Exercise during chemo

Posted by georger @georger, Feb 1, 2019

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

@lisal64

Hi genpene, thank you for your reply. I have stage IIIa Multiple Myeloma. I too, have depression, and anxiety. I also have bone lesions throughout my skeleton, and am also taking steroids as part of my treatment regime. Dexamethasone also weakens bones. I have been stubborn about walking, and also afraid of compression fractures, and pathalogical fractures. Walking is the only safe exercise for me, at this point. Fear of falling is preventing me from being consistent. Any advice on boosting
my motivation would be appreciated!

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Hi @lisal64. I'm the caregiver for my wife who was diagnosed with MM late in 2019. The doctor gave her cymbalta for peripheral neuropathy which is actually for stress/depression. She is generally in a positive mood since taking it and hopefully it'll reduce her pain long term. To your fear of falling, she did fall hard in the past year and fortunately didn't break any bones to our knowledge. Hard to tell since she's had so many minor breaks that didn't require surgery. Anyway, she fell due to very rough sidewalks in our neighborhood. Very hazardous for anyone. I told her to walk on the side of the road instead due to it is much smoother without a concrete seam ever 6 ft.

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@lisal64

Hi genpene, thank you for your reply. I have stage IIIa Multiple Myeloma. I too, have depression, and anxiety. I also have bone lesions throughout my skeleton, and am also taking steroids as part of my treatment regime. Dexamethasone also weakens bones. I have been stubborn about walking, and also afraid of compression fractures, and pathalogical fractures. Walking is the only safe exercise for me, at this point. Fear of falling is preventing me from being consistent. Any advice on boosting
my motivation would be appreciated!

Jump to this post

@lisal64 Good morning! Walking is always said to be so important, but in reality, it’s not so easy. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affected my brain and the steroids I now take have messed up my bones so I know I have to walk, but….. It’s hard. We have snow and ice everywhere with no let up in sight! I do have traction devices to put on my boots and a warm coat, so I don’t have any excuses. Do you have any friends who might go with you? Or dog? That always helps! My iPhone keeps track of my steps and tells me if I’m not doing so well. I guess, in today’s world, that’s motivation to have your phone bugging you! 😂 Lets both try this week and check in on Saturday. Sound good?

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@lisal64

Hi genpene, thank you for your reply. I have stage IIIa Multiple Myeloma. I too, have depression, and anxiety. I also have bone lesions throughout my skeleton, and am also taking steroids as part of my treatment regime. Dexamethasone also weakens bones. I have been stubborn about walking, and also afraid of compression fractures, and pathalogical fractures. Walking is the only safe exercise for me, at this point. Fear of falling is preventing me from being consistent. Any advice on boosting
my motivation would be appreciated!

Jump to this post

Hi Lisal64, I like to go to a local gym so you automatically are safer since there are people to help. Many gyms have a walking track. The stronger you keep your legs, the better your balance will be and better balance means lower risk of falls. If a gym is not possible a home treadmill or other type machine with handlebars might work. Having a friend to walk with in the neighbourhood is safer too. Anything to keep legs strong is a boon. Someone once said "force yourself to exercise." And that was the best advice I think I have ever received. The benefits are so multifactorial. Autonomy is at risk in many ways when we have cancer and lack of mobility and the dependence it requires is just no fun. So keep walking!!! (as I sit here sick as a dog after chemo, I am listening to my own advice too)

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I echo this advice. Exercise is essential to healing during and after chemotherapy. Walk with a friend or spouse during chemotherapy and don't overdo.

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@lisal64

Hi genpene, thank you for your reply. I have stage IIIa Multiple Myeloma. I too, have depression, and anxiety. I also have bone lesions throughout my skeleton, and am also taking steroids as part of my treatment regime. Dexamethasone also weakens bones. I have been stubborn about walking, and also afraid of compression fractures, and pathalogical fractures. Walking is the only safe exercise for me, at this point. Fear of falling is preventing me from being consistent. Any advice on boosting
my motivation would be appreciated!

Jump to this post

@lisal64– Good morning Lisa. Welcome to Mayo Connect. I mentor Lung cancer and Health sites. One thing that I was encouraged to do because I couldn't seem to regulate my breathing after lung surgery, was to go to a local hospital for a program that focused on getting people back on their feet. One machine I love is the Nustep machine. It's a sitting step machine and has handles that also go back and forth. Have you tried local gyms or health clinics for programs for the possibility that there might be a program that could help you get more exercise?

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@lisal64

Hi genpene, thank you for your reply. I have stage IIIa Multiple Myeloma. I too, have depression, and anxiety. I also have bone lesions throughout my skeleton, and am also taking steroids as part of my treatment regime. Dexamethasone also weakens bones. I have been stubborn about walking, and also afraid of compression fractures, and pathalogical fractures. Walking is the only safe exercise for me, at this point. Fear of falling is preventing me from being consistent. Any advice on boosting
my motivation would be appreciated!

Jump to this post

Hi @lisal64 and others who are looking for motivation to keep moving. Did you see the virtual walking group that @becsbuddy is starting on March 1. Join others who are walking together in all corners of the country and the world. It really helps to have a walking partner, even virtually.

Check it out and post a message to say you're in here:
– Let’s Go Walking! Join me for a virtual walking support group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lets-go-walking-join-me-for-a-virtual-walking-support-group/

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