Life after a cancer diagnosis is full of highs and lows. The physical and emotional toll that treatment can have on the body can be incredibly draining. But there are also beautiful moments you’ll never forget — when the people you love show their care and support during a difficult journey. That’s exactly how Survivor Fitness participant David Fox described his experience during treatment and his commitment to regaining his physical, mental, and emotional strength after cancer.
The Lows & Highs of Diagnosis and Treatment
David distinctly remembers the day his life changed forever.
“On June 21, 2021, for the first time in my 64 years, I had to cancel a business trip due to illness.”
He had been suffering from stomach pain for about a week. Initially, David thought he had a stomach bug, but he ended up in the emergency room that morning. A CT scan revealed a 38mm mass in his pancreas. The next day, he had a biopsy that confirmed it was stage 2A adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
After six months of chemotherapy, David received positive news from his oncologist. The tumor had shrunk by half and was no longer wrapped around his portal vein. Spots on his liver, once suspected to be the result of metastasis, were actually unrelated to his cancer. With this prognosis, David was eligible for a Whipple procedure — a very intense, complicated surgery to remove the rest of the tumor. Six months after his diagnosis, David had surgery on January 10th and once again started chemo and daily radiation for five weeks.
Looking back on his journey, David recalls that navigating the “ups and downs” was one of the most challenging parts of treatment
“The most difficult part of this journey was going from being a relatively healthy person to an extremely sick person given five months to live at one point.”
Finding Strength and Hope for Recovery Through Community
Like most cancer survivors, David describes how the chemo, radiation, and surgery left him physically limited and emotionally drained.
“While I was grateful to be alive, the surgery, chemo, and radiation left me drained and extremely weak. The cancer treatment kept me alive but took a toll on my body and, in turn, on my spirit.”
That’s when a friend told him about Survivor Fitness. David contacted Survivor Fitness the next day and started his 12-week fitness program in July 2022. The encouragement and care from the Survivor Fitness community helped jumpstart his recovery journey.
“I remember the very first call with Ashley. She was absolutely wonderful and extremely compassionate and helpful. The patience and understanding that my trainer, Major Tripp at Chadwick’s Fitness, gave was just what I needed.”
Never one for the macho man environment, David found this setting for his fitness program to be an incredibly positive and supportive place. While it was physically demanding, he never felt pressured or judged.
Finding Strength for Life after Cancer
For 12 weeks, David continued his Survivor Fitness training plan. He worked with Major twice a week, implementing a fitness program that helped David regain the strength and stability he had lost during treatment. He also met with a Survivor Fitness nutritionist to discuss nutrition questions and dietary changes to consider for his specific diagnosis. David noticed the results from the program almost immediately.
“I had to do something to regain energy and get my life back again. Survivor Fitness helped me do this. It not only helped me physically, but it also helped me emotionally to be able to take actions that positively impacted my life.
Interested in Becoming a Survivor Fitness Participant?
If you or someone you know is a cancer survivor looking to regain health and wellness after cancer, we are here to walk alongside you throughout this journey. Connect with us today to learn more!