Radiation Center.
Rick is from Stanwood, a small town 45 minutes from Cedar Rapids and the Community Cancer Center. As a retiree of ten years, making the commute several times a week for radiation treatment was an adjustment. “The treatment itself takes about 15 minutes,” Flockhart explains, “I wanted to make the most of out of my time in Cedar Rapids.”
Rick was 22 pounds underweight when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Because of the risk for weight gain and/or loss in cancer patients, he committed himself to incorporate exercise into his cancer care by visiting the wellness gym after each radiation treatment. He worked with Matt Schmitz, a cancer exercise specialist at the Community Cancer Center, to create an individualized plan catered to Rick’s physical capabilities and needs.
Rick’s determination to get stronger made him a unique patient for Matt. “During treatment my goal with patients is to maintain strength and flexibility as well as try to help with any side effects associated with treatment,” explains Matt, “Rick was a role model. He understood the importance of listening to his body and not overdoing exercise. Throughout his treatment regimen he remained active with exercise and was able to increase his range of motion and strength. Exercise also decreased his fatigue, which is often a side effect of treatment.”
“I’m really impressed with the wellness gym and Matt’s expertise,” says Rick, “The atmosphere is very relaxed and Matt always has an answer to my questions. I enjoy working and staying busy. Feeling a sense of accomplishment throughout treatment has been good for me.”
The Community Cancer Center helps patients move beyond cancer with wellness for life, whether they are newly diagnosed or well into survivorship. Through generous support from the family of Jane Borg Cook and other donors, most wellness services are free to cancer patients and their loved ones. Learn more by visiting communitycancercenter.org/wellness.