Modified radical neck dissection issues for an athlete

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Patti678
Patti678 Member Posts: 55
edited November 2011 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
I had cancer in my thyroid and neck and had a thyroidectomy and modified lateral neck dissection on Sept 6, 2011. He removed 59 lymph nodes and 4 of them had cancer.

I am a triathlete and was training for an Ironman that took place this past weekend. I didn't do the race because of many issues I am having recovering from the surgery and am wondering when and if some of this stuff goes away.

The biggest issue I'm having is that I wake up in severe pain every morning. It's my neck muscles and shoulder blade muscles. I do my PT exercises every day and have massage once a week. I have run 5 times since the surgery and swam twice. I can't breath very well so swimming and cycling are very difficult.

I'd like to hear from other people who have had this surgery how long it will take until the pain goes away and if there is anything else I can do to heal it. And if you wer able to return to sports. I was very competitive and hope to be able to return to that lifestyle.
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  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
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    Hi Patti

    You are already amazing by how you are recovering so quickly and back to doing what you did before. The body needs time to heal and sometimes that takes years, sometimes the pain is from damage nerves and that will take doctors to repair. Some of your pain might just be from over doing it, try slowing down just a little and see if some of the pain reduces.

    I wish you well and Welcome to CSN
    Hondo
  • Bigfuzzydoug
    Bigfuzzydoug Member Posts: 154
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    You were going to Panama City last weekend?
    I did Florida once and USA up in Lake Placid twice. Of course that was 12 years, 2 kids and 30 pounds ago! ;-) My profile pic is from a Oly 2 years ago.

    So here's the bad news: Your seaon's over! Stop the training. No base. No build. No peak. Give your body time to heal. Don't worry about losing base - you won't. Do your PT and rest and let your neck heal and the swelling and shock from surgery subside. THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT SEASON!!!

    So here's the good news: You'll be able to recover and be back to racing next year faster than you think. The pain is probably due to swelling. I'm not a doctor, but I would try NASIDs (naproxin sodium) to reduce the swelling and ice. Don't push it. You think you're going to be able to ride aero with a sore, swollen neck? How's your rotation and form in the water? Of course it sucks. I wouldn't push it.

    And the super-bright news is that you only had surgery. Recovering from chemo and 7 weeks of radiation therapy takes a heckuva lot more out of you. I'm 13 months out and still struggling to get to where I want to be.

    How's your Synthroid dosage? All dialed in yet? Metabolism where it should be and have energy? That took me 6 months to figure out.

    One last thing - Remember this told to me by my Livestrong Trainer: "Don't think about getting back to the 'old you'. You may get there, you may not. Think about the 'new you'. You can't compare yourself pre-cancer to post-cancer. The return will be long and tough and you can't look back. Set new goals and aim for a 'new you'."
  • Bigfuzzydoug
    Bigfuzzydoug Member Posts: 154
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    You were going to Panama City last weekend?
    I did Florida once and USA up in Lake Placid twice. Of course that was 12 years, 2 kids and 30 pounds ago! ;-) My profile pic is from a Oly 2 years ago.

    So here's the bad news: Your seaon's over! Stop the training. No base. No build. No peak. Give your body time to heal. Don't worry about losing base - you won't. Do your PT and rest and let your neck heal and the swelling and shock from surgery subside. THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT SEASON!!!

    So here's the good news: You'll be able to recover and be back to racing next year faster than you think. The pain is probably due to swelling. I'm not a doctor, but I would try NASIDs (naproxin sodium) to reduce the swelling and ice. Don't push it. You think you're going to be able to ride aero with a sore, swollen neck? How's your rotation and form in the water? Of course it sucks. I wouldn't push it.

    And the super-bright news is that you only had surgery. Recovering from chemo and 7 weeks of radiation therapy takes a heckuva lot more out of you. I'm 13 months out and still struggling to get to where I want to be.

    How's your Synthroid dosage? All dialed in yet? Metabolism where it should be and have energy? That took me 6 months to figure out.

    One last thing - Remember this told to me by my Livestrong Trainer: "Don't think about getting back to the 'old you'. You may get there, you may not. Think about the 'new you'. You can't compare yourself pre-cancer to post-cancer. The return will be long and tough and you can't look back. Set new goals and aim for a 'new you'."

