This May I’ll be participating in Workout to Conquer Cancer, where I’ll be joining hundreds of others across the province as we get moving every single day of the month in support of cancer research and enhancements to care at BC Cancer.
One in two British Columbians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. I have been one of those people. I continue to fight each day to protect my body from a relapse and I need your help.
My story goes... In summer 2016 I felt a marble sized lump on my right parotid (right side of my face, by my ear). After visiting doctors, and receiving ultrasounds, I was sent to a specialist. On November 11, 2016 for the first time I was told the lump that was growing on my face was most likely cancer and that a biopsy was needed.
On December 2, 2016 a biopsy was successfully completed. December 14, 2016 - it was confirmed. I had Non-Hodgkins Diffused B-Cell Lymphoma. Prepping myself thinking that the worst had already come and it was time to start chemotherapy, it was determined that I had a far worse disease than anticipated. I was diagnosed with Stage IV, Triple Hit Diffused B-Cell Lymphona. It was aggressive, and required a more intensive chemotherapy. I started chemotherapy on January 4th. I completed 6 rounds of cancer fighting chemotherapy on April 28th and followed that with two rounds of preventative chemotherapy to protect my brain and spine.
Then there were months of waiting to find out if the chemotherapy worked. With two suspicious spots presenting themselves on scans, there was a very real possibility I had to enter into the next and more intensive form of chemotherapy. After multiple scans and a biopsy on September 27th, 2017 I received a call on Saturday October 7th from my family doctor. "Kris, I didn't think you wanted to wait any longer, so I wanted to call you... I received the results of your biopsy. The test results show there are no signs of cancer cells, it describes the spots as inflammation. Congratulations."
I was blessed with an answer to my prayers by God and gifted renewed life. It was a journey, one that I wouldn't change, but one that I will do everything in my power to never travel again. It was through programs like this that funded the world-class research conducted by clinicians and scientists at BC Cancer that contributed to saving my life and allows me to fight, cheer, cry, and do what I love most - be with my wife, Rebecca, and two daughters Amelia and Addison.
My commitment for the month of May is to break a sweat each day. Three times each week, I will be working out with my coaches and mentors at Strong Side Conditioning in New Westminster. Each day whether I'm at the gym or not, I will be maintaining a walking routine both with my colleagues at work and with my family.
I thank you for reading my story and the support you're offering.
Days 25 - 30
In shock that tomorrow this will be wrapping up. We are so close to the finish line - thank you everyone for your donations.
As a family, we have kept up with our evening walks which has been really nice. Yesterday Day 29: we did 4kms with the girls and had some fun leg pressing my kids.
Throughout the week, I've continued on with my gym routine. I'm very much over doing lunges, and as my program changes on Friday, I know that my first exercise will be lunges!
The introduction of running has been exciting and I'm looking to add that into my regular routine going forward. It's a really nice way to push myself, but also to be able to lose myself in thought. I've been able to reflect on the purpose of pushing my body and raising awareness. I am blessed to be alive today. My odds did not lean in that direction, so as I feel the aches, pains, bruises, and shortness of breath, I feel alive and for that I am thankful.
by Kristopher Hermkens on Wed, May 30, 2018 @ 12:16 PM
Days 9 -24!
I apologize for such large gaps, but I can promise you I have been keeping up with my activity.
I have consistently been attending Strong Side Conditioning 3 times a week. I have had some progression with some regression. Failure is good at the gym!
I had a couple of amazing dance parties with my lovely ladies. I'm making a point of introducing them to quality music... you know foo fighters, then some classics with Creedence Clearwater Revival, and some James Brown. I appreciate the diversity in the house!
I also picked up running, which I think will be something I do a bit more regularly now. First couple of runs were only a couple of Km's, and then I realized I felt pretty good so pushed to 5.3 kms, then 7 kms. Becca has both been excited and annoyed with me that suddenly I am capable of running 7 kms. Not much, but a significant improvement from any other time in my life.
The exercise feels great, my body aches and I love it. The support is amazing and we're almost at the goal - please if you're reading this consider supporting us as we look to help others in their fight to beat cancer!
by Kristopher Hermkens on Thu, May 24, 2018 @ 1:37 PM
EMOM Bent Over Pendlay Rows from Pins @ knees
Bar Assisted Pullup
Single Leg Glute Bridge - Back Elevated
Ab Wheel Rollouts
Single Let Ham Curls - Swiss Balls
Total weight moved - 6620 KG / 14594 lbs.
Time: 1.5 Hours
5 Km hike along Burnaby Lake - 2.5 of which I carried a tired toddler haha.
Back in the Gym!
EMOM Back Squats
EMOM Dumbell Front Lunges
Side Step Ups at 45 Degree Knee Angle
False Hanging Knee Raises
Banded Monster Side Step to Squat
L-Sit Single Leg raises Arms Out Unsupported
Total weight moved: 9420 Kg / 20724 lbs
Time: 1.75 Hours
Rainy run in New West during the evening - 20 mins - 2.5KM
Gym day! (see the routine, consistency is good!)
EMOM Bench Press
EMOM Overhead Press
Floor Assisted Dips (progressed to doing over 50% unassisted!)
Side Plank Raises
Bent Arm Lateral Raise to External Rotation
1/2 Kneeling French Press
- Walk with the Growth Media team
- Walk with the girls
by Kristopher Hermkens on Thu, May 10, 2018 @ 7:59 AM
Day 4- Workout to Conquer Cancer
I can blog this adventure?! Sweet! On Facebook, I'm providing updates, but I will track my progress here as well.
To Catch up here is what I've done:
Day 1: Afternoon walk with the team - 20 minutes
Day 2: Afternoon walk with the team - 20 Minutes
Day 3: 630 AM Gym Session. Getting Swole to beat Cancer. Total weight moved tracked at over 12,000 lbs - heavier then a monster truck!
Day 4: 630 am - 45 minute walk around the neighbourhood, and picked up some groceries. I will squeeze in some time today for a walk with my team at Growth Media.
I have officially reached 50% of my goal! Thank you so much everyone for your generous support.
by Kristopher Hermkens on Fri, May 04, 2018 @ 9:03 AM