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Exercise after surgery - any advice?

12 REPLIES 12
Teagold
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi @Sue Pat 

Great to hear from you, sounds like you’re doing brilliantly. Totally with you on the drain thing. I’m seeing my surgeon today but not hopeful that I’ll get them both removed as although one is slowing down the other is still producing a reasonable amount. I’m also anxious about possibly getting lymph node results today as I really really don’t want to have more surgery. Good luck for yours 🤞🤞 - I hope your results are clear.

Totally agree re arm exercises - they look so simple on the page but they have been quite challenging and I can feel that they are making a difference.

@Calendula - it’s a roller coaster for sure isn’t it? I’d be lucky if I’ve even done 600 steps these past few days so you’re doing really well. I’m hoping that my surgeon says ok to move around a bit more this weekend.

Tg xxx 

Sue Pat
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi everyone,

Thanks for asking after me @Teagold and So my SMX was last Friday, 1 week today, I'm feeling pretty good and desperate to get my drain out, it's driving me mad following me everywhere and interfering with my sleep. 

I've been doing the exercises given to me religiously and I must admit, although they hurt a bit when I start I feel better every time when I've finished. I went for a short walk on day 2, a bit longer on day 3 and a normal length walk on day 4. I must admit I've been a bit lazy since then and now the weather's gone off. 

I've been on Paracetamol since the op so pain isn't too bad at all, mostly trying to get in and out of bed causes me to wince a bit. I tire easily and tend to need a sleep in the afternoon but really it's all much better than I expected. 

I possibly get the results from my lymph node biopsy today, I'm trying to keep positive about that, fingers crossed.

Sue xx

 

Calendula
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

@Teagold Up and down, you know how it is 😐 I am determined to walk each day, even if it's relatively pathetic. 6,489 gentle steps today in the sun, and wearing a sports bra over my surgery-friendly front loader really helped prevent jiggle. Weary now though. Trying very hard to keep up with shoulder/arm exercises too and it's not too bad. 

 

Teagold
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi everyone,

@Calendula - how are you feeling? You’re ahead of me, I haven’t made it out of the house for a walk yet and like you said, can’t believe I was running and exercising only last week! For now, the closest I’m getting to any kind of exercise is watching Olympics on the tv 😂.

But although I’ve been pretty lazy, I don’t feel too bad at all, I’m just following doctor’s orders to take it very easy for the first week and hoping I get cleared to do a bit more soon as I feel that being a bit more active would really help me - more fresh air, get my old bones moving etc. @scientistamafier I’m super impressed at you doing a race for life a month after your surgery 👏 - that’s inspired me. 

Thanks @Bernard_BCN for the website recommendation, I hadn’t heard of them before and it’s got some good stuff there. @cath20 thanks also for the BAPS app link - I’ve downloaded it, really helpful. I’ve been keeping up with exercises and finding it ok so far.

I’m six days post-op and doing ok. Drains on both sides are a bit uncomfortable and limiting, feel a bit like a puppet on strings! But pain has been very manageable, in fact wouldn’t even say it’s pain, just feel a bit stiff and sore. Mainly just tired, and hard to get comfy at night but I’m sure that will be better once the drains are out.

@Sue Pat how did you get on? Would love to hear how you are.

Tg xxx

 

Calendula
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi @Teagold 

Hope you are feeling ok. I came on here wanting to ask the same kind of questions and so the answers have been really useful.  Now 2 days post-lumpectomy and surprised by how painful it all is and how weak and watery I feel. Can't believe I was running on Sunday. Went out for a gentle walk yesterday, but was surprised to find that even doing that produced uncomfortable amounts of 'jiggling'.  I have read that wearing two bras can help so doing that for my walk today! It's so important to keep moving.

@cath20 The BAPS  ( ha ha, baps! 🙂) app is really good, thanks for posting that. The exercises really do help and the reminders are useful. 

cath20
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi @Teagold 

Really hope you are recovering well after surgery. I'm sure you've already started your gentle movement exercises by now. But I just wanted to mention the BAPS Wales app which might be useful in the coming days and weeks. https://cavuhb.nhs.wales/our-services/breast-centre/baps-app/

My breast clinic recommended it. It was designed by physiotherapists, a breast cancer surgeon and some breast cancer survivors. It includes a programme of exercises which you do week by week and you can track your progress on the app. I found it particularly useful as there are videos of people demonstrating the exercises. Better for me than the still images in the handout the hospital gave me. I also liked having it on my phone - that way the exercises were in my pocket wherever I went. 

