The first exercise I did after my chemo was over was swimming. I wasn't up to walking very much because I think my neuropathy (nerve damage from the chemo) was affecting my ability to walk straight. It did, however, feel like my feet were slapping the water sometimes when they were under the water when I was swimming.
Synovial Sarcoma, Adult Soft Tissue Cancer Questions
Exercise vs Tiredness
Asked by delia323 on Friday, March 30, 2012
Exercise vs Tiredness
I would like to know if anyone can recommend any exercise or activities I can/should do. I am currently on pain meds that make me tired after the littlest of activities. My problem is that my boyfriend is feeling helpless and his way of helping is by feeding me non stop. I only eat what I can (nausea and vomiting see to that) but I do make an effort to sample at least a bite ( my way of helping him cope). My problem is that as a result I am starting to gain weight quickly. Any suggestion?
10 Answers from the Community
Swimming is a great form of excercise and burns lots of calories with not much force or pain on the body, cindy has a good idea. I had the opposite problem during and afer treatment, I lost a lot of weight, lost 50 pounds. I was eating everything I could without pain, mostly ice cream and soft things. I have just now started to get back to my previous weight, treatment was over 3 years ago.
I used to run a lot and after my diagnosis, I was told that I could no longer do that. I, like you, started being fed by well-meaning loved ones and gained 20 lbs. Yikes! But add me to the swimming cohort! Like the others said, swimming burns a lot of calories and you get a good all-over body workout without feeling that you're putting forth the effort that you do with something like running because the water keeps you cool.
I think an important thing to remember is that, at least initially, you might feel MORE tired on days that you exercise. If you can fight inertia and keep exercising, it won't be long before you feel energized after you do exercise. The sleep that you get when you exercise will also feel deeper and energizing. At least this is what happened for me.
Best of luck!
Bike riding - if you feel confident on a two wheeler... If not - how about a trike? Ride everywhere you can... Run short errands on this human-powered vehicle... I just busted my hip, and I cannot ride a two-wheeler right now (POUT)... A friend has loaned me her trike, and it will be a major part of my rehab.
During my nearly six months of chemo, I rode a bike every single day (except for three days for an out-of-state business trip). It helped with everything....
And - how about asking your boyfriend for help? Maybe he'll love that. Ask him to prepare nutrient dense but calorie light dishes... Perhaps roasted vegetables... Or a vegetable soup. Something like that. THen, he'll feel like he's helping you MORE because you've actually asked for a bit of help.... I don't know what kinds of foods he typically prepares... but maybe he'll love the challenge of preparing something that will deliver what you need....
As chemo progresses, your appetite and taste buds will be a moving target... Your weight might also be a moving target. My chemo caused me to lose weight... but a good friend of mine gained around 20 pounds. We were on similar regimens.
Anyway, it's awesome that you've got a supportive boyfriend... Sounds like he genuinely wants to help... so communicating with him about what you actually want to eat...and what types of foods fit your day-to-day appetite/taste buds might just make him feel loving... and loved.
Another vote for swimming and yoga. I also have osteoarthritis in both knees and lymphedema in both legs so I do gentle or chair yoga. There is a warm water exercise class at my gym and a lap pool for when I'm feeling energetic.
As far as diet is concerned, eat celery. It's the only food I know with negative calories (you burn more calories chewing and swallowing than the celery contains).
Exercising when you are so fatigued from chemo is tough. I was a 7 day a week exerciser (swimming, weight lifting, cycling, kayaking, hiking, you name it!). About 4 weeks into chemo, I became so fatigued it was hard for me to do any exercise. Now that I am 10 weeks into chemo, just going for a walk around the block fatigues me and I get short of breath with just climbing a flight of stairs. It is a daily struggle for me to balance between getting some sort of exercise and getting the rest I need for my body to fight the cancer and deal with the chemo. I thought because I was in such good shape going into chemo that it wouldn't be a problem to continue to exercise. I have really learned to listen to my body and rest when I need to. I know that chemo will be done in 5 weeks (hopefully) and that I will recover quickly. I decided to hire a personal trainer when I am done with chemo to come up with some workouts to help me get back into my pre-chemo shape. There are a lot of people who are able to exercise and a lot of people who can't. Listen to your body and don't push too much.
During my chemo,radiation and after I would set a daily or weekly goal of riding my reclining stationary bike for exercise. This bike puts less strain on the legs & feet. I started out riding 10 minutes a day. Yoga was helpful. I listened to my body,if my fatigue was too much I did not exercise that day. I also slept in and took naps,when I could. I took walks outside,some days walking only 1/4 of a block,but the sunshine and fresh air lightened my mood. I also went to Walmart/Pamida and would just walk around window showing, getting out and just seeing people was helpful. Hope this helps!
I have also gained quite a bit of weight during chemo - about 25lbs! I read somewhere that people who struggled with their weight before treatment can gain this much, so at least I knew I wasn't alone.
At first with the pain and fatigue I was doing almost nothing most days. Now I try to at least get out and walk, even if it's only a few blocks and back, or walking through a store.
I also have done for short bike rides, but only when I know my mind was sharp enough, since my reflexes are slow. Don't want to fall and get hurt during chemo.
Other suggestions: keep hand weights next to where you are sitting and lift them as you watch tv. If you don't have hand weight, use soup cans. If you have stairs, walk up and down them several times a day just because.
You don't have to have a work out routine or do it all day long, just do what you can, when you can, and rest your body when you need it.
For those of you that swim during chemo... do you change public fitness centers? There is no way I would go there during treatment with the germs. I've been prone to infection. I agree swimming would be a fantastic exercise and wish I had access to a more private pool. I think I'll reserve this for when I'm done with treatment.
I am 8 months post stem cell transplant. I was overweight when diagnosed and have lost 50 pounds and at his point I have to watch what I eat or gain weight. I attempted running on treadmill, I had done this for 2 years before getting sick but ended up injuring my left knee. My doc was upset, he said walk no running. I control my weight. I have told my family that God gifted me with life and I want it to be healthy. Therefore, I use olive oil, I make big bowls of mixed fruit like watermelon, , and grapes mixed and eat it when I am hungry between meals. I eat small meals. Most important tell loved ones you want to be healthy and work together to make menus or look up low fat dinners. I graduated nursing school exactly 5 years to the day of my transplant and I weigh less now. I am almost bikini ready, I am lifting small hand weights and doing squats to tighten muscles. I am also 45 yrs old, and just had to have my teeth surgically removed due to chemo ruining from inside out. Dentures are another adventure along with chemo putting me through menopause, but I'm alive. I'm going to live life the way I want and make it count, put nothing off. That's as soon as doc let's me go places... Germs everywhere! Good luck! I mean that with hope and love to all of you.
Help the community by answering this question:
Read and answer more synovial sarcoma, adult soft tissue cancer questions. Also, don't forget to check out our Synovial Sarcoma, Adult Soft Tissue Cancer page.