Exercise during chemo

Posted by georger @georger, Fri, Feb 1 8:04am

More and more research shows that exercise is vital in cancer treatment….make it a regular routine…I have a background in exercise physiology and cancer and would be happy to help anyone

@jvertalka– Good morning and welcome to Connect! I took this program a long time ago and it was excellent then. Maybe others on this site have tried it and know more than I do if the present program is excellent too.
What cancer are you recovering from?

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@merpreb

@2onlow8– Good morning. I know all about brain fog! Chemo can really do us in at times. I'm glad that you are seeing results! How did you react to ? Cisplatin my stomach was a mess- horrible metal taste. I lost 15 lbs. And I was either taking meds to go or to stop, lol.
You might want to build up your muscles before you take up tai chi. I would think that water exercises would be excellent for you.
Do you have a pool nearby that teaches them?

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Hello @2onlow8

As @sue1952 mentioned, Tai Chi has many benefits for balance and energy. If you think you might be interested in Tai Chi, you might consider a seated Tai Chi class. They offer them in various senior centers, hospitals, etc. I have balance problems as well, and I've found Tai Chi to be quite helpful. I often don't have the stamina for an aerobics class, so I've found that seated exercise classes work well for me.

Here is a YouTube video that shows a sample seated Tai Chi class,

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@merpreb

@jvertalka– Good morning and welcome to Connect! I took this program a long time ago and it was excellent then. Maybe others on this site have tried it and know more than I do if the present program is excellent too.
What cancer are you recovering from?

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I have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, for which I am on a continuing daily dose of a targeted therapy (Imbruvica). One side effect of this drug is muscle spasms, which get me up and jumping around 3-4 times a night. Before this cancer I had several brain surgeries for an unrelated tumor, and those left me with serious balance issues. So I'm looking to improve my balance, fight fatigue, and improve strength.

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@jvertalka

I have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, for which I am on a continuing daily dose of a targeted therapy (Imbruvica). One side effect of this drug is muscle spasms, which get me up and jumping around 3-4 times a night. Before this cancer I had several brain surgeries for an unrelated tumor, and those left me with serious balance issues. So I'm looking to improve my balance, fight fatigue, and improve strength.

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@jvertalka– Good morning once again. Good for you wanting to improve your balance and feel better all around! I would call your doctor's office and see if they have a program that they would suggest. Often hospital have exercise programs. Maybe see if yours has one.
Do you fall a lot? By saying that your balance is bad are you using a walker?

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@jvertalka

I have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, for which I am on a continuing daily dose of a targeted therapy (Imbruvica). One side effect of this drug is muscle spasms, which get me up and jumping around 3-4 times a night. Before this cancer I had several brain surgeries for an unrelated tumor, and those left me with serious balance issues. So I'm looking to improve my balance, fight fatigue, and improve strength.

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We have a great evidence based program in Michigan called "Matter of Balance" that you might check out. Also, a great exercise for strength , fatigue and balance is the rowing ergometer. Ask your doctor and a local trainer about it.

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@2onlow8

I am currently in treatment with Alimta every 3 weeks. Before that I had treatments with Cisplatin, with simultaneous radiation a year ago, then immunotherapy for 2 months which accelerated the tumor growth and undid the progress made with the Cisplatin, so was switched to Taxotere, that didn’t help and switched to Alimta, having just had my 5th Alimta infusion. Scheduled to continue on Alimta as it’s lowering my CEA number and showing a bit of reduction in tumor sizes per recent PET scan. I have had little exercise and muscles are very weak. I take a dance class once a week and would like to add water aerobics, possibly tai chi to my schedule. As long as I can deal with Alimta side effects of exhaustion and brain fog one week out every 3.

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Update: after 5 infusions of Alimta, which I’m tolerating well, my CEA has only dropped 3 points, leading to me see that it’s effectiveness may soon be waining. My 2nd opinion oncologist at MD Anderson suggested adding Keytruda to my Alimta infusions when the Alimta alone stops working. My primary oncologist asked me why I should consider this when the immunotherapy I tried before (Imfinzi) didn’t work and allowed my cancer to metasticize. I can’t answer her. Has anyone had Alimta AND Keytruda simultaneously? And another question: what’s the protocol to get my primary onc and my second opinion onc talking to each other? Thanks.

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@2onlow8

Update: after 5 infusions of Alimta, which I’m tolerating well, my CEA has only dropped 3 points, leading to me see that it’s effectiveness may soon be waining. My 2nd opinion oncologist at MD Anderson suggested adding Keytruda to my Alimta infusions when the Alimta alone stops working. My primary oncologist asked me why I should consider this when the immunotherapy I tried before (Imfinzi) didn’t work and allowed my cancer to metasticize. I can’t answer her. Has anyone had Alimta AND Keytruda simultaneously? And another question: what’s the protocol to get my primary onc and my second opinion onc talking to each other? Thanks.