    One other thing...
    Did they talk to you about lymphatic massage? Since the nodes in your neck got all Bennie Hanna'ed, the lymphatic system's been damaged and you'll have problems draining that fluid out. Leads to more swelling and pain. There's a self lymphatic massage I do for myself every morning in the shower. My sister, a physical therapist, taught it to me, but your doctor should be able to show you how. You basically start at the lower nodes, massage them to clear out fluid and work your way up to your neck. Otherwise if the armpit & chest ones are emptied, the fluid has no place to go. It's made a difference for me.

    Although you may need to wait a while for it until you've healed from your surgery.

    If you're on BT (Beginner Triathlete), I'm there a bit and you can send me a PM. I'm never on Slow Twitch.

    GOOD LUCK!!!
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    One other thing...
    Did they talk to you about lymphatic massage? Since the nodes in your neck got all Bennie Hanna'ed, the lymphatic system's been damaged and you'll have problems draining that fluid out. Leads to more swelling and pain. There's a self lymphatic massage I do for myself every morning in the shower. My sister, a physical therapist, taught it to me, but your doctor should be able to show you how. You basically start at the lower nodes, massage them to clear out fluid and work your way up to your neck. Otherwise if the armpit & chest ones are emptied, the fluid has no place to go. It's made a difference for me.

    Although you may need to wait a while for it until you've healed from your surgery.

    If you're on BT (Beginner Triathlete), I'm there a bit and you can send me a PM. I'm never on Slow Twitch.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Thanks for all of your
    Thanks for all of your advice. I wasn't trying to train for any events as much as I just wanted to see where my body was at after the surgery. And I can't breath really well so cycling is out and I'm only doing breaststroke swimming to loosen up my shoulder.

    I went down to IMFL this past weekend because a ton of my friends were doing the race and I watched them.

    Absolutely I need to know about the lymphatic massage. The left side of my neck is VERY swollen.

    My name on BT is the same as here. Patti678.

    It was hard to hear I won't be the same as before surgery when it comes to sports. Training for tris became my entire life. I'm single, no kids so it's how I spend all my time. I will do what I can do and hope for the best.

    I am having problems with the synthroid. I've only been on it 6 weeks. I'm not worried about that quite yet.
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    Hondo said:

    Hi Patti

    You are already amazing by how you are recovering so quickly and back to doing what you did before. The body needs time to heal and sometimes that takes years, sometimes the pain is from damage nerves and that will take doctors to repair. Some of your pain might just be from over doing it, try slowing down just a little and see if some of the pain reduces.

    I wish you well and Welcome to CSN
    Hondo

    Thanks for your words of
    Thanks for your words of encouragement. I haven't been exercising that much so I don't think the pain is from that. My neck and back are just REALLY angry and the muscles are insanely rigid. My neck looks like the Hulk.
  • Hal61
    Hal61 Member Posts: 655
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    Just a worker outer
    Hi Patti, I'm not a triathalete, just a machine work out type. Everything everyone has said is good advice. As for thyroid meds, I've not needed them and I finished chemo and rads about a year and half back and about a year since my partial neck dissection (fifteen nodes removed).

    It will take 6 months to a year for your muscles and bones to get where they are going. The partial dissection left me with a left scalpula that has tilted up, and protrudes just barely above my trapezius on my left. After eight months the surgeon admitted it was a side effect of the surgery. But, the aching, and spasms have gone away. Part of my neck is still numb, and my left earlobe stings just a bit now and then, no big. But, I can use every machine in the gym, no more pain than it always caused to work out. I run on the treadmill fine. Don't overdue the directed PT, as said, things are still settling in right now.

    best, Hal
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Welcome Patti
    STGIII Tonsil Cancer, HPV+...DX January 2009, finished sixteen weeks of chemo, seven of those concurrent with rads. I finished up June 2009, all clean and clear to date.

    I did have a lymphnode involved (secondary), but no neck dissesction.

    I did just want to welcome you and offer that it does get better over time.... It's a slow process, but as you know being healthy and the regime' your body is accustomed, more than likely you will heal a little more quickly than some.

