Ep 16 – Dr. Trista Manikowske: Cancer-related fatigue, phased rehabilitation in oncology.

Trista graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, where she spent a lot of her time working in the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute. In this episode, we chat about Trista’s PhD dissertation where she looked at the difference between perceptual fatigue and muscular fatigue to try and get a deeper understanding of cancer related fatigue.

We also spend a lot of time chatting about a phased approach to cancer-rehabilitation. This approach, divides the rehabilitation into different stages based on where the patient is during their treatment and how they are responding to the rehab protocol. This is some really cool stuff that the RMCRI have been working on for a while and may very well serve as a model of cancer rehab in the future.

You can find Trista on facebok here or email here at tolson@stcloudestate.edu for more infor on what’s she’s up to. Follow me on twitter @CiaranFairman to hear about more things exercise and cancer.


Show notes

6:05     What is cancer related fatigue?       

7:45     What causes cancer related fatigue?

10:45     Does cancer type have any effect on fatigue?          

12:00     The difference between normal tiredness and fatigue        

13:00     How exercise can help alleviate fatigue

18:10   Why it is important to educate patients about the symptoms they will face from treatment

21:00   Trista’s Dissertation  

30:00   Phased approach to cancer rehab     

32:15   What does a phase one patient’s exercise program look like?        

37:15   Moving to phase two

44:00   Dealing with muscular imbalances and other complications from treatment        

49:00   Phase three    

51:00   The importance of working towards independence

53:45   Frequently asked questions by patients as they start to do more on their own

56:15   Common misconceptions about cancer and exercise

57:15   Trista’s advice for upcoming professionals and for patients/survivors

Ep 15 - Kylee Sacksteder (Part 1), Physician, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, Alarm clock snoozer.

Kylee is in the final year of her dermatology residency. Having moved to Columbus a few years ago, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We chat about how she balanced her cancer treatments, along with planning a wedding at the same time!


Kylee’s background training as a physician gave her a unique perspective on her diagnosis and treatment and actually ended up influencing some of her treatment decisions, including avoiding a bone marrow biopsy! Her training also allowed her to give a really clear description of some of the common cancer treatments, what they are and why you need them. We have an important talk about the need for patients to continuously ask questions of their physicians to make sure they understand what they’re going through.


A huge thanks to Kylee for sharing her story!


For more cancer and health related topics, find me on twitter @ciaranfairman, or go to reachbeyondcancer.com to find out more about what we do.




Show notes


4.00 – Kylee’s journey through med school and her diagnosis.


7.45 – The power of the snooze button – We talk about people who use the snooze button vs. people who don’t. We talk strategies to optimize morning snoozing.


9.30 – Kylee finding a lump in her throat and getting it checked out.


12.15 – Getting two diagnoses – The day Kylee got her CT results and the day she got her biopsy results.


21.00 – How her training as a physician affected her response to the diagnosis and treatment decisions.


23.40 – NCCN guidelines on cancer treatment and how they influence treatment decisions.


27.40 – Having to work following her diagnosis.


28.40 – Going through with treatment decisions – Pre-chemotherapy tests and decisions.


31.40 – Patients need to ask more questions about their treatment decisions.


33.40 – Going through treatment – what Kylee’s chemo looked like and how it went.


41.40 – Balancing chemo and residency as a physician.

Ep 14. Patricia Sheehan: Cancer-related fatigue & cancer rehabilitation in Ireland.

Patricia is a PhD researcher at Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. Patricia is finishing up her dissertation, where she looked at a physical activity program to improve symptoms of cancer-related fatigue.


In this episode, we focus on cancer-related fatigue, what it is, how it’s different from regular tiredness and how it can affect different people. We chat about Patrica’s dissertation work and how physical activity can improve fatigue. We also chat about the state of cancer rehabilitation in Ireland and what services are out there for cancer patients/survivors.


You can find Patricia on twitter @FERNTRI or through email at patricia.sheehan@postgrad.wit.ie


You can also find the MedEx program in Waterford here: https://www.wit.ie/schools/health_sciences/medexwit.


Find me on twitter at @CiaranFairman or go to reachbeyondcancer.com to find out more about what we do.


This episode doesn’t have an intro, I came down with a devastating case of the man-flu over the weekend, so I’m not able to speak to put one up. This episode is sponsored by Lampstrong.com. The LampStrong Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Major League Soccer Goalkeeper and Stage Four Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor Matt Lampson. The mission of The LampStrong Foundation is to provide difference-making financial, emotional and motivational support to cancer patients and families in all the stages of cancer treatment and recovery as well as to fund proven cancer researchers. For more information and regular updates on the LampStrong Foundation follow the LampStrong Foundation on Facebook or visit LampStrong.com.




1.00 – What is Cancer Related Fatigue, what are the symptoms, how long does it last, what causes it etc.


5.00 – Where should exercise advice for cancer patients/survivors come from?


7.00 – Different dimensions of cancer-related fatigue, whether its emotional, cognitive or physical fatigue, and how those patterns fluctuate during treatment.


