I love my swimming too, but have waited quite a while to get back to it. I’m on Palbociclib and my neutrophils kept crashing so it was a definite no no from my Onco for swimming pools. The sea was ok, so long as I was sensible re contact infections, but of course there is the cold and chills to contend with. It has taken two years to get me stabilised but I have joined a good gym and now do aqua aerobics 2 x per week for my lymphodaema , as well as a couple exercise classes, and TaiChi. My skin survived rads ok, although I was burnt through to my back, and after 25 sessions I was quite fatigued. My team advised taking things slowly until the skin recovered as it is very thin, and the last thing you want, or need, is an infection through a scratch or cut.
You should check with your Onco , and also your rads team to be safe. Hope you get swimming soon. Good luck with the rest of your treatment. X
I went on holiday recently 5 weeks after surgery. My BC nurse said that even if the scars on the skin had healed, they might not be healed inside, so going into a swimming pool was not advisable. I did heed their advice but it was torture not being able to cool off in 30 degrees heat.
I am about to have RT treatment and will not venture into the water until that is well and truly over.
I have reconstruction in June, so I’m swimming with one side flat.
I love swimming, it’s been so helpful.
Had anxiety over people staring at me at the pool, however no one has bothered looking at me.
Started Radiotherapy today, radiologist said I could continue swimming, as long as I showered straight after.
I started to swim 6 weeks after my Mastectomy, I could not actually swim, so Iv been taking lessons, which have been great.
Swimming has helped my healing and reduce my slight lymphodema. There have been studies to suggest swimming is one of the best exercises post surgery and in the recovery of Cancer.
Hi, not sure how successful the sew in pocket would be in the costume. I’ve bought some swim shorts to wear over my mastectomy swimming costume. Given up worrying what I look like! Short sighted of Speedo though. X
Hi Flossie, I have just seen this post as I wanted to find out when I could venture back to the pool.
I have always had problems with swimsuits, being an F cup I have had to buy expensive 'cup size' suits. I am wondering if it would be possible to buy the 'pockets' that you can (apparently) sew into your bras and sew one into your Speedo suit? I am going to look into that, but won't be swimming for a good few weeks yet I think.
Hi there, I went swimming 5 weeks after lumpectomy and was fine - it felt great to get back into the water. As I wa son holiday it was only in a small hotel pool but with so few people in there, it was lovely. Go for it, but be cautious about overdoing it.
Regarding surfing in a wetsuit, I understand any exercise is good post treatment and I think a wetsuit compression could be good but recommend you speak to BCN or lymphoedema clinic nurse. Good luck
I am a very keen board surfer and after my lumpectomy over two years ago I was back surfing after about 4 weeks, protected in a 6 mm wetsuit. No problems with that. Soon I will have one sided mastectomy (same breast as where the lump was) and full node clearance and I am very concerned about my future surfing. Especially te side efferts of the nodes clearance and consequent risk of lymphodema. I heard swimming is good exercise to reduce lymphodema and wetsuit might put enough pressure on the arm to prevent swelling? Getting in and out of the wetsuit may be the hardest part. The surgeon says I will be back surfing within 4 to 6 months but can that be true?
I braved my first swim this week after a mastectomy in June. I really miss my Speedo swimming costume and they don’t do a costume with pockets. I emailed them and apparently it isn’t something they are interested in providing. A little short sighted I feel. I have bought a pocketed one but for serious swimmers the choice is very limited. However it was great to get back in the pool and finally begin to feel normal.
Thanks for all the replies. Unfortunately it was famous last words regarding making a good recovery. I subsequently developed a large haematoma, ironically not in the breast with the tumour (which has healed up really well), but in my other breast which was reduced as part of my surgery. I have had to have it drained on several occasions in the last few weeks and this has delayed my radiotherapy, plus with more punctures now on the other breast I feel like there is more of a risk of infection. Hopefully will get to the pool this weekend - just really keen to get back to some sort of normality, of which swimming is a key part for me.
I've just gone back to swimming after my treatment ended. My surgery was late December, so fully healed from that. I wasn't comfortable with the idea whilst on chemo, worried about infection with low immunity etc. Pretty much got in the pool after the end of radio as my skin was intact and I just felt the need to be doing something normal. It's been great xxx
Hi Swimmer, I have carried on swimming throughout treatment leaving approx 4 weeks after each op. I also swam throughout chemo in the good weeks although I was a bit wary about infection, oncologist said it was fine. I too am waiting to start radiotherapy and have been told providing the skin does not break down and is not sore it is fine to swim.
I agree its good exercise and also for de-stressing.
Good luck with your remaining treatment. xx
Thank you for replies. I have just come back from holiday in Norfolk - felt like torture being near the beach in such hot weather and not going in! I had left my costume at home deliberately - but then nearly bought one in a charity shop! However I did discuss this with my surgeon and BC nurse. They both said they thought that sea (salt) water is very good for healing wounds, but to wait a little while until things heal up more - so on my estimation maybe six weeks following my particular surgery. I have had no complications and everything is healing well, although I have had a lot of incisions as it was a breast reduction. I notice in the radiotherapy information I have it says you can go swimming during radiotherapy as long as the skin isn't broken and you wash any chlorine off immediately. I haven't started my radiotherapy yet. I think I will probably give the pool or beach a go in the next week or so, but appreciate will need to be careful with arm movements, cleanlinessm moisturing etc. It will be worth it!!
Sorry that you havent had a reply yet. You may find it helpful to talk this through with one of our speciliasts on the free Helpline, 0808 800 6000.
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Another possiblity could be to post in an area where this may have more meaning, Recoverirng from treatment.
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Are there any keen swimmers out there? I love indoor and outdoor swimming, not only for exercise but also it just makes me feel so much better. I had a therapeutic reduction, lump removal and SNB about three weeks ago. I am waiting for things to heal up before proceeding to radiotherapy. I am just wondering how soon people were able to get back in the water after/during treatment. The chlorine in pools is very drying to your skin I know, but I was wondering about the sea swimming. I am really missing it - if only for a float around!