    Thoughts and Prayers,
    John
  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
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    Patti678 said:

    Thanks for all of your
    Thanks for all of your advice. I wasn't trying to train for any events as much as I just wanted to see where my body was at after the surgery. And I can't breath really well so cycling is out and I'm only doing breaststroke swimming to loosen up my shoulder.

    I went down to IMFL this past weekend because a ton of my friends were doing the race and I watched them.

    Absolutely I need to know about the lymphatic massage. The left side of my neck is VERY swollen.

    My name on BT is the same as here. Patti678.

    It was hard to hear I won't be the same as before surgery when it comes to sports. Training for tris became my entire life. I'm single, no kids so it's how I spend all my time. I will do what I can do and hope for the best.

    I am having problems with the synthroid. I've only been on it 6 weeks. I'm not worried about that quite yet.

    I've had to recondition several times
    With the type of treatment you had it will be a long time. But then, you didn't get trained up to your current level of performance in a hurry to begin with. The neck/muscle thing is prolly more radiation than it is surgery. I had spasms that lasted, with gradually decreasing intensity, for several years. This didn't prevent me returning to training. Fatigue was the single biggest enemy.

    I really didn't start working out seriously for almost a year, then took between a year and two years to return to form. That form was about as good as what I'd been able to do before, which was the good news.

    Oh, it took quite awhile to get my thyroid under control. It failed during radiation, and I wound up on a ton of synthroid. I think to get my levels under control it was about six months. And through the years, they have periodically had to readjust it.

    I've done triathlons, and have run ultramarathons, though not for a number of years, so unless you are used to performing at a world class level at these, I'd say just be very patient. You will eventually get there.

    Best wishes.

    Pat

    PS, rereading your original post I now realize you did not have radiation. Sorry. Your recovery will be MUCH faster without the added insult. I've had several surgeries. With my radical resection and reconstruction last year, I was able to start training again at about 4 months. Without pain.
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    I've had to recondition several times
    With the type of treatment you had it will be a long time. But then, you didn't get trained up to your current level of performance in a hurry to begin with. The neck/muscle thing is prolly more radiation than it is surgery. I had spasms that lasted, with gradually decreasing intensity, for several years. This didn't prevent me returning to training. Fatigue was the single biggest enemy.

    I really didn't start working out seriously for almost a year, then took between a year and two years to return to form. That form was about as good as what I'd been able to do before, which was the good news.

    Oh, it took quite awhile to get my thyroid under control. It failed during radiation, and I wound up on a ton of synthroid. I think to get my levels under control it was about six months. And through the years, they have periodically had to readjust it.

    I've done triathlons, and have run ultramarathons, though not for a number of years, so unless you are used to performing at a world class level at these, I'd say just be very patient. You will eventually get there.

    Best wishes.

    Pat

    PS, rereading your original post I now realize you did not have radiation. Sorry. Your recovery will be MUCH faster without the added insult. I've had several surgeries. With my radical resection and reconstruction last year, I was able to start training again at about 4 months. Without pain.

    Thanks so much. I did have
    Thanks so much. I did have one radiation pill. And you hit the nail on the head. I simply don't have the stamina to train right now. It's not that I lost my fitness in 9 weeks. I gasp for air when I run bike and swim. Somehow it doesn't bother me when I run but it's too scary to be doing that while on a bike or in the pool.

    I have found that lifting light weights is helping the neck and shoulder pain.

    I am and always have been a fighter and I'll do everything to get back to the fitness level I had before. And after what I have been through I can easily say that mentally I am much, much stronger.
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    Hal61 said:

    Just a worker outer
    Hi Patti, I'm not a triathalete, just a machine work out type. Everything everyone has said is good advice. As for thyroid meds, I've not needed them and I finished chemo and rads about a year and half back and about a year since my partial neck dissection (fifteen nodes removed).

    It will take 6 months to a year for your muscles and bones to get where they are going. The partial dissection left me with a left scalpula that has tilted up, and protrudes just barely above my trapezius on my left. After eight months the surgeon admitted it was a side effect of the surgery. But, the aching, and spasms have gone away. Part of my neck is still numb, and my left earlobe stings just a bit now and then, no big. But, I can use every machine in the gym, no more pain than it always caused to work out. I run on the treadmill fine. Don't overdue the directed PT, as said, things are still settling in right now.

    best, Hal

    Thank you. I do find that
    Thank you. I do find that the machines are easy to use since I can take as many breaks as I need. So glad to hear you are healthy again and back to normal life.

