Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exercise Helps During Treatment

Good Morning Cancer Patients;
I was recently reminded by a follower of this blog I have not posted in over a month. I apologize for being remiss in trying to post monthly. I became very busy from the time of the last posting.

I came upon another published article in the USA Today April 20, 2011 titled "A Springboard to Recovery Exercise helps Shannon Miller during cancer treatment" the front page of section C of the paper.This is one of several articles I've found discussing how exercise assists treatment. The article states there is a growing body of research showing exercise helps with the side effects from treatment and decreases the risk of recurrence while improving overall survival.

Unfortunately, exercise is not being prescribed as part of the treatment regime, yet, but I believe there exists enough common sense evidence already that exercise helps. Specifically, in my case, I found daily exercise of weight lifting and walking helped the neuropathy, took my mind off the side effects that were bothering me and also allowed me to not dwell on the fact I had cancer. My personal belief was I wanted my metabolism and bodily functions operational when I went in for treatment so my circulation and heart rate were up to speed to disperse the chemo to the proper location in my body. Before chemo treatments of 5 hours per day; 5 days a week; off for three weeks and then do it again for over 8 rounds; with one round of 25 days of radiation while carrying a 24 chemo infusion pack; I started my day with a walk I thought was brisk but by the end of the treatment week it was not. I would eat a solid breakfast of high protein and anti-oxidants foods; do a workout exercise in the gym and be in the infusion chair for treatment by 8:00AM. I wanted my system up and running for treatment. As treatment went on I found I had to change the exercise routine to get through it because my stamina and strength diminished by the end of the week. I have always had a physical workout routine of lifting weights but during treatment I focused it specifically to complete the exercise. When treatment was completed I used exercise to help me recover and rebuild my system for strength, stamina and endurance. The exercise also helped a great deal with the neuropathy and other side effects as well as took my mind off the pain from the treatment.

There is no such thing as a bad exercise. I encourage you to walk, swim, use a treadmill, lift weights, jump rope, jog, ice skate, box, ride a bike or any other exercise that will get your blood circulating and more oxygen into your blood stream, as well as get your heart rate up, your breathing moving, and the chemo through your system. The battle will be to muster the energy during treatment but I assure you when you complete your workout, you will feel much better.

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