Thursday, 27 October 2016

Getting Fit Again After Cancer

As you can imagine 8 months of treatment and then 7 weeks in hospital, most of them feeling pretty rough is not a good way to retain fitness. Colin came out of hospital on September 20th feeling very weak and he spent the first two weeks at home mainly sitting about and sleeping. To begin with even walking round our (very small) garden made his legs ache. Gradually over the last couple of weeks his energy has returned and he feels ready to get fit again.

As advised by  the cancer nurse specialist we asked Macmillan Cancer Care about local gyms that specialize in rehabilitation for cancer patients but found  you still have to pay. Then the lady told us about free sessions run at the hospital which quite frankly sounded so silly  that I think Col is going to stick to walking at least for the time being because he may need some help later building arm muscles.

A car boot sale and then up and down the road  was the first step. Then on the UK Runners and Walkers website you can find out how far you've walked and being in town it's easy just to add a little bit extra each day by taking a different road around the estate. After just 4 days of regular short walks he was able to come with me to Aldi and back, that's just under a mile, not much but a good start.

My fitness levels have also dropped  since moving to town and when I had the awful back and leg pains a few weeks ago I got a bit worried. The doctor told me to refer myself to physio, so I did and they gave me some more exercises for hip movement to add to the ones I already do to help my back. So with these exercises and walking with Colin, I hope by the time we move we'll both be fit again and ready to explore the footpaths round our new home.

Back  at the end of the week
Sue


20 comments:

  1. I remember being ill for three weeks once and thinking how weak I felt, so over such a long period it must be terrible. Hope he gains his strength back soon, I've always imagined him to be a strobe man so I should oimagine that his body will remember that frame work and he'll be himself in no time.
    Don't get watching any films with training scenes like rocky or the kickboxing though or he might get carried away.
    Here's wishing him a speed recovery.

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  2. Poor Col has been through it but it fantastic to hear that day. Y day he's getting there a little x I feel like I need to build up my fitness too having been just round the house all week with him! Going back to work will knacker me out!!

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  3. Cardio excercise eg walking is okay for respiratory fitness but really he needs to build muscle mass. Muscle mass helps increase testosrerone which protects the heart and all sorts of things. There are loads of instructional videos on you tube. Google light weight work out or similar. You can often pick up weights at garage sales but if not a couple of soup cans can be a good starting point. Best wishes to you both on your fitness journey.

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  4. Hi Sue, I have a friend that was refered to a gym by the GP, as she is over weight. I am wondering if you called up and spoke to the practice nurse if this is something they can do? They maybe would be able to help with the running machines to walk on and be in the dry through the winter. And a small amount of resistance training? Worth asking.

    Hope you both feel better soon.

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  5. Good to hear that Col is getting on the road back to fitness. I hope it all goes well for him....and for you too-x-

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  6. Great News that Col is feeling a little better. Long may the road to recovery continue.

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  7. I'm glad that Col is feeling so much better.

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  8. I think accompanying Col on his walks is the right way to go. The thing is to take it easy and enjoy your strolls.

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  9. Walking is wonderful exercise. Good for Col adding a bit to his walks.

    God bless.

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  10. Do you have any light hand weights? Simple upper body training ideas are easily found on the internet. Low weight with increasing reps as possible is a way to go.

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  11. I have not returned to previous fitness levels after cancer/surgery in 2009, despite physio and exercise programs. The most important thing is to keep working at it and not fall into the sea of despond. Do things to keep mind and spirits working, too.

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  12. Baby steps. As Mum was recovering from her cancer it took her a long while to get close to where she was before. For a 79 year old she was really healthy, walking every day - it was a job to keep up with her sometimes! When she was feeling up to it she started walking again, a little bit at a time. A year and a bit later she's out and about again - really good for an 80 year old!

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  13. I don't usually comment, but please don't just dismiss the hospital gym, give it a try at least. I had a very sudden and severe heart attack last year and dreaded the physio sessions as I was so weak afterwards but the hospital physics were great. They really made the sessions fun, and helped me to build up my strength very slowly so that a year later I can happily walk our dog for several miles with no ill effects.
    Please excuse me if I'm speaking out of turn I know that Col's illness is very different to mine, but I found the hospital gym here excellent despite my initial reservations.
    Oh! And your new house looks lovely. Very best wishes to both of you. Lesley

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    1. My 79 year old father was referred to a hospital gym after very major surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm during which he nearly died. The hospital physios were fantastic so yes, I agree please don't dismiss the hospital gym

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  14. Just a reminder that walking up and down steps is also a good exercise. My sister really wasn't physically fit when she was selected to go to Nepal with the Peace Corps in 1962, but she discovered that walking up and down the steps--and eventually running up and down the steps--at her college football stadium really increased her stamina, helped her improve her swimming and to adjust to a higher altitude. She walks one hour every day (at age 74) and says she was never as fit as she was when she left for the Peace Corps (of course, being 22 helped a lot!).

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  15. I would agree with mikemax about the stairs. When a friend began to feel unfit she was advised by her doctor to use the stairs as much as she could. He said she was in danger of getting 'bungalow legs',
    I am so pleased to hear the really good news about Col and the positive results. I do hope that everything continues to go well for you both.

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    1. I'm with you on the bungalow thing. Just 7 months of living in this bungalow and I find when I have to go up stairs it seems to be really hard work

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  16. Totally agree with Sharon, baby steps. Col's been through so much, but it sounds like he's getting there. Every little walk helps. :O) x

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  17. Glad to hear Col is feeling up to going for walks with you...let's hope we have beautiful weather to aid his recovery. x

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  18. Col seems to be doing well. I don't think you can beat walking. I only went to cardio rehab once. Hated it, mainly because I took umbridge at young whippersnappers who were no more than 12 telling me what to do haha. I wasn't in a good place though as I don't usually have a problem with people's age. xx

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