    I promise I won't overdo it. I don't have a thyroid anymore and it's going to be awhile before I have the energy.
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
    Options
    Skiffin16 said:

    Welcome Patti
    STGIII Tonsil Cancer, HPV+...DX January 2009, finished sixteen weeks of chemo, seven of those concurrent with rads. I finished up June 2009, all clean and clear to date.

    I did have a lymphnode involved (secondary), but no neck dissesction.

    I did just want to welcome you and offer that it does get better over time.... It's a slow process, but as you know being healthy and the regime' your body is accustomed, more than likely you will heal a little more quickly than some.

    Thoughts and Prayers,
    John

    Thanks John. It's so great
    Thanks John. It's so great to have the support of everyone on this website. And that's such good news that you are free of cancer. I unestimated the healing time and actually thought I'd be back training again 3 weeks after surgery. Now I realize it will be several more months before I get my stamina back and I'm happy for the progress I have made so far.
  • ratface
    ratface Member Posts: 1,337 Member
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    Patti678 said:

    Thanks John. It's so great
    Thanks John. It's so great to have the support of everyone on this website. And that's such good news that you are free of cancer. I unestimated the healing time and actually thought I'd be back training again 3 weeks after surgery. Now I realize it will be several more months before I get my stamina back and I'm happy for the progress I have made so far.

    Story written for you!
    Well hello Patti and welcome to the site. I commend your great attitude to keep training. I read an article in SPOHNC magazine just an hour ago and now realize that it was written just for you and I must connect you with this story. First off, SPOHNC stands for Support for People with Head and Neck Cancer and they are a wonderful resource organization dedicated to our type of cancer. You can easily find them on the web, www.spohnc.org or on face book. The monthly newsletter features a survivor section where survivors tell their story. This months story(November issue) is about a professional downhill skier and athlete who has fought this awful cancer twice. He was diagnosed at 38 and is now in his fifties and continues to compete and also run marathons. His first treatment consisted of a full radical dissection with 105 nodes removed. Sound familiar? His name is David Hinz. I would venture a guess that the two of you could probably talk for hours. His email is davidlh57@gmail.com, which he lists in his article. You must promise me to make contact with this individual as it is destiny that you will meet.

    I must also offer you the sure fire way to cure most of your neck dissection mobility issues and the answer is a routine short practice of any restorative type yoga routine. I recommend "The Gift of Yoga" as a beginner but wonderful practice. It will really work for you. Best regards and love your spirit.
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    ratface said:

    Story written for you!
    Well hello Patti and welcome to the site. I commend your great attitude to keep training. I read an article in SPOHNC magazine just an hour ago and now realize that it was written just for you and I must connect you with this story. First off, SPOHNC stands for Support for People with Head and Neck Cancer and they are a wonderful resource organization dedicated to our type of cancer. You can easily find them on the web, www.spohnc.org or on face book. The monthly newsletter features a survivor section where survivors tell their story. This months story(November issue) is about a professional downhill skier and athlete who has fought this awful cancer twice. He was diagnosed at 38 and is now in his fifties and continues to compete and also run marathons. His first treatment consisted of a full radical dissection with 105 nodes removed. Sound familiar? His name is David Hinz. I would venture a guess that the two of you could probably talk for hours. His email is davidlh57@gmail.com, which he lists in his article. You must promise me to make contact with this individual as it is destiny that you will meet.

    I must also offer you the sure fire way to cure most of your neck dissection mobility issues and the answer is a routine short practice of any restorative type yoga routine. I recommend "The Gift of Yoga" as a beginner but wonderful practice. It will really work for you. Best regards and love your spirit.

    Thanks!
    Thanks SOOOOO much for passing along all of that info. Absolutely I will email him and also check out the website. I have been doing VERY light yoga at home every day. It helps a TON.

    I think that perhaps all of us who have been through this just need to hear from someone who has gone before us that everything is going to be ok. Some days more than others. I can't believe how much I have needed this.
  • Goalie
    Goalie Member Posts: 184
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    Patti678 said:

    Thanks!
    Thanks SOOOOO much for passing along all of that info. Absolutely I will email him and also check out the website. I have been doing VERY light yoga at home every day. It helps a TON.

