Achy joints and Exercise During/Post Chemo Treatment

au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
So as I have mentioned in another post, my last/4th chemo was 4 April and I am into my third week.

My legs feel really heavy most of the time, knees and groin ache when i try stretching them or squatting. My neck feels tired too! I guess these are all side effects of chemo. Hope I am not the only one.

Does any of you exercise while doing chemo? Do you find it help? I have gone on walks with the first three cycles but the tiredness built up and the rash I had in my last cycle made me decide to just stay home this last cycle. I have a port in my chest and mastectomy site is still recovering, so feel a bit scared doing more exercise, so it's pretty limited to the lower body. I feel so under-exercised, not that I have always exercise before BC, but certainly feel my joints are unlike before.

What did you do to feel stronger for you? I hope these achy feelings go away soon and looking forward to heading out for more exercise soon.
«1

Comments

  • GlemmisGlemmis Member Posts: 196
    Hi @au0rei, I had 16 rounds of chemo & exercised all way through but I was a big exerciser before I was diagnosed so that helped. After I had mastectomy I was walking & started back at gym about 2 months later. I took some time to heal as had seroma & staph infection. I am having radio now & back to running.  It really helped with muscle stiffness & aching as chemo shortens your muscles. Maybe try some gentle yoga or Pilates to start & also you can get a referral through the GP for a care plan to an exercise physiologist who will put you on the right pathway.  
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
    Glemmis said:
    Hi @au0rei, I had 16 rounds of chemo & exercised all way through but I was a big exerciser before I was diagnosed so that helped. After I had mastectomy I was walking & started back at gym about 2 months later. I took some time to heal as had seroma & staph infection. I am having radio now & back to running.  It really helped with muscle stiffness & aching as chemo shortens your muscles. Maybe try some gentle yoga or Pilates to start & also you can get a referral through the GP for a care plan to an exercise physiologist who will put you on the right pathway.  
    Oh thanks lovely. I sure think having exercised and having a fitter body to start with is better for chemo. I hardly exercised before BC except for walks with my old dog. Thanks so much, that's what I am going to do, will see a GP for that! Should I only do that after radiotherapy as that is most likely what comes next? xxx
  • GlemmisGlemmis Member Posts: 196
    Hi @au0rei, my radiation oncologist told me to keep up the exercise during radio to stretch the muscles across the chest as radio tightens them as well. You could get your care plan now & use it when you feel up to it.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 2,801
    edited April 17
    I tried to exercise throughout but didn't do much at all in my last 2 weekly cycles, I had 16 chemo cycles.(ACT-H ) I went to a hydro pool a couple of days a week and even slow walked on a treadmill when I could for at least 10 to 20 mins every second day if unable to get to the pool. My speed got slower and slower...I literally felt like I was walking in cement. And I too had neck aches. I was worried it was from too much resting. ..but I honestly believe it to be chemo mainly.

    From next week on you will probably start to have more energy back but find you tire quickly. I needed a nap daily. I foubd my walk speed suddenly improved. 

    I still needed reconditioning. ..despite continuing some exercise through treatment. (Nothing like my 6 days week though ) so I started small. Short walks of 10 mins...enough to get your heartrate up. Every few days either try for another 5 minutes or alternatively do it twice a day. I went back to work for 4 hours a day 5 days a week...which was hard. I tried to move around a lot at work and once hours went up walked at lunch time. ..just to improve my fitness.

    I can now pretty much do a 40 minute workout but find I get tired after and it can last for days. That is what I have to be careful of. Getting that balance right is still hard. But if we don't push ourselves just a bit...we never improve. I still only do 3-4 days of structured exercise as well as work 4 days a week...but I'm getting there,  7 months on.

    You might find this interesting. I'm using this concept to push my fitness up.

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4319131.htm

    An exercise physiologist most definetly will help. Plus there is the  YWCA encore program and Redfern Gyms have a program for post bc patients also if there is one in your area.

    http://www.ywcaencore.org.au/
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 2,801
    edited April 17
    There is also a booklet through BCNA you can order or download.

    https://www.bcna.org.au/resources/booklets-and-fact-sheets/#Exerciseandbreastcancer
  • Melsie97Melsie97 Peakhurst NSWMember Posts: 59
    I miss the gym. I've gone from going to the gym 6 days a week with 2 personal training sessions to just going for walks. All that hard work I did to strengthen my back and hips has gone by the wayside. I have a burning sensation from what I think are my muscles across my upper abdomen/rib cage. 
    Ive just started Radiotherapy so another 6 weeks before I can try to get back to the gym. Does anyone know if there is a weight limit for the arm you have had a Mastectomy and axillary clearance on, or is it just starting slow and building it up? 
  • GlemmisGlemmis Member Posts: 196
    Hi @Melsie97, I had to drop my weights a bit doing pump classes compared to what I was doing before BC but have been adding about every 2 weeks.  I don't think there is a weight limit, just go with what you are comfortable with & build up.  I have done 19 out of 25 radio sessions & can feel very tight across chest if I haven't exercised for a few days. 
  • Melsie97Melsie97 Peakhurst NSWMember Posts: 59
    Thanks @Glemmis. Looks like I'm starting from the beginning again. Slowly but surely 
  • Lillian67Lillian67 Member Posts: 49
    I saw my GP, got a Health Plan and started seeing a Sports Physiologist. I go 3 times a week for a half hour session and try to also keep active in general. 
    I find going to the sessions really help. I feel stronger and it's good for me mentally to do something positive. I find I sleep better on the days I go and also generally have a bit more enthusiasm to get up and do things :)
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
    @primek, could I ask why you had that many chemo sessions? I remember yours was stage 1? xx
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 2,801
    4 x AC, 12 sessions weekly taxol. And I was supposed  to also have 17 Herceptin but only had 11.  The lower dose weekly is equiv to the higher dose 3 weekly but supposedly less side effects. Standard ACT-H chemo regime.  Mine was a grade 3, even though stage 1. 
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
    @primek what's AC? I had four rounds of TC-H and will continue with 14 more rounds of Herceptin.

    did you have a port insertion as well? If so when did you have it removed? Why did your Herceptin ended up 11 times instead of 16. Sorry for the questions. It's so hard to find ladies who are on similar situation as I am. 

    xxx
  • GlemmisGlemmis Member Posts: 196
    AC is Cyclophosphamide & Doxorubicin. I had it too with 12 Taxol. There are different variations but where I went all the ladies seemed to have it. 
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 2,801
    As above re AC .. I only had 11 Herceptin as it affected my heart. I had one delay. .restarted as quick recovery  and it happended again so it was stopped.  The A in AC can also impact on heart and some studies show better outcomes in finishing Herceptin if you didn't have the A. So probably good you haven't got that in your regime. It varies a lot. A lady I know with same cancer, same oncology team, is just having taxol and herceptin. There are various reasons  (not known to us) why they choose what they choose.
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
    Thanks @primek for sharing.

    The baseline scan i had stated 68% but that was MUGA. And the recent echocardiogram stated 58% but that's ultrasound so my oncologist said it's hard to compare but anything above 50% he's happy. 58% isn't so far from 50% (roll eyes). I hate doing the MUGA it's tedious and exposing myself to radiation again. I am glad he suggested echo which is ultrasound. xxx

    Thanks. hun @Glemmis for sharing. xxx
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.