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Exercise

Sunriver's picture
Sunriver
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

It's been 3 weeks since my resection surgery (stage 2a) I'm 54 years old. I have been walking but am eager to start jogging, swimming and using weight machines to build back muscle tone that I lost in the hospital. I would be interested in how soon after surgery others have started doing some of these things.

HowardJ
Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi and welcome.

I'm also stage 2a (dx at age 50)and had laprascopic surgery (right hemicolectomy). Walking is the best thing you can do to recover from surgery so glad to hear you're doing that. And there are scientific results showing that exercise is beneficial for cancer patients.

I was also eager to get back to exercising and was told to wait about 2-3 months, which I did. I started back very lightly and could ride the stationary bike after about 2 months, but no weights till 3 months. I followed this "prescription" very rigorously because I did not want to do any harm, while still getting the benefit of exercies.

Unfortunately, an incisional hernia developed which got worse over time. One year and a week or two after my colon surgery I had a hernia repair and had to go through the re-start all over again. The surgeon said this time it could take a year to fully heal.

So....check with your surgeon on when/how to start back. Also listen to your body and don't push it too hard for the first year. But, do exercise because it is very beneficial.

Good luck!

Howard

Sunriver's picture
Sunriver
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Howard,

Thanks for the info. It's great to hear other people's experience with this. I was hoping I could start sooner but I am also concered about doing too much too soon. Last time I saw my surgeon I didn't feel good enough even to raise the question. Next time I see him I will though.

Sorry about your hernia. Hope it heals faster than they think. Thanks again and good luck to you too...Mark

JADot's picture
JADot
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Sunrive:

When I read your post I felt like bowing in front of you while saying "I am not worthy"! 3 weeks post surgery and you are thinking about what? Weight lifting and swimming! Damn, I thought I was hyperactive - in a good way of course. You are a hoot.

I was stage 2b, sx at 39, the day after xmas in 2005. 3 weeks after surgery I was absolutely miserable. I could walk a couple of miles but that was about it. The fact that you're already thinking about running a marathon says you're really recovering fast.

The only advice I have is easy does it. You definitely don't want to soak that big flesh wound in a pool, nor do you want to rip it open by working the muscles before full healing has taken place. I think you wanna check w/ your surgeon.

But hey, you rock! That fighting spirit of yours will see you through for sure.

Hey ya know what, I bet you can walk 10 miles a day without hurting yourself!

Cheers & I am not worthy!
JADot

Sunriver's picture
Sunriver
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi JADot,

Wow, love that energy and encouragement. Walking it is - for now. I do feel pretty good but I know I still have healing to do. Thanks again and I'll see you on the walking track!! Mark

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hey there - you have started out so corrrectly...But I do would worry about doing to much too soon. It is so easy to strain a muscle or a group (even in a related spot) with weight training. I would progress slowly. I really think you would be okay going from walking to a stationary bike (not a super high resistance level) or a machine which mimics running motion, and then to swimming...I had problems with a few weight machines and the only ones which bother me now (almost two years post surgery) are those which have ask my to press my abdomen on them as that hits my incision-spot and does cause probs for me -- still! The good news...Just google 'colon cancer and exercise and recurrence' and you will be totally motivated! The last article I read listed 61% drop in recurrence with regular (up to an hour every day) exercise. Combine that with great nutritional for a package of truly fighting this battle with strength and building a better body to boot! All the best to you and I hope you have received some good opinions - Maura

Sunriver's picture
Sunriver
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Maura,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I guess slow and gradual will be the order of the day. I'll talk to my docs next week and see what they suggest. I've always been active but not as consistently as I could have been. I hope in the future to be much more consistent because as you mentioned it makes a big difference in keeping recurrence down. I'm also working on my diet with the help of my girlfriend. She bought me a juice machine for my birthday and has been cooking with more fibre and organic fruits and vegetables. Thanks again and all the best to you...Mark

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

I am thrilled that you are feeling better about everything. And remember, the doc went through more than a few layers to do his great handywork...I am sure you want all of those layers to heal properly. You might be able to swim earlier than later...But, check things out with your doc. I was using a trainer before I became sick (2004) and I resumed with him sometime last fall. He really helps me stick with my regime and has been a great motivation to me...You might enjoy utilizing someone for help as well. A good trainer will really urge you to have a balanced program which strengthens all of your major muscle groups and starts light but steady. So great to hear that you have begun to juice!!! There are a myriad of great little mixtures; and I have to tell ya, when I drink some concoction, it really helps me feel as if I am taking responsibility for my own health -- especially on a day when I am feeling down about anything (let alone thinking that my cancer might someday come back). All the best to you and I look forward to you posting good hints for exercise and nutrition!! And don't forget crosstraining. I did my first spinning class this week...In the middle of powering through with great music, I really did think: "Cancer my ***"....Take care and all the best to you and your girlfriend. Sounds like the two of you are on a super plan - Maura

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Mark -

WOW! Talk about energy!! You're awesome. Did your surgeon do your resect lapro or did you get that 11' zipper? That would make a difference in how quickly you can go back to more "challenging" exercise regimes. My best advice is to talk to your doc and don't overdo it, lest you tear something lose or give yourself a hernia.

Cheers

- Sponge

Sunriver's picture
Sunriver
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Sponge,

Good to hear from you again. Thanks for the encouragement. I got the zipper (full meal deal). When I feel good it's hard to believe that it is not more healed up than it is. I'll keep walking though and talk to my doc about my future exercise. I've always been active and I've always been able to do active stuff whenever I want so this is new and a bit frustrating. I guess I will enjoy it all the more when I'm healed up enough to jog and swim and stuff.

Thanks again and all the best...Mark

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

And don't forget those iron supplements - thay can help you out with the "and stuff" part!

Cheers

- SB

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I resumed jogging about 3 weeks after LAR for stage 2b last Dec. at 63 years old. I never had a problem jogging as much as I felt like, but I did have a problem with sit-ups and push-ups. Got sore. I hope your doctors are more forthcoming with advice than mine have been. "Exercise? Yeah, good idea."

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Ummmm, hummmmm....was I supposed to start EXERCISING again???? Gee, I didn't know!!!

All you fitness buffs, OBVIOUSLY much YOUNGER than me....oh, wait! 3 months after resection I got my breast cancer....WHEW! do I feel better!!!

Seriously, please be careful about your belly. ESPECIALLY if it was a laparotomy (full belly incision). Make sure to keep up on your fluids....don't want any nasty obstructions!!!

Ask your doc...he/she can tell you better....

As for me, just typing this has WORN ME OUT!!!! Time for a nap....

Hugs, Kathi

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

If you have a stoma you have to be very careful as to how much you do with weights. Walking now and swimming later are probably your best exercises but be sure to discuss with your surgeon. Mine, and the stoma nurses, said to never lift > 20 lbs (but I do) and to not do situps. But I do find that with the walking I do I feel much better even during the chemo days.

Dick

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