    I think that perhaps all of us who have been through this just need to hear from someone who has gone before us that everything is going to be ok. Some days more than others. I can't believe how much I have needed this.

    Lunatic athletes
    OK, I sometimes feel bad about posting about my recovery in threads where others are having real problems because mine was so positive. But you are a triathlete coming back and I am just a hockey player so maybe it is safe here.

    For the first few weeks of rads and the first chemo I was still able to play hockey about three days a week. I had been determined to play throughout treatment, an illusion, of course, but supposedly harmless. Unfortunately, they discovered blood clots and hospitalized me and that stopped the hockey. Fortunately, they discovered the blood clots before one of them let loose and killed me or gave me a stroke.

    The rad onc said that my eventual condition was among the worst he had ever seen in decades of his work. But, despite the low white blood counts, low red blood counts, blood clots in legs and lungs, wicked painful mouth sores, unilateral neuropathy that made one foot flop and walking difficult for months, choking mucus, dehydration, terminal constipation, tinnitus, TMJ, lymphedema, near-death from shock in the hospital, weeks of vomiting and loss of 40 pounds, radiation burns, shingles, dry mouth, etc, etc. I not only made it through but was back on the ice about six weeks after treatment ended. (I did miss the boils and fire from the sky but not much else.) It was partly luck, partly stubbornness, partly being in really great shape before starting, and mostly having my wonderful wife take care of me and take care of every part of my life from nutrition to meds for a couple of months. I gained back 15 pounds the first month after treatment (still only on semi-solid food) and then about 5 per month for a few months. And the rad onc said that my recovery was among the best he had ever seen in decades of his work.

    I started going to the gym just to use the machines with no weights just to regain range-of-motion in a controlled environment. And I was doing intensive stretching. The first time on ice was only to put on skates and skate across the ice to stand behind our team’s bench for the game, no pads, no playing, just 50 ft of ice. I was practically in tears because the legs and muscles hurt and because the coordination was gone; neither leg would do what I told it to do or what it knew very well how to do. Still, afterwards, I was both pleased that I did it and terrified that it was going to be all I could do for a long time.

    To make a long story short (too late!) the following weeks I skated more, put on the pads for a skate, did just warm-ups before a game, and then a practice. This happy progression was interrupted for a couple of weeks for the neck dissection but a couple of weeks after that I played for real, then a tournament, then league playoffs. Physically, it was all coming back but what was lagging was the mental part. Goaltending requires sort of a Spider-sense of what is going to happen ahead of time and following ten players and the puck even when you can’t see them. I would sometimes find myself just baffled by the maelstrom occurring in front of me. Clearing out these cobwebs and really being able to totally tune in actually took weeks and months. Triathletes may have to have a different kind of concentration.

    As I posted in another thread, about the only lingering effects from the neck dissection are the lymphedema and a sore neck muscle that makes sit-ups impossible. That’s not too bad. I am rooting for you. Doug
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    Goalie said:

    Lunatic athletes
    OK, I sometimes feel bad about posting about my recovery in threads where others are having real problems because mine was so positive. But you are a triathlete coming back and I am just a hockey player so maybe it is safe here.

    For the first few weeks of rads and the first chemo I was still able to play hockey about three days a week. I had been determined to play throughout treatment, an illusion, of course, but supposedly harmless. Unfortunately, they discovered blood clots and hospitalized me and that stopped the hockey. Fortunately, they discovered the blood clots before one of them let loose and killed me or gave me a stroke.

    The rad onc said that my eventual condition was among the worst he had ever seen in decades of his work. But, despite the low white blood counts, low red blood counts, blood clots in legs and lungs, wicked painful mouth sores, unilateral neuropathy that made one foot flop and walking difficult for months, choking mucus, dehydration, terminal constipation, tinnitus, TMJ, lymphedema, near-death from shock in the hospital, weeks of vomiting and loss of 40 pounds, radiation burns, shingles, dry mouth, etc, etc. I not only made it through but was back on the ice about six weeks after treatment ended. (I did miss the boils and fire from the sky but not much else.) It was partly luck, partly stubbornness, partly being in really great shape before starting, and mostly having my wonderful wife take care of me and take care of every part of my life from nutrition to meds for a couple of months. I gained back 15 pounds the first month after treatment (still only on semi-solid food) and then about 5 per month for a few months. And the rad onc said that my recovery was among the best he had ever seen in decades of his work.

