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

@janlanderz

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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How long ago were you diagnosed with stage iv nsclc? And how are you doing? I am quite alone in this journey and have not seen too much regarding the survival rates, clinical trials that are helping, etc…

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@seaspray

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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How long ago were you diagnosed with stage iv nsclc? And how are you doing? I am quite alone in this journey and have not seen too much regarding the survival rates, clinical trials that are helping, etc…

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@wendeth

Thanks for the offer of assistance, @georger. I have breast cancer, and had been a runner for a year (ran a half marathon). During chemo, I walked instead of ran, trying to get my walking pace under 14 minutes per mile. Great for my body and my mind, being with my running and walking teammates. A few weeks after chemo ended, I started adding some running, and then 6 weeks after chemo I walked an ran another half marathon!
The following year I advanced to metastatic breast cancer. Chemo again, maybe more intense. I kept running instead of backing off to walking. After a month of chemo and running, I fainted while running! Fortunately it was during a group run, and people helped me to a local hospital. Lots of tests but few answers as to why I fainted. A month off from running, then started running again (after a clear EEG). Within a week, I fainted while running again! Months later I had a seizure while on a 24-hour EEG – in a new town and hospital, but following up from my fainting-while-running. Now I'm on anti-seizure medicine. Maybe my fainting-while-running was due to seizures, but there were no immediate indications of seizures. I think it was the combination of running and chemo. I've heard of people running marathons while on chemo, but apparently we can't all do that (or they're on different chemo). Anyway, exercise is definitely great for some of us during chemo. I continued walking a lot during the rest of my chemo – again, great for my body and mind. Sometimes there are challenges. Running is hard, and was easy to replace with active walking. Like many cancer situations, it's different for each of us. Much wisdom to you – and healing, after cancer. Oh, and there's an exercise program for cancer patients called Livestrong – a variety of exercises with a group that recognizes people's limitations – very good!

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I just signed up for a live strong program at the YMCA in scottsdale. It begins 9/17 and runs 12 weeks. Tuesdays and thursdays 12-1pm. If you’re interested, email jack White at jackdanawhite@cox.net. To get more details. He’s the trainer and this is his 7th time running the 12 week program at the Y. Hope to see some of you there!

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@janlanderz

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

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Unless your doctor specifically says not to, I would recommend something outdoors. During treatment, we spend way too much time indoors. Getting out and noticing all that nature has to offer is good for the spirit. Walking is a great start, and I would recommend body weight exercises. Not sure of your conditioning or what you used to do, but there are senior classes that are chair exercises which are generally body weight or light weights. I’d move as much as your body allows. Wishing you well!

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@janlanderz

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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janlanderz – Have you discussed exercise with your doctor? Are you on blood thinners? Discussing and getting the approval of the doctor would be of upmost importance. This could probably be done via a phone call (or a message on a portal is your center has that). Once cleared, I would start off slowly as geoger mentioned. Walking is a wonderful way to get exercise and get out of the house…total mood changer. While riding a stationary bike and using a rowing machine (or cables, bands, etc.) are terrific and some of my favorites, you are skipping many parts of your body that need strengthening. Perhaps a trainer at the gym could get you comfortable with a routine to start with. I can understand your fear of riding a bike outdoors if you are on blood thinners. Exercise will help the depression most of us are familiar with having this diagnosis. The more active you are the less time our brains dwell on the cancer. Please don't hesitate to send me a personal message if more guidance is needed. Just click on my name!

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@janlanderz

How long ago were you diagnosed with stage iv nsclc? And how are you doing? I am quite alone in this journey and have not seen too much regarding the survival rates, clinical trials that are helping, etc…

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I was diagnosed August 2014 with a tumor in my lower right lung which had metastasized to my vertebrae, 2 ribs and they thought (until a biopsy proved them wrong) my liver. So, it has been quite a roller coaster ride for 5 years!! I am doing quite well although just recently the little monster decided to appear in my brain with 6 spots. Had Gamma Knife (a type of brain radiation) in May and just had my brain mri re-check last week. All good! Now I have a new lesion in my adrenal gland and hilum…..more radiation in my future!
Another popular site you might want to visit is Inspire.com. It is very active and there are hundreds of threads and links to anything you want to find.

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@georger. I loved your post. Could you be more specific about the types of exercise and levels of exertion?

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@seaspray

I was diagnosed August 2014 with a tumor in my lower right lung which had metastasized to my vertebrae, 2 ribs and they thought (until a biopsy proved them wrong) my liver. So, it has been quite a roller coaster ride for 5 years!! I am doing quite well although just recently the little monster decided to appear in my brain with 6 spots. Had Gamma Knife (a type of brain radiation) in May and just had my brain mri re-check last week. All good! Now I have a new lesion in my adrenal gland and hilum…..more radiation in my future!
Another popular site you might want to visit is Inspire.com. It is very active and there are hundreds of threads and links to anything you want to find.

