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Recommendation Exercise and Cancer

Created Aug 25, 2012, filed in All Journey Phases, All Cancer Types
Studies have shown that some level of physical activity during and after cancer treatment can improve quality of life. The University of Pennsylvania has answers to some frequently asked questions about precautions when exercising during and after cancer treatment.
I'm Dianne S., and I'm a survivor of Stage 2 Breast Cancer

Good stuff!

  • Sat Sep 1, 2012
I'm trishalynne, and I'm a survivor of Uterine Sarcoma

I have a lot of bone (leg longbone) pain from my Carboplatin-doxil chemo and the neulastin shot I get after the chemo. I have been in motion and had my legs go numb from the hip down. If I over-exercise, I get intestinal cramps and nonstop diarrhea (I had IBS-D for decades prior to my cancer diagnosis), and since the chemo the onset of symptoms is more unpredictable and severe. My previous philosophy concerning exercise is to do what I can, and stop when I know they symptoms are going to begin. But with the chemo my tolerance point is no longer predictable. Doing too many flights of stairs on laundry day triggers my IBS these days. For me, this is not a time in my life when I will be training for a marathon. God bless those who can!

  • Sun Sep 2, 2012
I'm Kay Kramer, and I'm a survivor of Pancreatic Cancer

Having epilepsy and seizure meds, as well as having gone through radiation Adriamyacin and Streptozocin, coupled with 12 cycles of Sutent and now on Afinitor—"I have very little strength for any exercise at 73 years of age, with pancreatic cancer and tuberous sclerosis. My research was confirmed yesterday by my Oncologist in conjuction with many of my falling blood levels "rest is one of the best elements to use at this stage of life—as well as being male and on seizure medications all my life. I try to keep my mind active though to stay away from deeper depression, migraine headaches, or have an ability to initiate a seizure.

  • Sat Sep 8, 2012
I'm michelle, and I'm a survivor of Colon Cancer

I am 52 years old and as of July 18,2012 I have completed my chemo. What’s next? I am now experiencing severe numbness and tingling in my fingers and toes. The only solution that the doctors have is to give me more medications. I really would prefer something gradual and natural. The side affects aren’t worth the cure. Any suggestions?

  • Sat Sep 8, 2012
I'm Mary Jo, Breast Cancer, Fincastle, VA, and I'm a survivor of Stage 1 Breast Cancer

I have had numbness, tingling, and pain in my arm following lumpectomy. At times, it keeps me awake at night. I have recently gotten relief from occupational therapy/lymph massage. I am hoping that this will eventually resolve. I can do the lymph massage by myself or I can have someone else do it. I have gone to the therapist on 2 occasions, once to learn the technique and the second time was to make sure that I was doing it correctly. Michelle, this may be something that would give you some relief. It may not be a cure, but it may be helpful. I am just like you……I do not really like medications. Good luck.

  • Mon Sep 10, 2012
I'm Betty Dries., and I'm a survivor of Lung Cancer

The numbness & tingling is neuropathy which is caused from the Chemo. I have been dealing with the feet & hands for a long time now. It is severe in my feet and causes me to be off balance. I walk with a walker and it removes the fear of falling. I am still on chemo now for over a year. I really don’t want to take any medication for it as I take enough pills. Probably the med would be Lyrica which is for the nerves. My husband has the same problem. He also takes Topamax for neuropathy. I rather just deal with it.

  • Sat Sep 15, 2012
I'm KWheeler and I was diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer on April 15, 2011.

I also have fairly severe neuropathy (numbness and pain) in my feet from chemotherapy. I’m lucky to not have bad side effects from Gabapentin since I have to take a high dose to control the pain. I couldn’t deal with the pain without it. I’m also taking supplements to try to help the nerves heal – L-Glutamine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and B vitamins. My yoga teacher tells me to stimulate the nerves (even though it’s uncomfortable to do) by rolling a tennis ball under my foot, doing foot flexibility exercises, and just going barefoot at the times I can stand it. I use a cane to prevent falls since I’m so unsteady on my feet. I hope for the best and that my nerves heal, but it’s been a year, and there has been no improvement. I’ve been told it can take a long time – like five years or so!

  • Sat Sep 22, 2012

Memorial Cancer Center offers 12 free sessions with a personal trainer to help get your strength back and it helps get the feeling back in all parts of your body. I work with Jared on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. He has several women in class and he works to your level of tolerance. Many of the gals don’ tthink they will continue but most seem to after the 12 sessions. it’s worth a try if you have the time. Sara has the mornings on Monday and Wednesdays. She’s good too. most of the guys go the her classes. See your oncologist or radiation oncologist to get signed up! It’s worth it! Susan

  • Tue Oct 2, 2012
Hi, I'm Alan R C.

I had male breast cancer in 2006 with chemo, mastectomy, and radiation. Been fine since then with Lupron shots monthly.
In 2008 I got lung cancer. upper left lobe was removed This was not a metastesis from the breast cancer. Been fine ever since. Now I take CT scans every 6 months as a result of my perfect blood counts.Xgeva shots every 3 months
Any similar cases out there?
I have found exercise a crucial element in my recovery.