    I started going to the gym just to use the machines with no weights just to regain range-of-motion in a controlled environment. And I was doing intensive stretching. The first time on ice was only to put on skates and skate across the ice to stand behind our team’s bench for the game, no pads, no playing, just 50 ft of ice. I was practically in tears because the legs and muscles hurt and because the coordination was gone; neither leg would do what I told it to do or what it knew very well how to do. Still, afterwards, I was both pleased that I did it and terrified that it was going to be all I could do for a long time.

    To make a long story short (too late!) the following weeks I skated more, put on the pads for a skate, did just warm-ups before a game, and then a practice. This happy progression was interrupted for a couple of weeks for the neck dissection but a couple of weeks after that I played for real, then a tournament, then league playoffs. Physically, it was all coming back but what was lagging was the mental part. Goaltending requires sort of a Spider-sense of what is going to happen ahead of time and following ten players and the puck even when you can’t see them. I would sometimes find myself just baffled by the maelstrom occurring in front of me. Clearing out these cobwebs and really being able to totally tune in actually took weeks and months. Triathletes may have to have a different kind of concentration.

    As I posted in another thread, about the only lingering effects from the neck dissection are the lymphedema and a sore neck muscle that makes sit-ups impossible. That’s not too bad. I am rooting for you. Doug

    Thank you Doug. This is
    Thank you Doug. This is EXACTLY the type of reply I wanted to read. I think hearing that others were able to push through the pain and foggy-headedness and still be able to train for their sport helps so much. And I totally get the "spidey-sense" you are talking about. Not only for training but also for my job. Sometimes my brain feels like mush.

    I went and lifted weights last night for the 2nd time post-surgery and find that it helps TREMENDOUSLY with the back pain. I was training 20-25 hours a week before my surgery and it was such a letdown not to have that in my life anymore. So now even if I can only last 15 minutes, I still do something every single day.

    My goal is to do a Half Ironman in May of 2012. But to do that I need to be training by the end of the year. That gives me about 4 full months of recovery from the surgery and I have to hope and pray that it's enough.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Patti678 said:

    Thank you Doug. This is
    Thank you Doug. This is EXACTLY the type of reply I wanted to read. I think hearing that others were able to push through the pain and foggy-headedness and still be able to train for their sport helps so much. And I totally get the "spidey-sense" you are talking about. Not only for training but also for my job. Sometimes my brain feels like mush.

    I went and lifted weights last night for the 2nd time post-surgery and find that it helps TREMENDOUSLY with the back pain. I was training 20-25 hours a week before my surgery and it was such a letdown not to have that in my life anymore. So now even if I can only last 15 minutes, I still do something every single day.

    My goal is to do a Half Ironman in May of 2012. But to do that I need to be training by the end of the year. That gives me about 4 full months of recovery from the surgery and I have to hope and pray that it's enough.

    Stay Focused & Positive...
    I do hope you reach your goals.... But...

    Don't lose sight of reality either, remember your main goal is survivng cancer and recovery.

    Wile striving to maintain your physical goals, your body does need the time to recover.

    Being an athlete myself for many years of 5K and 10K, and 20 years plus of racketball tournaments...all amateur, but still competitve. I know my limits and my body better than anyone.

    At the level you are at, you are 10 fold more intune than I was I'm sure.

    So, I don't want to come off as preaching, and exercise and positive thoughts and goals are great.

    Just make sure that if you do need rest, that under these conditions, sometimes it's better to rest and not fight through any pain,or severe fatigue.

    And a huge thing you know also...hydrate, hydrate, hydrate...


    Thoughts and Prayers,
    John
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Stay Focused & Positive...
    I do hope you reach your goals.... But...

    Don't lose sight of reality either, remember your main goal is survivng cancer and recovery.

    Wile striving to maintain your physical goals, your body does need the time to recover.

    Being an athlete myself for many years of 5K and 10K, and 20 years plus of racketball tournaments...all amateur, but still competitve. I know my limits and my body better than anyone.

