Monday, April 16, 2012

Allow me to be a little smug

They didn't need a study to prove it (as if we needed a medical study). I knew this all along. Exercise has now been proven to help breast cancer patients. Go back and read my blog in 2007. You will note I talk about my daily walk. I did go for a daily walk all during treatment - surgery, chemo, radiation. The only time I skipped a day was if I was hospitalized.

Before my diagnosis, I was going for a daily walk anyway. I just saw no reason to stop because of the pesky cancer thing. It was actually a good thing to do. It helped with side effects. It helped with sleeping - physically tiring yourself out lets you sleep better at night. It helped with my mood. All through treatment, no one ever discouraged me from walking. The nurses and doctors were very supportive and encouraged me to continue.

I even belonged to a gym. Before breast cancer, I had hit a certain 'age' that ended in a zero and had decided I should join a gym and do weight bearing exercise as I was now aging. Well, I went to the gym. I looked at the machines and went over to the elliptical or the treadmill. I didn't know how to use the machines. And then my back went bad and all those machines, treadmill, and elliptical managed to make my back hurt.

I have since given up that gym and joined the gym for dilapidated people like me. There are many dilapidated people there - seriously, walkers, oxygen tanks, wheel chairs, prostheses, etc. The gym is run by physical therapists and designed for people with health issues. They work around my problems and I can actually get in a good work out.

One of my issues is lymphedema. In the past, they used to tell women with lymphedema were told - no exercise, not to strain your arm, just do these stupid little exercises to get your lymph system moving and prevent fluid build up in your arm. Then a study came along (of course another study or ten) which said light exercise was beneficial.

[I am training for my body building competition by lifting one pound weights - 2 sets of 15 reps of front and side lifts. Well, its not just my lymphedema problem in my left arm, its my tennis elbow in my right arm that won't go away and whatever weird thing is going on with my shoulder that hamper my chances for a win.]

But I have digressed way too far here, completely off topic in fact. I am a bit smug because I exercised all through breast cancer treatment and now a study proves I was right all along.  Now its time for me to hit the gym.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Keep walking, Caroline! Your straightforward approach to life post-cancer is beyond refreshing. It always gives me that little boot I need - like today when I need reminding to get out for my walk. Thanks.