Home Health and wellbeing

Chemo and Exercise

KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
edited September 2019 in Health and wellbeing
Well, Chemo 3 is happening on Monday and so far so good. I am getting used to being at about 70% pace. Have just read a great book by Alison Porter: Stronger than Before and am putting some changes in place for my life over the next cycle including exercise - well walking. Now, does anyone have any advice? I know I could be walking out and about but am nervous about solo walking, sunburn, bites, slips, falls and of course getting somewhere and running out of energy so I think for the time being a gym walking machine is a good option - people around etc. (no operation to November/December)


  • FlaneuseFlaneuse BrisbaneMember Posts: 886
    @KayB55 "putting some changes in place for my life over the next cycle" sounds great. Well done. I love walking and have always walked lots. Throughout chemo last year I walked at least 45 mins most days except the bad ones, (and even when hospitalised with infections, walked the corridors with my drip trolley), and it was a boost to my wellbeing in many ways. It sounds as though you don't have a safe walking path near where you live, which is a shame. I understand your hesitance about sunburn, bites etc. Shopping centre circuits are shaded but are not a good idea because of the risk of catching infections from the masses. A gym treadmill is certainly an option - though expensive and uninspiring - and there are still other people's germs. Could you walk early morning before it gets too hot, wear sunscreen & protective clothes, on the footpaths just around your local streets?
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,938
    I walked a lot in the very early morning during the first half of chemo but ended up getting too tired later on.  I did join a breast cancer exercise class run by the hospital which was excellent as the exercise physiologists understood the issues around cording, lymphoedema, rads and chemo so we were closely monitored (I think it was 3 staff to 10 or 12?
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    I walked almost every day of chemo. Long sleeve thin shirts as necessary but mostly walked early or late to avoid the worst of the UV. Started with short distances thefirst week of each cycle and built up to longer distances by the end. The last cycle was hardest and my heart was struggling with the exertion. I continued to walk but it included a lot of sitting down! On the days when I could do nothing else if I'd got out for my walk I didn't feel as if the day had been a complete waste. It was good for my mental health.

    Do you have friends offering to help? Saying 'if there's anything I can do please let me know'? Now would be the time to rope them in to be your walking companion. It'd be good for them too! K xox
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    I went and signed up at the gym, just around the road from home. I had tried gym a couple of years ago but with work pressures ended up cancelling because there 'was no time'. Now there is no excuse. She was so incredibly kind and helpful and we chatted - she (like everyone else) has friends at different points of their journey with BC - some good, some not so good. So  I will start today, just walking and on the bike for a little - mind you I have no fitness level at all at the moment - have been a couch potato but really I need to get moving and will. No excuses!
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,518
    I joined a gym after my bc diagnosis. Like you, I never had time before. Amazingly I could make time afterwards although still working! Now it’s just part of my life and a good part too. Best wishes. 
  • youngdogmumyoungdogmum Member Posts: 249
    I walked my dog 4-5km each day during chemo and started doing resistance training 2x week, jogged regularly throughout until paclitaxel. There is significant research indicating the more activity you do during chemo the better. Do as much as you can tolerate on the good days :) 
    I bought a second hand exercise bike on gumtree for $20 to get me through the days I feared germs.
  • poodlejulespoodlejules Member Posts: 387
    Come to Melbourne...............no chance of sunburn here ! :)
    I continued exercise at home with the help of youtube on my TV. I searched for body balance and yoga and did as much or as little as I wanted on a mat in my loungeroom. Good luck with it all xox

  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,198
    Most mornings during chemo I could manage 5km without any trouble. I've always liked to walk before dawn, which worked nicely when I was bald during mid summer.
    I was feeling particularly ordinary, I'd walk a daisy pattern around the village where I live so I was never too far from home if my wheels fell off or I desperately needed a dump. Which was more of a problem than you'd expect when your guts have set solid for days at a time.:)
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    Zoeffiel, you have set me a goal. I only did 1Km yesterday but it is the first distance walk I had done since I began so I will build up to the 5KM and let you know. Good point about the dump! there are no public toilets around and about so glad you mentioned that. Regards
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    Youngdogmum, many thanks. I have been lazy for too long so will certainly add the walk each day and can even do more if I feel up to it because the gym is closeful. Perhaps another goal might be to walk there and back - but perhaps not!
  • TmTm Member Posts: 10

  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 368
    Kayb55  I’m a newbie, have had 2 rounds of AC chemo .  I’ve walked with my dog  every day ( except chemo days). The first four days after chemo are slowish and I keep close to home. Then I ramp up to around an hour.  Always makes me feel better. Am also seeing an exercise physiologist to get a program to do at home. 
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    Caz1, having the dog must be a good incentive, I just keep avoiding exercise but realise I have to listen to my body and work out the timing. I am heading into week 2 of chemo 3 shop hopefully over the next couple of days I will be able to do that walking. I know how important it is and I am sure it will fix some of the minor issues I am having. I will try and follow your inspiration. Regards
  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 368
    Kay, he is a great incentive! At the start I really had to make myself get off the couch, but once you make it a routine ,believe me, it gets easier....good luck, get out there in our beautiful world. X
  • LIttleBlueWrenLIttleBlueWren BrisbaneMember Posts: 79
    I walked all through chemo, although I think I was very lucky during chemo as I had very few side affects. Not sure if the exercise had anything to do with how good I felt during chemo or not. My treatment was through winter so I wore a hoody mostly to hide my bald head but it also kept it warm.
    During chemo my sister had to rehome one of their dogs, she asked me to take the dog for a week...I still have her a year later. I love her so much and she helped me go walking every day of treatment and was great company. I feel grateful that she came into my life at that point.
    Take care.

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