post op exercise question?

Maree72 Member Posts: 58
Hello all,
I have a question, I have also emailed this off to my bc nurse, however they are busy and can not get back to me for a few days, so I thought I would ask here for a general idea,
I was diagnosed on the 14.12.2022, today I have had my PPET-CT Scan, yuck, what an ordeal, 
If that is all good for my surgeon, I'm booked for next Friday for the lump removal.

I understand everyone journey is personal to them and everyone's cancer is different from the person beside them.
However as a general idea, once surgery is over, I need to get back to exercise, I enjoy my yoga, but am also looking at adding walking laps in a pool with my adult son, after he torn his ACL on our family holiday last week down in TAS, (that's a hole another nightmare of a story, he went face first down Cataract Gorge in Launceston)  
As he can not drive, I am planning on driving him to the pools when he can start his recovery treatment, so I was thinking I should also get in the pool and start off with light exercise.
Has anyone done any form of aqua exercise, I know I have to have radiotherapy after the surgery, again I'm not a wear for what length of time, is is safe to go in pools, I live over an hour away from the beach, so that would be out of the question.
Thanks for your time


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,677
    edited January 2023
    Great to see you keen to get back to exercising after your surgery, @Maree72 .... I think you'll find that, depending on what surgery you have, that upper body exercise (including driving & lifting ie laundry, babies, anything really etc) will be discouraged for the first week or two, possibly longer ... until everything has 'knitted/reconnected', not sore and also checked out by your surgeon .... as It can be quite uncomfortable/painful for a month or more following surgery, specially with the under arm area from the node removal  ... so I'd be pretty sure you can rule out yoga - but walking in the pool (not using your arms/hands) should be OK .... 

    You definitely wouldn't want your wound to get infected in the water either, so good on you for putting your questions to your Breast Care Nurse and should also ask your Surgeon too .... But you will become aware of your own limitations after the surgery, anyway xx

    Sorry to hear your son has been injured - I hope he recovers well.  ACL injuries can take a while to recover!! :(   ... you may have to arrange for someone else to take him to the pools once you've had your surgery!  

    Do you live in Tassie?? (Magic Place!! I want to go there & travel around fishing for bream & trout!  ;) ) You can add your general area to your profile .... we may have members nearby who you can connect with.

    Jump onto this post - there is a lot of info there on what to take to hospital etc as well as some 'tick sheets' to 'self assess' yourself during your recovery - fill them in & take them with you to your appointments!

    take care & all the best with your surgery next week xx
  • Maree72
    Maree72 Member Posts: 58
    Thanks @arpie
    no I’m in Brisbane 
    we were having a family holiday in Tassie 
    however 1/2 way through the accident happened 
    thankfully no little ones to pick up
    my Kids are grown ups
    however my son still lives at home with his father & I
    TAS is pretty the small part we did get to see before our changed of flights and back home 

    I’ll hopefully hear from the BC team soon
    i know they have me and exercising program to do after the surgery of the lump removes and sone nodes in the under arm
    This was in a photo copy booklet. 

    I’ll know more by end of the week when scan results are back I should think
     Thanks 😊  again 

  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,152
    Hi @Maree72
    All the literature says exercise during and after treatment is good for your mental and physical well being and can assist with side effects.
    it sounds like you are likely to have a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy - the latter is a much bigger operation - but assuming it is a lumpectomy you should be able start walking for a cercus’s very soon after the operation.
    They should also give you some gentle exercises in the hospital  - but there will be limits on what you can do for a few weeks, Your medical team 
    can advise.You need to tsk evict easy and give everything time to heal .
    I would be concerned with getting the wound wet in a pool - that could be a recipe for infection.
    I did see a physiotherapist who specialized in breast cancer patients after my mastectomy and it was very helpful - but as I said that’s a bigger surgery than a lumpectomy.
    I live near the ocean and still do swimming in the ocean which is great exercise ( and therapy).
    Take care.

  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,312
    Hi @Maree72 ,

    Sorry you are going through this. Certainly ask your surgeon and breast care nurse about exercise. I am a big advocate of exercise and I agree the benefits are enormous for helping mentally and physically during treatment and post treatment to help prevent cancer returning. I had a lumpectomy in may of 2020, followed by chemo and radium.

    I walked everyday during my chemo and radium treatment. I waited about 2 or 3 weeks post surgery before walking but once my surgeon gave me the all clear I took to my walking track asap. My lumpectomy was a bigger surgery as i also had a breast reduction as well so my recovery took a little longer.   Walking during chemo had some challenges some days as I was fatigued. I also saw an exercise physiologist and did exercises once a week via zoom as we were in lockdown alot in 2020. 

    I started water aerobics after my radium treatment finished and I had recovered from a couple of burn areas, basically about 3 weeks after my radium finished.

    You mentioned surgery but are you having other treatment as those treatments may limit what you are able to do? 

    Wishing you the very best with your surgery and recovery. 
  • Maree72
    Maree72 Member Posts: 58
    Thank you everyone 
    im undergoing a lumpectomy follow by radiotherapy 
    so I’m told 
    they will also be taking sone tissue from under the arm
    I guess I’ll know more once I’ve got the pet ct scan results back

  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,973
    Dear @Maree72,

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • Abbydog
    Abbydog Member Posts: 482
    Exercise is very good for you.
    But I would have doubts about getting any wounds wet with pool water. Risk of infection.
    Shower water may be different. 
    One of my Breast surgeons insisted that I didn't even get wet in the shower.
    My Plastic surgeon didn't mind shower water.
    I think pool water wouldn't be clean enough.
    Is, or could the pool to walk in be so shallow as to not get wet above the hips/waist?
    I'll be interested in the answers you get, from BC Nurse and the Surgeon.
    I think that the same will apply during Radiotherapy.
    Some people experience 'burns' and skin breakdown. An infection could be very nasty.
    I had 5 weeks (25 sessions) R/T. I had no skin damage. I was very lucky.
    Where I had R/T they applied Mepitel (a specific plastic looking dressing) over the treatment area.
    Ask more about that later if you want.
    Wishing you all the best with everything.
  • Anne65
    Anne65 Member Posts: 425
    @Maree72 In Dec. '17, I had a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy in Feb/March '18 & like you, I am a keen exerciser. I used Mepitel film during my radio treatment so didnt have any burning or skin irritation at all so I was back exercising soon after treatment. Everyone is different so listen to your body & of course, be guided by your BC Nurse & surgeon. I think its great that you want to get back into exercise like I did!! I dont do any water sports but like running, walking & strength exercises.
    Following my rad treatment which ended in March '18, I was back running 10km by the end of the year, which was my goal. To this day, I still do the BC Pilates routine from the CD I received in hospital & do this 4 times a week following my run. Exercising helped me greatly, physically, emotionally & mentally, as it made me feel "normal" following my surgery & treatment. Pace yourself & listen to your body & if your medical team are happy for you to exercise, then 'you go girl"!! I run 40kms a week now & have done two half marathons. I was very lucky with my treatment & surgery outcome & i hope you are too so you can get back & enjoy the water sports you love. Love & strength xx <3