swimming whilst having chemo

Hi to you all,
Just wanted to pick your brains with regards to swimming whilst having chemo.Had my op 8 weeks ago and 1st lot of chemo 10 days ago. I am desperate to take up swimming again as it was 1 form of exercise i really enjoyed. Is there any do’s or don’ts that I should be aware of such as skincare before or after swimming. Also will the chlourine in the water affect my skin? Feel a bit silly asking but I’m sure that someone out there will be able to help. Thank you
Kerry xx

I am a regular swimmer, and like you was desperate to get into the pool again. But my onc very strongly advised against swimming during chemo. I think this is due to the dangers of picking up infections. So I took his advice and stayed clear of the pool. When I started rads the nurses said I could swim until my skin got too sore, but to be very careful with skincare, and wash gently as soon as I got out of the pool. So I was back in the pool. And as my skin never got too sore, I continued to swim and didn’t have to give up again.

I also was advised not to go swimming whilst having chemo for the same reason as Roadrunner ie risk of infection and there is no way I want to have my chemo delayed because of infection and so am doing as I am told!

I was also told not to go anywhere near it because of the risk of inection, you know what it’s like with ear infections etc even though they use chlorine. I hope to get back asap when it’s over though

Hi Kerry

  • I ignored advice to not do pools etc and went to a health spa on my birthday - and ended up with 10 days of antibiotics for a very nasty eye infection… so I’d say don’t go!! My onc said it would be ok to swim in the sea during my holiday, but as the temp felt like sub zero in Wales this week, I didn’t do that either!!

Also, I have found it SO difficult to do anything at all most of the time after the 3rd lost of chemo that I couldn’t have swum anyway, unlike roadrunner with her magnificent levels of fitness!!!

Td x

It’s not worth it right now there are just too many bacteria that can survive in pools and chlorine doesn’t kill all of them. Sorry. I know how you feel though, I’m 12 weeks into my chemo and would love to get back in the water but it’s just not worth it. 1 quick dip and a week in isolation… nope, not worth the risk.

The sea is different though.

I asked about this as well and was encouraged to go for it by the oncology nurses. I haven’t been swimming as much as I normally would, but I have been and felt better for it, and feel even better after swimming in the sea. I’m having neo-adjuvant treatment though, so maybe not having had surgery yet would make a difference?

The oncology nurse said not to go swimming, but my oncologist said that I could ! Talk about conflicting advice!
So I have had a 2 week chemo break recently and went swimming properly i.e head in the water, but during the chemo when I felt well enough I just swam with my head above the water.
It feels so good. I cannot walk very far, and I am not up to cycling, but maybe in the future.

Hello everyone.
Thanks for the advice i knew you’d come up trumps. It seems by going with the majority then that swimming is a definite no no. I don’t fancy being holed up any longer by contacting infections unneccasserily. Just fetched the mountain bike out of the garage for when and if I’m feeling energetic. Thanks again
Kerry xx