11.29 – The transition from active treatment to survivorship and how patients/survivors can feel lost and isolated.


15.35 – Patricia’s study looking at physical activity and cancer-related fatigue.


28.45 – Fit and active cancer patients – dealing with exercise tolerance going down.


36.00 – Turning her research into a public service program at Waterford Institute of Technology.


44.00 – State of cancer rehab in Ireland. Where the field is and what is available for patients/survivors.


51.00 – The influence of policy on establishing exercise oncology as a standard of care. 

Ep 13. Jeff Vallance Part 2. Physical activity and Survivorship, Canadian initiatives to improve cancer resources – everything in between.

This is part 2 with Jeff, who is a researcher at Athabasca University who looks a physical activity and sedentary behavior in a variety of cancer populations.   

We talk about the Amber study, a massive study looking at physical activity in 1,500 cancer patients and looking at them up to 10 years after treatment. This study will answer A LOT of important questions about physiological effects of exercise, along with effects of activity on cancer recurrence and mortality. We also chat about how theire trying to develop a central databse of cancer facilities to try and improve the cancer network across the country. Finally, we chat about how we might be putting too many barriers to exercise with cancer patients and survivors – a really important topic. Enjoy!

You can find Jeff on Twitter @JeffVallance, or at http://fhd.athabascau.ca/faculty/jvallance/. Look for us at reachbeyondcancer.com or find me on twitter @CiaranFairman.   We talk about Mike Lang in the episode and the great things he’s doing with youth cancer survivors. Find him @mikeylang on Twitter or visit https://about.me/mike.lang to find out more. 


Show Notes:

3.45 – Amber Study: Tracking physical activity and health outcomes in cancer survivors up to 10 years after treatment.

9.00 – How biological studies may start to tease out some of the effects of exercise on cancer related outcomes.

14.00 – How the diversity of researchers will drive the field forward.

17.00 – Cancer initiatives up in Canada – trying to develop a central database of cancer centers to help cancer patients/survivors.

28.00 – How cancer studies can be improved.

34.00 – Are we putting too many barriers to exercise with cancer survivors?

37.00 – The power of seeing improvement in Jeff’s first cancer patient and how that empowered him to keep going.

41.00 – Need for more collaboration between academics and health professionals.

45.00 – Where you can find Jeff.

Ep 12 – Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed Pt.1: Head and Neck cancer, cancer related cachexia and improving research translation.

Nicole is a Professor at the University of Calgary who focuses on physical activity for cancer survivors. In this episode, we chat about head and neck cancer, and some of the challenging side effects of the cancer and its treatment. Due to its location, cancer-related cachexia is common concern, along with some of the real difficulties and pain with just eating a meal, and how these affect exercise decisions.   Interestingly, HPV is such a common risk factor for Head and Neck cancer, that there are two separate types of HN cancer – HPV related on non-HPV related. We chat about the implications of this and how to reduce your overall risk.   Finally, we chat about our shared frustration in the translation of research into practice and how our research lines differ from the advice we give in a clinic.   If you’re in the Calgary area and are interested in getting involved in a research study, check out Nicole’s Lab at: https://www.ucalgary.ca/healthandwellnesslab/people/dr-culos-reed   Learn more about Nicole’s Thrive Health Services here: http://thrivehealthservices.com/about-us/ and check out Nicole on twitter @NCulosReed.     Check out www.reachbeyondcancer.com for our services or find me on twitter @CiaranFairman.    


Show Notes. 0:30 – What is Head and Neck cancer and who is defined and a Head and Neck cancer patient/survivor.   2:15 – How is HPV puts you at a heightened risk of Head and Neck Cancer. There’s no screening for Head and Neck Cancer.   7.30 – Screening for HPV is part of the treatment for H/N cancer.   9.00 - Other risk factors for Head and Neck cancer.   9.30 – Side effects of treatment that’s unique to H/N cancer – Cancer-related cachexia, eating, hearing etc.   14.00 – How treatment needs to change for H/N cancer – more than just nutrition.   16.15 – The role of physicians vs. exercise physiologist in cancer care.   19.00 – How long and painful meals can be for H/N cancer patients/survivors and how that affects their exercise.   24.00 – Timing of exercise in H/N cancer – it may be better to wait until after treatment and what this means.

Episode 11 – Darcey Wion: Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor, Women’s Health cover fitness star

Episode 11 – Darcey Wion: Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor, Women’s Health cover fitness

Darcey Wion is a trainer at System of Strength, an incredible gym and community in Columbus Ohio. In this episode, we chat about Darcey’s journey from being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma fresh out of college, to now being the on the cover of women’s health magazine. Darcey gives an incredibly honest and refreshing insight into what her treatment looked like, how her chemotherapy worked, along with some of the brutal side effects that she still struggles over 7 years later. Darcey also talks about feeling guilt as a younger patient, the value of having a strong support system and things such as losing her hair as a young woman. We also talk about how brutal Carella’s classes are at SOS. I can’t thank Darcey enough for her honesty and vulnerability in this interview, I think it will help a lot of people as a result.