Best wishes, 

Catherine

 

Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

@Teagold and @Sue Pat - I hope your operations went well and my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Let us know how you are when you feel up to it. Hugs, Evie xx

scientistamafier
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

I had a single sided mastectomy last August. I remember that a few days afterwards I went with my family for a walk in a country park. I probably walked for about twenty minutes when I decided I needed to find a seat for a rest while they went for a longer walk.

I tried to keep myself moving throughout the day, dancing along to the radio for example. I found this helped me relax my posture instead of walking around all hunched up. I found  I could do a bit more each week. About a month after my operation I shuffled around the streets for the 5km Race for Life. I also went back to my weekly Morris dancing practice (via Zoom).

 

Best of luck for the operation.

Bernard_BCN
Community Manager

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi @Teagold, have you heard of We Are Undefeatable? It's a campaign that a number of charities, including Breast Cancer Now, are supporting. Here is their site: https://weareundefeatable.co.uk/

They have a lot of simple exercises that people can do, and none of them are strenuous or require complicated equipment. Check out their videos too - they're really inspiring:

https://weareundefeatable.co.uk/our-stories

 

We're sending you our warmest thoughts ahead of Friday!

Bernard x

Teagold
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Evie, Sue - thank you both so much for your replies. Evie it was great to hear that you were hiking just a few months after surgery, hearing that makes me feel better and hopefully I can get out for some long walks soon after the op. Sue, you’re so right about how important it is to stick with it - I haven’t been given any info about exercises yet but I’ve looked them up online. It’s odd to think that these movements I take for granted at the moment will be challenging in a few days’ time but if they make a difference then I’ll do whatever is recommended. Great idea to stick them up somewhere prominent. Good luck for Friday too, I really hope all goes smoothly. I had my pre-op tests yesterday so now just 🤞 that all comes back ok.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my post, this forum is so helpful and supportive and makes all the difference.

Tg xxx 

Sue Pat
Member

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi Teagold,

I'm also scheduled for surgery this Friday, single mastectomy. I got a large sheet with the exercises on it so I've taped it on my wall in my craft/computer room, where I spend a lot of my time. My thoughts were if it's staring at me it will prompt me to do the exercises whenever I pass it because I'm terrible for forgetting. Fingers crossed these simple exercises will do the trick and then I can get on with rebuilding my life and wardrobe.

I broke my leg 13 years ago and was given exercises for my ankle I know these simple movements work if you keep at it.

Good luck for Friday xx

Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi Teagold - I too had chemo first followed by a single mastectomy and implant, mine was about 4 years ago so I’m trying to remember back about how long it all took.

You are right that you will be given arm exercises and do try to do them every day as you are told - little and often is best so that they don’t become a chore. It is the weirdest feeling just as you are recovering from chemo that you feel like you have gone backwards after surgery - but remember you will get through that too, take each day at a time and listen to your body. Make sure you have lots of front opening shirts etc as I really struggled to get anything over my head, and it made me really frustrated. But again this is relatively short lived, everyone is different though.

My fitness sounds very similar to yours. I built up slowly with short walks, to longer ones then back to running. But I would suggest speaking to your medical team for guidance about when would be best to start doing exercise. My team were very pro exercise. I had my op early May and by early August I was walking around the Peak District if that gives you an idea. In my head I’m thinking I was back to normal by then but in reality I probably was still careful!

I really wish you all the best for your operation and recovery. Evie xx

Teagold
Member

Exercise after surgery - any advice?

Hi ladies,

My double mx is scheduled for this Friday, I’m getting quite twitchy now though also keen to just get on with it.

One thing that’s been on my mind a lot is exercise after surgery. Since finishing chemo I’ve been trying to rebuild some fitness - long walks, a few short runs, yoga. I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s great to feel more energetic after feeling so wiped during chemo. But I’m really aware that I’ll probably have to stop all this for several weeks after my surgery - except for walking, I assume.

If anyone has any stories to share of what they were able to do, and how soon, after surgery that would be really helpful. I’m certainly not a super fit marathon runner or anything like that!! More of a “very-slow-shuffler-round-the-park” type, but I find it so helpful to keep moving even just a little bit.

I know I’ll have some arm/shoulder exercises to do post surgery too of course, I’m trying to get my head around the fact that I won’t even be able to lift my arms above my head for a while. All feels so strange.

Thanks for reading.

Tg xxx