  • Sat Oct 20, 2012
I'm Leona N B., and I'm a survivor of Stage 3 Colon Cancer

I’m taking FOLFOX for colon cancer (the surgery got all of the tumor; I have no known metastases, but I did have one positive lymph node). I have been exercising (Curves, plus some home exercises) as much as I can and I think it helps a lot with the fatigue. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the 12 treatments, and the side effects are starting to be more persistent, which does affect my ability to exercise – plus I sprained my ankle.

  • Sat Oct 20, 2012
Hi, I'm Sherry K.

Does anyone else have extreme exhaustion from tamoxifen? I am 47 and have been on it for 1 1/2 yrs. My surgery and radiation for breast cancer was complete april 2011. I do fine from 5am til 7pm but then the wave of exhaustion is undescribable, I have to sleep, get up and finish my stuff. Its not every night but a couple nights a week. I also get constant UTIs since starting the medicine. The dr. said to take topical estrogen, but estrogen is what fueled my cancer in the first place and the copay is $50. Would love to hear from anyone!

  • Sat Oct 20, 2012
Hi, I'm DONNA P B.

In June 2012, I was “upgraded” to stage IV breast cancer. Tumors were discovered in my lungs and bones. My oncologist has encouraged me to work out 3-5 times a week. I have followed doctor’s orders. Thankfully, I feel great mentally & physically and have a good amount of energy. Exercise has been good medicine for me.

  • Sat Oct 20, 2012
I'm AliQ, and I'm a survivor of Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Hi, Sherry. Ask your doctor about the Estring vaginal ring. My oncologist is currently conducting research and has so far found no detectable increase in estrogen elsewhere in the body, but the estring helps to stop vaginal atrophy and UTIs. It has for me! Best of luck to you!

  • Sun Oct 21, 2012
Hi, I'm Michael F.

This is Mike’s wife, posting as myself. Stage 4 colon cancer, but doing very well with chemo, going to add radiation in 2 weeks. He has not changed his daily routine, but 7 or 8 oclock it is like someone flipped a switch. He just hits the wall and just about passes out in his chair. I have been encouraging him to take it easy, now I am wondering if I should encourage him to actually work out. He is 60, and never does any real workout but he is active, works every day, does the yardwork, woodworking in the garage, that kind of thing. He is physically fit otherwise.

  • Mon Oct 22, 2012
Hi, I'm Sylvia R G.

Sherri my cancer was fueled by estrogen and was told to avoid it in all aspects of the form…

  • Sun Oct 28, 2012
I'm Tuba99, and I'm a survivor of Multiple Myeloma

I was diagnosed with multiple Myleoma in June 2012 after a knee replacement and physical therapy. After my diagnosis I was hospitalized for a month and lost all my strength I’d gained from PT and was using a walker while on chemo treatments. When I was finally released from inpatient treatment I pushed the doctor to get me back into PT after losing 50 pounds. I am happy to say, I am now only using my cane occasionally, driving again after 6 months, and starting to feel like my old self again. I try to either workout or go to PT 3-4 times per week, always take a 1.5 hour nap daily, and feel good I the evenings for the family. After my next round of chemo, I hope to start water exercise. Exercise has helped me physically, mentally and spiritually.

  • Sun Nov 4, 2012
I'm Yolanda, and I am currently receiving CMF Chemo for State 1 Breast Cancer to be followed with radiation treatment>

I cannot express enough what it means to me to have this community to read what others like me have gone through or are still going through. After my chemo (CMF) and radiation for breast cancer I experienced severe pain in my joints, back, hips, and legs. In addition I did have several bouts of neuropathy of my left leg from the hip down. The pain in my lumbar and left hip were so severe I thought I had a slipped disc or something else so I had X-rays take of these areas. The results were negative although the pain persisted, at times with a vengeance. I went to a Rhuematologist for my severe joint pain, never thinking these were related to my chemo treatment. The dr recommended magnesium malate which seems to help quite a bit. I also take alpha lipoic acid as well as B complex vitamins. In addition, I take vitamin c as well as vitamin d 3. I’m doing much better than before, but I’m not pain free. I only wish I had shared my initial problems here as I would’ve learned I’m not the only one, at times I thought it was just more health issues. I’d also like to add, just in case anyone else whose had CMF, that I continue to have scalp tenderness ( January 19, 2012 was the date of my last chemo). It began with pain at the top of my head and gradually changed to a irritation or tenderness and I forgot to mention my scalp was extremely red in that area and is still slightly red. I hope I’ve helped in sharing my experiences as much as all of you have helped me. Thank you!

  • Sat Nov 10, 2012
I'm Shelly E K., and I'm a survivor of Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Luvena, non estrogen, works very well as a vaginal moisturizer. It is a pre-biotic. I get it online from Target.com. Luvena also makes a lubricant that also works as a vaginal moisturizer. Luvena is also on facebook.

  • Sun Nov 25, 2012
I'm Joanne, and I'm a survivor of Stage 2 Breast Cancer

Sherry ,
I too have that exhaustion. Sometimes do fatigued I can’t even nap. Stage 2 breast cancer with mastectomy , 4 rounds chemo completed 4/2012 began tamoxifen may’12. I had more energy on chemo than tamoxifen. Don’t sleep we’ll even on ambien. Wake up exhausted. Fatigued usually till early evening. Then I feel a little better. Trying to eat healthy. And exercise when I can. I daily walk my dog a bit. I’m hoping as time passes each day gets better. Recently I have woke up with no fatigue and changed my schedule and headed to the gym

  • Tue Mar 5, 2013
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