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This is a challenging subject. My wife like you has her specialist Oncologist at Mayo and a local oncologist where we live. We consider Mayo to be the lead for disease strategy and our local oncologist, one who executes the strategy on a daily/monthly basis labs, Octreotide, Afinitor prescriptions), etc.

Luckily, they work well together. Our local providers practice is a Mayo Network Partner so that may make a difference. We also haven’t run into any ‘controversial’ issues like yours.

In your case, I may ask to arrange a three way conference call with them with you acting as the moderator asking them to develop a strategy that will work in your best interest. A live phone call with all on the line may make a difference. Too many people hide behind emails and messaging.

Just my two cents.

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@tomewilson

This is a challenging subject. My wife like you has her specialist Oncologist at Mayo and a local oncologist where we live. We consider Mayo to be the lead for disease strategy and our local oncologist, one who executes the strategy on a daily/monthly basis labs, Octreotide, Afinitor prescriptions), etc.

Luckily, they work well together. Our local providers practice is a Mayo Network Partner so that may make a difference. We also haven’t run into any ‘controversial’ issues like yours.

In your case, I may ask to arrange a three way conference call with them with you acting as the moderator asking them to develop a strategy that will work in your best interest. A live phone call with all on the line may make a difference. Too many people hide behind emails and messaging.

Just my two cents.

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Thanks for your suggestion. My local doctor is in a different network and I can understand the complications. I have a difficult time reaching either by phone, but will start asking for their suggestions to accomplish a 3-way convo. I certainly can’t answer her (rhetoric ?) question or form any scientific conclusion. I am uncomfortable “translating” info between them, even though I take notes. My primary seems to have welcomed the 2nd’s suggestions in the past, but not some much this week. She also seemed rushed during our meeting this week. That was unusual and unsettling to me, but may not have had anything to do with me…I can’t imagine what it takes to treat cancer patients.

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George, I just had first round of chemo this Thursday& Friday. went walking Friday & Saturday morning. I was not able to sleep Sunday but I was feeling good so I went to the gym at 3:30 am and worked out for about 80 min. did not get tired. Question is should I worry about going to gym because of Germs?
I did bring gloves and a can of disinfectant. I did feel good after it. My plan is to go early morning maybe only three times a week when feeling up for it

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@chuck218

George, I just had first round of chemo this Thursday& Friday. went walking Friday & Saturday morning. I was not able to sleep Sunday but I was feeling good so I went to the gym at 3:30 am and worked out for about 80 min. did not get tired. Question is should I worry about going to gym because of Germs?
I did bring gloves and a can of disinfectant. I did feel good after it. My plan is to go early morning maybe only three times a week when feeling up for it

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You need to check with your doctor to see if you are immune compromised or not. They can answer from your most recent labs. From my cancer experience, I was immune compromised initially. The doctors absolutely told me when I was not. While I was, they said to stay away from gyms along with a plethora of other places. Good for you having the energy to go to the gym! Take the opportunity to be active as you feel able. I wish you well.

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@mepowers

You need to check with your doctor to see if you are immune compromised or not. They can answer from your most recent labs. From my cancer experience, I was immune compromised initially. The doctors absolutely told me when I was not. While I was, they said to stay away from gyms along with a plethora of other places. Good for you having the energy to go to the gym! Take the opportunity to be active as you feel able. I wish you well.

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Thanks for fast response and info will check with doctor

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What type of exercise would you suggest for stage 4 lung cancer

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@janlanderz

What type of exercise would you suggest for stage 4 lung cancer

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After clearance from your doc you will want to start slow and steady…an organized class would be great ….. if not , any exercise that increases blood flow is good.. no specific one….best of luck👍

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@janlanderz

What type of exercise would you suggest for stage 4 lung cancer

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Janlanderz – What type of exercise did you do before your diagnosis? As a retired personal trainer and a stage iv nsclc patient, that would be my first question to you!

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I was diagnosed in Dec of 2018 and did not start chemo until Feb 2019.. During that time I was trying to hit the gym at least 3 times per week and basically only did the bike and a bit of rowing.. I use to ride my bike a bit, but 3 months ago developed a PVT blood clot and now I am afraid of riding my bike. I do go to tai chi on Wednesday's at a hospice centre which is geared to be very slow…. I try to walk once in a while in order to keep the blood flowing in my legs especially since the clot… but due to a bit of depression.. I don't get out walking as much as I should… like last night I pushed myself to go for a small walk at a park that I like to go to ..

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