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Physical Therapy after Breast Cancer

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
There is an ongoing thread on Pugski.com since October 1, by me, about how Breast Cancer Awareness month in the US is hitting home to me this year and how much more important it is this year in the time of COVID because so many people are putting off their usual wellness check ups.

I had my mammogram on September 9th, Biopsied on September 13 with an official diagnosis on September 15th.
My mom was diagnosed with her second bout of Breast Cancer on September 16th. Yes, the day after I was diagnosed.

I have met with a geneticist to determine if the family factor will influence my decisions beyond the current situation.
I have been advised that I am going to lose some upper body strength while I'm going through treatment.

Here is where this is ski related:
I had my surgery this morning, to lumps removed, thankfully not under the arm near lymph nodes
I am finding myself up at 1:30 AM because I slept and rested so much during the day of surgery that I'm wide away, but I'm thinking about the advice I've received from a few who have experienced this and wonder what kind of Physical Therapy or random excercises you've done to regain upper body strenth after breast cancer surgery.


I want to reinforce the thing that I posted there
I am not asking for sympathy. I am asking for you all to do two things

    If you're putting off your check ups for any reason including but not exclusive to COVID, don't! Get it done. I'm going to live because of early detection.
    If you have been through this, I'm very interseted in upper body strength and how you got ready for ski season
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@TriciaPug, sorry can’t help specifically. But have had to regain my strength after shoulder issues?

If found for the aqua therapy in combination with physio really helped me getting back my full range of movement.

I was finding swimming (using my daughters shark fin as I didn’t have sufficient strength / range of movement to swim unaided) helpful. This was put completely stopped due to Coronavirus restrictions closing all pools Sad.

My best of luck with your recovery!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Breast cancer surgery is beyond my range of experience (good luck though snowHead ), but I have damaged a shoulder in the past as well as losing strength generally when recovering from other injuries and not being able to get out as much.

I'll still leave you some suggestions, though if you can I'd try and see a physiotherapist too who will be able to give more specific recommendations. As above, swimming is a good one for a full body workout if you can access a pool right now. Grip a float between your knees or ankles to force you to into more arm work.

Climbing or bouldering (probably indoors if you've not done it before) – don't worry if you barely get off the ground the first couple of sessions, it does get easier!

Get a couple of resistance bands and use them at home every day. Also maybe some weights. The combination got my shoulder back to full health in a few months, though this is where professional assistance will definitely be an advantage, so I still say book a couple of sessions with a physiotherapist.
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@TriciaPug, I'm sorry to hear about your cancer - and your mother's returnng. How is she doing by BTW?

My wife went through a similar situation 3 years ago at about the same time of year. There was no problem with upper body strength or range of movement after surgery and she was able to reurn to climbing and gym work soon afterwards. The following chemo knocked her back a fair bit, as expected, but it was the radiotherapy that really took it's toll. All those Xrays near the lungs reduced their effectiveness and she was very week for months, struggling to walk uphill. Gradually the fitness returned.

So my advice is just continue wth your normal exercise routines as much as you can manage. You will get fitter. Be patient.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@NickyJ, Water therapy was my first thought, but like you I'm not sure where to go during this covid crazy time.

With a (possible)weakend immune system, I'm definitely not going to a gym or busy public place. Maybe I need to find a friend with a pool Very Happy


@Scarlet, Light weights, resistence bands, great. I know I have some around here collecting dust. I'll dig them out so they're ready when I'm cleared.

@johnE, I have not met with the oncologist yet. My surgeon says she's pretty confident that I won't need chemo, and may not need radiation. If that is the case the immune concerns are not significant.

I was under quarantine after my COVID test prior to surgery, and have been released to socialize cautiously,(emphasis on cautiously) which is how we've been living for some time.

My mom is scheduled for a mastectomy on Tuesday. She has been through this before on the other side. Outlook is good for her considering how she is going forward.
I live a couple thousand miles(roughly 3500 km) away from her, so you can imagine what's really killing her isn't the breast cancer, its the fact that she can't be near me while I'm going through it.
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Thank you all.
I met with my surgeon for a follow-up yesterday. Pathology says no invasive malignancy detected.
Surgeon is really happy about my progress just one week after surgery. I'm going to attempt to get out on a mild hike with hiking poles to start with upper body action, and go from there.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@TriciaPug, that's great news! Wishing you a steady progression back to your usual level of fitness. snowHead
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