Need some advice on getting started

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jacquipp
jacquipp Member Posts: 73
edited September 2016 in Newly diagnosed

I have only recently be diagnosed, last Friday in fact. I see my surgeon tomorrow. 

A couple of weeks ago my housemate and I decided to join the local gym and try to get fitter, stronger and lose some weight (or a lot of weight). Then I got that phone call. Right now I am feeling overwhelmed by all this and not sure what to do about exercise. Is joining the gym still a good idea? Are there likely to be periods when I can't or shouldn't exercise? 

I went for a swim this morning as I really needed some time out and peace and quiet. It felt really good. Nothing as peaceful as diving into the water. 

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. :) 

Jacqui

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  • helendx
    helendx Member Posts: 26
    edited March 2016
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    Hi Jacqui,  Good luck for tomorrow.  As to exercise I have found walking to be the best for me.  I am currently having chemo before surgery and having neutropenia means I can't swim in pools.  I wasn't doing any exercise before but have really found it helps to be active.  Be guided by your treatment team.  McGrath Nurse or Breast Care Nurses are great if you have access to one.  All the best, Helen.

  • jacquipp
    jacquipp Member Posts: 73
    edited March 2016
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    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply Helen. I do enjoy walking as well. I guess there are so many easy options I just have to try them. 

    A number of people on here have mentioned breast care nurses. How do I find out if I can get access to one? all the support I can get would help. 

    I hope your chemo is going well. Take care, hugs , Jacqui 

  • helendx
    helendx Member Posts: 26
    edited March 2016
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    Hi There,  This is the link to see if there is a McGrath nurse in your area.  Your surgeon or local hospital should also know.

    http://www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au/OurNurses/NationalBreastCareNurseDirectory/Nurses.aspx?type=gp

     

     

  • Ann-Marie
    Ann-Marie Member Posts: 1,142
    edited March 2016
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    Hi Jac,

    This is the link for Breast Care nurses from McGrath

    x

  • SarahL501
    SarahL501 Member Posts: 22
    edited March 2016
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    Hi Jacqui,

    I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

    I can recommend BCNA's 'Exercise and Breast Cancer' and 'Healthy Eating and Breast Cancer' booklets. You can call us to have them sent out to you, on 1800 500 258 and ask the staff member other questions, too.

     

    Sarah

     

     

  • InkPetal
    InkPetal Member Posts: 499
    edited March 2016
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    You shouldn't "exercise" immediately after surgery. While you're healing you want your stitches to stay and you do need that energy to rebuild. But not doing high intensity stuff doesn't mean stay sitting down. Moving and light stretching is important. Definitely walk around.

    I'm told the amount of exercise you do through chemo depends on how your body handles the treatment. If you have no energy from doing nothing your body needs to be resting, so don't push it but keep moving to stave off stiffness. I can't tell you more than that I'm afraid. I'm sure someone who's been through will chime in.

     

    A personal perspective - 

    This will sound a little defeatist, but for someone who hasn't started going to the gym and isn't set into a routine already, I'd recommend taking the $400-ish you'd pay for the yearly gym membership and investing it in a treadmill/cross-trainer/exercise bike/your preference of light exercise capable equipment.

    Turning going to the gym into a habit is difficult enough without running into reasons not to. It happened to me in my first year of uni, I signed up and started going regularly when "I have to hit this paper/study for this test/exam/do this research etc." started and suddenly it was three months later and I'd only been twice. I imagine for you it would be "I'm too nauseated/exhausted/in too much pain" and suddenly it's November and you wish you'd just got a treadmill. Haha!

    I only had a small operation, but almost a month later there is still pain enough for running to be out of the question for me. I know chemotherapy is going to hit me like a tonne of bricks, I already have unexplained pain in my everyday and that will only get worse. So I turn on my machine every day and walk whenever I have a spare moment to make a habit out of moving. I'm writing from it right now - wearing my pajamas and in a pair of socks plodding along. It's just here in my house, available in a moment with no going outside and facing the world preparation needed.

    Swimming is the best!! Now I wish I had a pool in my house too - I don't even have a bath as a consolation prize. hahaha

  • Ann-Marie
    Ann-Marie Member Posts: 1,142
    edited March 2016
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    Looks like we are all jumping in here to help :) great team work!

  • Deanne
    Deanne Member Posts: 2,163
    edited March 2016
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    I agree with Inkpetal about using the money that you would have spent at the gym to purchase a treadmill or something similar. Not sure what your treatment plan will be but exercising in your own home is definitely easier if you have to have Chemo.

    I had a mastectomy, chemo and radiation and used my treadmill the whole way. Walking can really help with minimizing many of the side effects. 

    Afterwards I saw my GP who referred me to an exercise physio. Medicare will subsidize 5 visits. She assessed my needs and abilities and designed a home program for me to help with my recovery. I still do it 2 years later as it is great for core strength.

    Hope these suggestions help. Take care. Deanne xxx

  • GeorginaMary
    GeorginaMary Member Posts: 63
    edited March 2016
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    I was already a member of a gym.  Based on advice from friends who have been through treatment, I got a letter from my breast surgeon to take to the gym, asking for my membership to be suspended for six months.  The gym suggested making it eight months, saying that it would be easier to return early than to start the process again if I needed more than six months.  I just will need a letter from my doctor to say that I am fit to resume.  I agree with the others.  Don't join until treatment is under way and you know what you are capable of doing.

  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    edited March 2016
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    Considering I got out of breath and my legs ached just walking up stairs, yet some how I can just plain walk. I asked about walking after surgery and again during chemo and they said that's the best exercise. Not power walking, just put one foot in front of the other gentle walking. I love seeing and listening to the birds early in the morning during my walk and watching the crazy antics of my dogs running around during my sundown walk.

  • PaulaN
    PaulaN Member Posts: 237
    edited March 2016
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    Hi Ann-Marie just wondering. Can you self refer to a McGrath Nurse.

    Paula

  • Lindyloo
    Lindyloo Member Posts: 146
    edited March 2016
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    Walking is the best. There will be days when it is an effort to put one foot in front of the other. I used to do laps around our garden as at the time of treatment the weather wasn't the best. I'm now doing walks around our estate or along the beach. I've got osteoporosis and any weight bearing activity is good.

    best of luck with your treatment. ??

    Linda xx

  • lrb_03
    lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,268
    edited March 2016
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    Hi Paula, you should be able to. I self referred where I am. I had my surgery elsewhere, so have had contact with breat care nurse's there as well. 

    Lyn

  • Lisa_BCNA
    Lisa_BCNA Staff Posts: 140
    edited March 2016
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    Hi Jacqui,

    It’s Lisa from the Policy Team. I just wanted to jump in to let you know that the Breast Care Nurse Directory will give you information about all of the breast care nurses in your local area, including McGrath Breast Care Nurses and other breast care nurses who might be working in your area.

    You don’t need a referral to get in touch with any of the breast care nurses. You can give the nurse in your area a call anytime to ask questions you might have or talk about issues you are experiencing.

    Warm regards,
    Lisa

    Jacqui