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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeHealthCancer patient bench pressing again less than a year after Northwick Park...

Cancer patient bench pressing again less than a year after Northwick Park surgery

A cancer patient who had multiple organs removed is back in the gym bench-pressing 200lb weights less than a year after surgery.

Chris Simons, 43, says his extraordinary recovery was helped by keeping in shape before the 16-hour procedure at Northwick Park Hospital.

“I’m not one for sitting around and feeling sorry for myself,” says the father of three who told his children he was suffering from a bad back.

Chris first fell ill at the start of the pandemic when he unexplainably lost nearly 40 kilos in weight in the space of a month.

“I started feeling tired all the time, couldn’t sleep and lost my appetite. I eventually collapsed at work and had to go to A&E. I was told I had a viral infection but knew something wasn’t right.

“I like to keep in shape and most probably haven’t taken more than a couple of days sick leave in 20 years.”

Alarm bells started ringing when his GP ordered a series of blood tests and referred him hospital. Exploratory surgery found a tumour in the filmmaker’s lower bowel and subsequent radio and chemotherapy treatment successfully reduced its size but with some unexpected side effects.

Chris added: “I was warned the treatment can make you feel sick. I had my moments but generally felt great. My hair grew faster and thicker and I felt really strong.”

His ordeal went on for more than a year with only a handful of people knowing what he was going through.

“I do think it is important to keep positive. I’ve always been a fighter. I’ve never lost a fight in my life and wasn’t going to start now.

Chris finally underwent a radical surgical procedure called pelvic exenteration at St Mark’s Hospital.

Chris added: “I’ve got to take my hat off to the health service. They pulled out all the stops to save my life. It would have been easy to put me on hold during the pandemic but they didn’t. I really appreciate that.

“I was out of hospital within three weeks of the operation and several months later started lightly working out in the gym with the help of a PT instructor. I’m feeling good now and back to my normal gym routine.

“Two of my favourite milestones have been keeping my promise go Airsofting – a variation of paint-balling – with my eldest son and a long overdue visit to KFC. I don’t mind admitting I stuffed myself.”

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