How Strength Training Helped My Mom Deal With Cancer

Wed. May 8, 2019

Read in 2 minutes

During my mom's recent cancer treatment, she continued to do her regular strength training sessions up until the last 10 days. I'm happy to say she beat cancer and is back in the gym.

As I sit next to my Mom at Mt. Sinai for a follow up with her oncologist, I’m reminded of something the famous strength coach, Mark Rippetoe, wrote: “Strong people are harder to kill.”

Battling Colon Cancer

From October through December of last year, my Mom underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments in order to deal with a rare cancer that had developed in her colon.

“Strong people are harder to kill.”

The oncologist gave the treatment a 50% chance of succeeding in treating the cancer.

The doctors and I told my Mom that the treatment would be difficult to endure and take a lot out of her.

She would need all her strength for this fight!

Continuing to Work Out

To her credit, my Mom kept coming to her twice weekly strength training sessions with me throughout her treatment period, with the exception of the last 10 days in which the radiation had so irritated her skin that she couldn’t even sleep comfortably.

beat cancer exercise

My mom at the doctor’s office (upper left), working out at the Inner Strength Fitness studios, and climbing the stairs at the nearby subway station.

She did lose some strength during her treatment period. But this past January, all the tests indicated my mother’s cancer had been defeated without the need for surgery.

After a few weeks to let the radiation burns subside, my Mom was back in the gym faithfully performing her squats, presses and deadlifts.

I’m happy to boast that her deadlift is back up to 160 lbs. and her weight is down to a healthier 152.

My mother’s cancer was defeated without the need for surgery

So strong people are indeed “harder to kill.“.

Stamina and Bouncing Back

I credit my Mom’s pre-treatment strength and her continued strength training for the stamina she displayed throughout her treatment period and her ability to bounce back in its aftermath.

You never know what curve balls life will throw at you. Being the strongest you can be is the best way to face those challenges.

After months of despair, I’m finally hopeful I will be able to enjoy having my Mom in my life for a long time to come.

Exercise and Preventive Care

If you would like to explore a fitness program that optimizes your strength and decreases your health risks, feel free to book a phone appointment with me, Francisco Villalobos, owner of Inner Strength Fitness.

Our program is recommended as “Outstanding” by Anne Moscona, M.D., who is also a long-term client of ours.