Name: Dusan Hoffmann
Height: 184 cm
Weight: 89 Kg
Life Obstacle: Hodgkin lymphoma - cancer of the lymph system
Hi Dusan. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us something about you?
My name is Dusan Hoffmann. I come from Konstantinovy Lazne, which is a town that is known for its health and wellness. Currently, I’ve been living in Prague for the past 4 years where I work as a personal trainer.
This project focuses on people’s stories written by life itself. What was the hardest moment in your life?
The hardest obstacle in my life? Well, in the fall of 2015 I noticed a small lump in my throat, so I decided to go for a medical checkup. Initially, I thought it was a swollen muscle that wouldn’t recover. At the hospital, I underwent many different tests. However, the results always came back inconclusive and didn’t clarify what the problém was. Every blood test came back with a negative result, and it seemed like everything was generally fine and that nothing serious was wrong. It was just an enlarged lymphatic node. Just to be on the safe side, the doctors wanted to obtain a biopsy from the swelling. They carried out the procedure, afterwhich I spent 4 days in the hospital undegoing even more tests, such as PET and CT scans. Finally, the results of my biopsy came back. With utmost ease, confidence, and even a smile on my face, I picked up the paper that had my results. So sure that everything was fine, I read the results only to find out I had Hodgkin lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymph system. To confirm the condition even more, I underwent more tests, during which I had to remain still on a bed for 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes were the longest 20 minutes of my life. I lay there thinking of every decision I’ve made in the past 27 years of my life, but it was confirmed, I had cancer. For my treatment, I received 4 cycles of chemotherapy that lasted almost 4 months. Then I took 1 month off, then underwent radiation therapy on my throat and chest for 15 days.
How was your convalescence?
Honestly, throughtout the treatment, I still met up with my clients and trained them. I hated the idea of staying home alone while undergoing the treatment because I’ll just be consumed with negative thoughts. For this reason, I wanted to stay active and distract myself with clients and friends.
The treatment took 7 months overall and by early May 2016, I defeated cancer. All my life, even before the diagnosis, I always had a positive approach to life. I’d keep a positive attitude at any cost and my friends and family always know me as a positve and happy person. So, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I tried to maintain my usual positive attitude and tried to think of my condition as not so serious, like I just had the flu. I mentally convinced myself that the only possible outcome was for me to beat this battle
Being dianosed with cancer changed my outlook towards life. I started appreciating the small things, such as the sun rise and sun set. At the same time, issues that I used to think of as a ¨big deal¨ didn’t bother me anymore. So what inspired me to keep going was the desire to experience the small pleasures over and over again.
How do you stay fit nowadays?
During the whole ordeal, which lasted around 9 months, I lost a total of 15 kg. This made the simplest movements so difficult to carry out. Getting back into the gym was so hard for me because I would look at the weights and machines and think of how heavy I used to lift and how hard I would train. However, after my ordeal, I wasn’t able to perform at that level again. I started off by lifting 3 kg dumbells, and after just a few reps, I couldn’t lift them anymore. It’s already been a year since I won this battle with cancer. Now, I go to the gym around 3 times a week. I don’t push myself as hard as I used to, but I am happy.
What is your current method of staying fit? What does your workout look like? Are there any restrictions in your food or life?
Before, I used to follow strict workout plans. Those times are gone. Now I exercise just to be happy. Every session is different depending on how I feel that day. Most of the time I eat healthy and give my body the proper nutrition it needs. But sometimes, I switch off and allow myself to eat anything. There are no restrictions when it comes to food and life.
Are there any other activities and sports you like to perform?
My favorite activities are athletics, football, basketball, and any sport involving a ball. I also enjoy reading Sci-fi and horror novels. I also love going to the cinema.
What would you recommend to all the people who start over again or had a similiar experience in their lives?
If there is anyone else experiencíng or going through something similar, please think positively. Appreciate the small things, like time spent with friends and family.
The power of the mind is much stronger than the body. So keep smiling and enjoy your life. Make sure that everything you do, you do it with happiness and don’t be afraid of failing. If you keep this mindset, it’ll set you off in the right direction