Exercise and energy levels during treatment

colthul Member Posts: 20

I start chemo and immunotherapy for TNBC in a couple of weeks. I am a fairly active person and race mountain bikes as a hobby. My husband and I have been considering trading my analogue mtb in for an emtb so I can still ride while having treatment. Our local trails are not flat at all so there is always imbuing involved - hence the emtb idea.
I am getting mixed responses from friends who have either said "you'll be too sick to even get on an emtb" and others saying but you may not need the emtb. 
It is somewhat time sensitive because bikes are still limited in availability and our local shop has one in stock in my size that is similar capability to the one I have now. 

So....my questions are:
What were your energy levels like when you were on taxol and carboplatin? 
If you used immunotherapy, did that impact your energy levels? 

I know everyone's experience is different, just want to look at some stats....


  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    If you can make contingency plans that are not going to cost  you a motza, that's a good idea. You may or may not need them.

    There is some solid research about exercise being a good thing during chemo. And I'm talking about extremes during delivery where folk are on recumbent bikes, peddling away during their infusions. As far as keeping active is concerned, I've never seen anyone from the medical profession say it's not a good idea in a general sense.

    There are caveats, however. Mainly covering that 'Everyone is different' stuff. Cancer diagnosis can also expose other underlying conditions. Everyone is different.

    I cruised through my first chemo (2006) in reasonable style. Thing is, I didn't understand that feeling sub optimal could go on for years. And that feeling a bit blah was not because I wasn't trying hard enough. It's a thing.

    Chemo V 2 in 2016 was an absolute shit fight. Still limping after that one.

    My message? Do as much as you can, once you find out what your limitations are. Never feel like you are failing because you can't do what you used to be able to, even with assistance. There's every chance you will be just fine, but our own expectations can be our own worst enemies.

    Be kind to yourself. MXX
  • RiotAtMidnight
    RiotAtMidnight Member Posts: 35
    I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a clinical exercise study looking at heart health in women undergoing chemo. As part of this I’ve been doing three sessions a week with an exercise physiologist - starting at the same time I started dose dense AC chemo, all through taxol, and soon to resume a week or two after my surgery.

    For me it has been a life changing experience to really see the impact of exercise on fatigue. I don’t mean tiredness. I mean, that when you’re experiencing that bone deep fatigue, exercise can be like a medicine. I have had to absolutely drag those bones to some of the sessions, feeling terrible; but I have literally NEVER felt worse later that day. 

    I know it’s very different for everyone and I also have relatively good health, mobility and youth on my side.

    My exercise sessions have been a mix of cardio and weights but ranging from a moderate walk to a challenging exercise bike session depending on how I feel. It doesn’t have to be flat out hardcore exercise to help.

    Plan for the best, my advice is to try to make any sort of exercise a priority if you can. It will really help on so many levels. 
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,279
    Hi @colthul, I really found exercise helpful but I was not about to bike ride haha I actually fell off attempting one haha but eventually I could bike ride again. Chemo was a bit hard but I did walk every single day, still do. I also did weights snd other exercises I got from an exercise physiologist. After my third chemo of AC I found a few of my daily walk really tough as it really pushed my heart rate up and even a slight incline was hard to walk up. But I got through it.

     Post chemo and radium I still walk an hr 6 days a week  and go to pilates and water aerobics. I do get days i just can't do anything and I do give myself permission to do nothing sometimes. I am a high achiever so found not being able to do what I use to a bit hard but I have accepted my limitations and I love my exercises and look forward to it.

    Like everyone said we are all different. Some do exercise and others really struggle with the treatment. You can't plan it really and will just have to see how you go. Best wishes to you xx