    At the level you are at, you are 10 fold more intune than I was I'm sure.

    So, I don't want to come off as preaching, and exercise and positive thoughts and goals are great.

    Just make sure that if you do need rest, that under these conditions, sometimes it's better to rest and not fight through any pain,or severe fatigue.

    And a huge thing you know also...hydrate, hydrate, hydrate...


    Thoughts and Prayers,
    John

    Even if I'd like to, I'm not
    Even if I'd like to, I'm not able to push the training right now. The exhaustion prevents me from doing so. I ran 18 miles the day before surgery and now can only run 1.5 miles without stopping. It is night and day. I'm too afraid to be on a bike so it leaves swimming, running, and weights. Swimming is a bit of a joke since I gasp for air. I can use the kickboard with fins or swim breaststroke but only 2 laps at a time and I need a break. (This past summer I did a swimming race in a lake where I swam for 2.5 hours straight).

    I nap a lot and on days where my energy is low, I don't do any exercise except stretch.

    And YES, thanks for the reminder of water. I do not understand at all how I am drinking MORE water now than I was before the surgery. But I am.

    I am so thankful for this website and all of the wonderful people on here. We have all been through hell and it humbles me to be with so many brave people.

    In my sport we say "Keep Moving Forward." And I use that every day now.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Options
    Patti678 said:

    Even if I'd like to, I'm not
    Even if I'd like to, I'm not able to push the training right now. The exhaustion prevents me from doing so. I ran 18 miles the day before surgery and now can only run 1.5 miles without stopping. It is night and day. I'm too afraid to be on a bike so it leaves swimming, running, and weights. Swimming is a bit of a joke since I gasp for air. I can use the kickboard with fins or swim breaststroke but only 2 laps at a time and I need a break. (This past summer I did a swimming race in a lake where I swam for 2.5 hours straight).

    I nap a lot and on days where my energy is low, I don't do any exercise except stretch.

    And YES, thanks for the reminder of water. I do not understand at all how I am drinking MORE water now than I was before the surgery. But I am.

    I am so thankful for this website and all of the wonderful people on here. We have all been through hell and it humbles me to be with so many brave people.

    In my sport we say "Keep Moving Forward." And I use that every day now.

    Sir Winston Churchill Quotes - Hell
    One of my favorites;

    If you're going through Hell, keep going.

    LOL, I did forget to mention, one of my biggest races...

    OAHU, Marines Corps, 1976, "Around the Island Relay Race" ..134 miles. I ran 18 miles in that race...woohoo, LOL.

    Best,
    JG
  • Patti678
    Patti678 Member Posts: 55
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Sir Winston Churchill Quotes - Hell
    One of my favorites;

    If you're going through Hell, keep going.

    LOL, I did forget to mention, one of my biggest races...

    OAHU, Marines Corps, 1976, "Around the Island Relay Race" ..134 miles. I ran 18 miles in that race...woohoo, LOL.

    Best,
    JG

    Quotes
    That Winston Churchill quote is one of my favs as well. That relay race sounds awesome! I'm sure it was insanely hot but I can't imagine how gorgeous the views were. Maybe one day I'll be skilled enough to qualify for the big race in Kona. Who knows....anything is possible. :)
  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,031 Member
    Options
    Lymphadema
    Patti,

    Doug already touched on a very important topic, Lymphadema. As you have only recently had a neck disection with the removal of 59 lymphnodes, the lymphnode system is totally out of whack. Ask your Oncologist or Surgeon if they can send you to a Cancer Physical Therapist that is trained for Lymphadema. I was fortunate to have one here locally after I had my Surgery in a big City.

    She taught me a gentle massage so I could do it anytime I needed to from over doing any work or exercise. Check out Sweetblood's Super thread and look for - Stretching and Neck Massage Instructions. It is listed in the section under ( Products and Tips that help side effects ). I posted the information some time ago. You can try it and see if it helps, but do try to see the professional therapist if possible.

    You can retrain the lymphnode system a bit and it takes awhile. Remember that anytime you use your shoulders, the blood and lymph system flow towards the working area. When the fluid gets there and can't flow away like it did before, it backs up and causes swelling and discomfort/pain.


    My Best to You and Everyone Here