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You are darned brae and inspiring. Also than you for your information regarding the site inspire.com.

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@mepowers

Unless your doctor specifically says not to, I would recommend something outdoors. During treatment, we spend way too much time indoors. Getting out and noticing all that nature has to offer is good for the spirit. Walking is a great start, and I would recommend body weight exercises. Not sure of your conditioning or what you used to do, but there are senior classes that are chair exercises which are generally body weight or light weights. I’d move as much as your body allows. Wishing you well!

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Thanks for the advice. I am in pretty good shape other than the diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. I do go to a light tai chi class on Wednesday's to get out of the house and a bit of exercise to.. I had also gotten a pvt blood clot in my left leg about 3 months ago and that is finally getting down to almost nothing… but now I have to be on blood thinners for life… I am still trying to be positive through it all and thanks for the well wishes.. I do go for walks once in a while to… I should go more… 🙂

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@seaspray

I was diagnosed August 2014 with a tumor in my lower right lung which had metastasized to my vertebrae, 2 ribs and they thought (until a biopsy proved them wrong) my liver. So, it has been quite a roller coaster ride for 5 years!! I am doing quite well although just recently the little monster decided to appear in my brain with 6 spots. Had Gamma Knife (a type of brain radiation) in May and just had my brain mri re-check last week. All good! Now I have a new lesion in my adrenal gland and hilum…..more radiation in my future!
Another popular site you might want to visit is Inspire.com. It is very active and there are hundreds of threads and links to anything you want to find.

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I am sorry to hear the little beast is coming back .. I definitely wish you all the best and am grasping on to your strength to help me get through this…

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@georger

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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The only exercise I really do right now is a slow paced tai chi class on Wednesday's and small walks here and there… I am trying to be more ambitious but doing it alone is no fun … Hoping to start taking yoga also in September where I take Tai chi

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@janlanderz

I am sorry to hear the little beast is coming back .. I definitely wish you all the best and am grasping on to your strength to help me get through this…

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janlanderz – Thank you for your wishes! You have reached out for help and you've got this. Taking yoga, doing tai chi and some strength training in between some walking will keep you strong not just physically but mentally as well. I work out at a gym 3-4 times a week, do yoga and walk about 3 miles a day with my dog. If it wasn't for my dog, I am not sure I would still be here!

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Thank you sooooo much for inspiring me with your strength and your positive being… you have helped me in ways you will never know.. and thank your dog for me 🙂

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@janlanderz

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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@janlanderz Hello, and welcome to Connect. We’re not physicians here, but we can all try to share experiences and hopefully help you find answers. You’ve asked about exercise during chemo. I do know that chemo will make you tired, but that’s all the more reason to exercise. As an oncology nurse, one of the doctors we worked with had just done a study on the benefits of exercise for chemo patients. She then wrote a book but of course, I don’t know the name of it. 😑 I’ll have to look it up. Check with the oncology center where you get treated—they may have groups that exercise together. Get an OK from your doctor, but I’m sure it will be alright. Just start out slow and easy

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@becsbuddy

@janlanderz Hello, and welcome to Connect. We’re not physicians here, but we can all try to share experiences and hopefully help you find answers. You’ve asked about exercise during chemo. I do know that chemo will make you tired, but that’s all the more reason to exercise. As an oncology nurse, one of the doctors we worked with had just done a study on the benefits of exercise for chemo patients. She then wrote a book but of course, I don’t know the name of it. 😑 I’ll have to look it up. Check with the oncology center where you get treated—they may have groups that exercise together. Get an OK from your doctor, but I’m sure it will be alright. Just start out slow and easy

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Thank You very much Becky for you input into the exercise regime. I am pretty healthy other than knowing I have the cancer in my body. I do go to a slow paced tai chi class on Wednesday's.. and don't like going to the gym anymore due to the chemo and maybe getting a bacterial infection from the gym… I do try and walk now and again, but I know when Winter comes… those walks will be far and few between. The cancer centre I am going to does not have exercise programs but will refer you basically to community services that do, somewhat, that's how I got into the tai chi…and apparently they will be starting yoga in September that I also plan to attend. I do attend the tai chi classes at a hospice centre. I am meeting with someone late August to maybe suggest that they have a room at the hospice centre, that a person could just go work out in… maybe a stationary bike or two and some other gym equipment… the people I will be seeing are from an agency called the Compassionate Care Community that work out of the hospice centre and that's what they are all about … trying to help people where the help is needed. I was just able to get a support group for Cancer started at one of our public Libraries by opening my mouth at a meet and greet event that was held at our public library… the first meeting will be in September.. so I am hoping this little big mouth can get more going for the Cancer Community in my Community… I am finding the depression is the real culprit getting in the way of my exercising… along with a PVT blood clot I got approximately 3 months ago…

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