Most importantly, Darcey is the finalist for Women's Health Next Fitness Star. The winner is selected based on votes and I can't think of anyone more deserving. You have unlimited votes from now until August 4th so please go to the link below, vote, refresh, vote, refresh and repeat as many times as necessary.


Vote for Darcey here: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/next-fitness-star-finalists?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebutton


Check out System of Strength at: https://systemofstrength.com/

Check us out at reachbeyondcancer.com or go to @CiaranFairman on Twitter.

 Show Notes.

1:03     Darcey’s Background and personal experience with exercise prior to treatment

4:33     Diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma  and the month between diagnosis and treatment

9:03     First experience with chemotherapy

12:03   Feeling guilt as a cancer patient

13:03   How a session of chemotherapy looks

14:33   The aftermath and side effects of a chemo session

17:33   Exercise during treatment     

21:03   Her experience with Exercise and Nutrition advice from oncologists/physicians   

25:33   The tail end of treatment // Radiation

29:03   Finding her new normal and dealing with side effects post-treatment      

 31:33   Getting back her level of fitness while dealing with the side effects

34:33   What Darcey is currently doing

38:03   Being on the cover of Women’s Health

40:03   What is System of Strength about    

43:03   Darcey’s advice for cancer patients

Episode 10 – Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Rock-climbing and gynecological cancers and everything in between.

We aplogize for the gap between episode 5 and 10 on here - we've had some mp3 issues. Luckily, you can find the other episodes on Itunes and Stitcher! Here's the

Jeff is a researcher at Athabasca University who looks a physical activity and sedentary behavior in a variety of cancer populations.


We chat about reallocating time to physical activity in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, how rock-climbing might be beneficial to gynecological cancer survivors and how getting a dog could help with increasing activity! We also have an interesting chat about how increasing cancer patient’s/survivor’s activity is less about the activity we deem is “optimal” and more just providing them with choices and options of activity that they can look to integrate into their lifestyle.

You can find Jeff on Twitter @JeffVallance, or at http://fhd.athabascau.ca/faculty/jvallance/. Look for us at reachbeyondcancer.com or find me on twitter @CiaranFairman.

We talk about Mike Lang in the episode and the great things he’s doing with youth cancer survivors. Find him @mikeylang on Twitter or visit https://about.me/mike.lang to find out more.

Show Notes.

3.00 – NHL – those who meet PA guidelines vs those who don’t  have higher quality of life and reduced fatigue

6.00 – How dangerous sedentary time can be and how to go about changing it.

10.00 – Making smaller changes in activity throughout the day instead of a complete overhaul maybe better to increasing overall levels of activity.

15.00 – How it can be easy to forget what cancer patients/survivors have gone through I terms of treatment and some of the complicaitons that may affect their physical activity habits. Some of the challenges of being a fitness professional and trying to put yourself in the shoes of a patient going through treatment.

18.00 – How that type of people who volunteer for cancer studies can affect the results and our interpretation.

21.00 Some of the challenges with research in this area (funding, review boards etc.).

23.00 – Gynacological cancer survivors, wall climbing and the value of providing choice in terms of how people select a type of exercise.

34.00 – Should we treat cancer survivors different from the general population?

37.00 – Do we need to have a “usual care” group in our exercise interventions with cancer patients/survivors?

Episode 5 - Matt Lampson: Lymphoma survivor, professional athlete, all-round badass

Matt was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma a week after graduating high school. Instead of going on to play college soccer, Matt had to stay in Ohio and go through a brutal regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. This episode is part 1 of a two part series covering Matt's journey from his diagnosis, to where he is now, an MLS star, with a successful cancer foundation dedicated to help making the lives of childhood cancer survivors better. Lamps is as tough as they get, and he gave a great insight into the devastating effects of treatment, some of which he still battles today. You can find more about Matt's foundation at www.lampstrong.com. You can also find him on twitter @LampStrong. 


Please subscribe, review and rate the podcast. Let me know how we can improve!


You can find more about reach at www.reachbeyondcancer.com or follow me on twitter @ciaranfairman. 

Show notes:

4.45 - His diagnosis, how he found out and breaking down. 

10.00 - His odds of survival. Playing a tournament the week he found out, and coming back straight into chemo. 

14.00 - Staying in Columbus to go through treatment instead of going to college to play football. Dealing with the pain and side effects of treatment. 

22.00 - How the side effects of treatment got worse over the course of his cycles. Dealing with weight gain, stomach ulcers, bone pain and nausea. 

29.00 - How going through cancer treatment at such a young age affected him psychologically. Feeling like he lost a lot of friends, being hurt and angry. How treatment shaped his goals and values. 

34.00 - Getting extra cycles of treatment, despite being free of cancer.

39.00 - Long term effects of radiation

44.00 - Finishing treatment and the recovery to get back playing.