Exercise during chemotherapy

kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 3,259
I am halfway through my chemotherapy today. I have walked almost every day during treatment so far.

I like walking and did it a fair bit before BC. When I was diagnosed I asked about what I could do, and was advised to eat well (a very nebulous statement with which I was NOT satisfied, and rectified soon after with visits to an excellent dietician) and exercise. I was informed that the latter had been proven to reduce side effects and fatigue.

I am having TC chemo. Bloody awful, and so far, Day 3 - 5 sees me king hit with fatigue. I walk early, 1.5kms and that's me done for the day. By afternoon I can't even sit upright. However by Day 6 I've been managing 3kms and through the rest of the 21 day cycle I slowly build up to 5 - 6kms.

I've been hit with a host of physical side effects, but so far they're sitting in the low to medium band of irritation. Nausea, constant low level headache, reflux, sore nail beds, itchy sore plams & soles, gritty eyes, dry nose, and a few more I can't recall now!

Has anyone out there walked through their chemo? If so, how have you found it?


  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,776
    I walked nearly every day through TC. I couldn't manage to do much more than that some days, and I found I was completely stuffed in the afternoon regardless of what I did in the morning. So, if I could drag myself out of bed, me and the hound would be walking up the bike track before dawn. 
    It's really good for you on both a physical and emotional level.  Evan though the TC,  which is diabolical stuff, slowly seized my feet and legs up I found that after a couple of hundred metres I'd be moving more freely. Chemo in summer sucks, so being out in the cool predawn air was a relief. It still is.
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 1,268
    I agree walking if you can daily is very helpful .I did not have chemo just surgery and radiotherapy but am on hormone therapy now and it seems to be helping with joint pain and also bouts of the blues. I start out stiff and with hip/ ankle/ knee/ back pain and generally after 15minutes/ so I seem to have walked thru it.I listen to music on my phone when I walk and drift off thinking of other things so don’t really notice the exercise.It also is my time when I just have to be and not do/ say/be anything for anyone else which is hard with a family to find that space. I had a few breaks from walking over Christmas and really noticed the difference to my well being.
  • SpillsySpillsy Hobart Member Posts: 72
    I totally agree, I am on AC, just come out of the fog of the third round,  I have walked nearly every day, usually on a bush track near my house, where I can often bump into the local wildlife as bonus! I definitely think its beneficial to get you through chemo, as it keeps you your body moving and make sure your muscles are not wasting away. I must admit a few days after AC,usually day 5-9 I have to miss my walk, but I try to walk around in side, a few time a day!!
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 267
    Dear @kmakm, Have a look at @Sister 's post 'first walk since start of chemotherapy'. I put a photo on there - the sunrise while I was out for a walk this morning. And best wishes for the rest of your chemo from jennyss in Western NSW
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 3,259
    @jennyss Thank you, I did. Loved the photo. I tend to post on IG. Might try a bit here!

    Chemo went OK. Much better needle stick this time. And with no cold cap, three hours instead of six. Had a heat pack on my arm because all the drugs are refrigerated and my arm felt likecs block of ice!  Had a small cry, ate hospital sandwiches and sipped dry ginger ale to settle my nausea. Then a Phenergan induced sleep which was great.

    After rest at home I'm going to stagger out for a short walk. Plodding on.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,238
    I did as much as I could. Somedays only 10 minutes at a snails pace. I went to the pool and walked when not in neutropenic risk part of cycle. By the last few weeks of taxol I couldn't do any of it as I had balance issues and my legs were lie walking in cement. It resolved quickly once finished but getting full strength back has taken a long time. 
  • Sunshine0206Sunshine0206 Member Posts: 134
    I tried to walk during Ac as much as I could. I started back at the gym whilst on paclitaxol. Very light. Twice or three times per week with yoga in between. 

    Do do what you can.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 3,259
    I'm keen to get back into yoga @Sunshine0206. Do you have a recommendation as to what sort?

    Managed my 1.5km walk this afternoon but my friend had to walk the dog!
  • Sunshine0206Sunshine0206 Member Posts: 134
    @kmakm - goodmorning.  I do the yoga at a place called Bloomhill on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a cancer support service in the hills of Buderim. It’s Yin yoga Tuesdays.So holding poses for several minutes. Stretching the fascia. I also do one other style as well on thursdays.  I’m no guru. I also go to an 1.5 hour class on Monday’s when my hubby is home from work. I think any would be beneficial. 

    I think weights are hugely beneficial too. 

  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 3,259
    edited February 19
    Thank you @Sunshine0206.

    Hanging on my husband's pay rise to rejoin a gym. My last one closed just as my sister began her final decline, and there's been no time or $$ since. Have to prioritise it now. If I fall down the whole house if cards collapses...
  • MollygirlMollygirl Brisbane Member Posts: 213
    @kmakm, just make sure you get clearance to go to the gym. I checked with my docs then saw a really experienced physio who cleared me but that was a couple of months after chemo. The chemo can affect collagen which is a big part of the make up of tendons and ligaments so you can be very injury prone. My oncologist would only recommend walking for during treatment. I'm now back at gym started running 5 mins on treadmill in January now up to 25 mins and doing a light weight program. 
    Good luck - it certainly makes you feel better if you can do it. Hugs and well wishes xxxx
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 1,268
    @Mollygirl I have read some interesting stuff about the Bone Clinic in Brisbane and it’s work in conjunction with Griffith Uni from some blog members which may be worth following upon
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 3,259
    edited February 20
    Ooh thanks for the tip @Mollygirl!

    Well done on your progress. I managed a 2.2km stagger today, one day after chemo. Bit proud of myself!
  • Sunshine0206Sunshine0206 Member Posts: 134
    Yes. Wise to get go ahead from your team. I had blessing of oncologist and exercise physiologist :0)
  • MollygirlMollygirl Brisbane Member Posts: 213
    @Romla, that sounds interesting. I'll have to do some investigating ! 

    Wowsers, @kmakm, go you!  That's impressive!! I'm so happy to be back running!!!!! Makes me feel so much better. X
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