There are many ways which you can help yourself achieve the best possible function after surgery for sarcoma.

  • Be as active as you are able
  • Pace your activities to allow you to achieve a balanced lifestyle
  • Be as independent as possible
  • Ensure you have a good sleep/awake pattern
  • Keep up your hobbies and interests
  • When attending for your hospital stay bring clothes and shoes with you to get dressed as soon as possible

It is beneficial to your long term health if you can keep yourself as active. The current recommendations are for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This could be walking, gardening, cycling, Pilates, swimming, dance or whatever fits in with your lifestyle and your ability. Some activities may not be recommended after your particular surgery so it is advisable to check with either your medical or rehabilitation team before taking part. 

Being more active can help with many of the symptoms experienced after a diagnosis of cancer, for example fatigue. Macmillan and NHS Choices have some useful advice on keeping physically fit.

Walking

Walking is often an excellent way for many people to increase their fitness and mobility whilst also socialising. It can be done individually or as a group and be for short or longer distances.

Macmillan and The Ramblers have set up many local Walking for Health groups.

Gym/Leisure Centre

Many areas offer “exercise on referral” or “exercise on prescription” at local leisure facilities. A health professional, such as a physiotherapist or GP can refer you to a participating leisure centre. The referral usually runs for a period of 6-12 weeks.

Many leisure facilities have staff with a Level 4 Cancer and Exercise Rehabilitation qualification. These professionals have been trained to help individuals living with and or recovering from cancer.

Inclusive Fitness helps provide accessible physical activity and participation. There are over 400 Inclusive Fitness Initiatives (IFI) Mark facilities nationally.

Falls prevention

Many areas offer a Falls Prevention Service. This is a multidisciplinary specialist service for people who have fallen or are at risk of falling. 

If you are concerned about falling or have fallen, discuss this with one of your rehabilitation team members. Occasionally these services also allow you to self-refer.

Sport

Sport is a great way to help your rehabilitation and not only helps you get fit again and regain mobility but can improve your mood. While many sports can be participated in at all levels including up to Paralympic level, some many ot be advisable after surgery. Discuss your options with one of the members of your rehabilitation or medical team.

Useful contacts

The Sport organisations are committed to helping people and communities create sporting habits for life.

Disability Sport organisations are committed to improving sports provision for disabled people and to increasing the number of disabled people who play sport.

 

  • Odyssey takes people (over 18) on a five-day residential journey to combat the psychological and emotional effects of their illness. Odyssey helps patients rebuild their confidence, engage with exercise, and take back control of their lives. It is based around outdoor adventure activities and is free of charge. It is currently available in Kent and Scotland but plans to expand further. 
  • Over The Wall provides free Therapeutic Recreation Camps for children and their families affected by serious illness. Children can build confidence, self-esteem and resilience. They also find fun, friendship and laughter where they learn that their medical condition does not define them. It is open to children from 8 to 17 years of age. Over The Wall also offers sibling and family camps. 
  • The Willow Foundation is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. A day for them, a day about them and a day that will create memories they will all treasure forever.  

Hospices

Many hospices run rehabilitation sessions for people living with and beyond cancer to help them regain fitness and mobility. Please contact your local hospice and drop in centre to find out what services they offer

When Can I Return to Driving?

Every surgery for sarcoma is unique and you should discuss your individual case with your rehabilitation and/or medical team as to when it is safe for you to return to driving.

You should inform the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of any change in your mobility or any disability and they can provide you with further advice.

Address: Drivers Medical Group, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1TU

  • Tel:         01792 782 341
  • Fax:        0845 850 0095

Website

It may also be necessary for you to inform your insurance company of any surgery you have had. Please confirm with your individual insurance provider.

Learning to Drive (age 16)

If you are receiving the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you can apply for a provisional licence and take your test when you’re 16.  

Advice on Disability Equipment, Transport and Blue Badges

There are many useful sections of information in the following government website including advice on disability and transport including Blue Badge provision.

Regional Driving Assessment Centres

There are several regional driving assessment centres around the country that can provide help with driving or accessing vehicles as a driver or a passenger.

To find out your local centre contact: 0845 3371540

Driving One-Handed

There is a range of driving control adaptations for drivers who are only able to use one hand. For more information please discuss this with your rehabilitation team or your local mobility centre.

Useful contacts:

National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD) provides information and support to bikers with disabilities including insurance advice and information on making adaptations to your vehicle. They also offer grants for adaptations.

Forum of Mobility Centres are independent organisations offering information, advice and assessment to individuals who have a medical condition or injury which may affect their ability to drive.

Disabled Motorists Federation gives advice to disabled drivers and disabled people on all matters concerning disability including driving and travel.

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