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How can i Exercise with spinal bone mets from BC

lmdws Member Posts: 11
edited February 24 in Working on Your Fitness

I am trying hard to work back into being mobile after my bc spread to my bones this past summer. I spent over a month in the hospital bed ridden, had a total left hip replacement in September and an 8mm kidney stone in December. My spine was broken at the c1, t5, and l2,3,4&5. I have a kyphoplasty in my l3 and l5 so walking is very difficult for me. I have manged to start walking again but need a cane to do so outside of my home. I have also gained about 15lbs from all the steroids, and hormone treatment they have me on. I am only 5 foot 1 and have a very petite bone frame. My heart and body can not handle the extra weight and it is causing me other physical issues. I am on a strict diet of 1600 calories a day, I do not eat any processed foods, and no refined sugar. I bake all of my food from scratch and even make my own bread. I have a 2 year old daughter who needs her mommy so I'm very dedicated but making no progress with my weight. Does anyone have any suggestions on exercise or other recommendations on what I could do to strengthen my muscles, bones,and get rid of the extra weight, as i hoping to be strong enough to do my garden and green house this summer.


  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363

    I would try the pool, even just walking the lane.

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 588

    I've had a similar to safely exercise, including strength training, when cancer affects the spinal bones. So far the safest approach I've found is exercising in water - walking and using the various types of water equipment. There are many YouTube videos on water workouts. I bought Speedo resistance gloves that I use when water walking, or I use the equipment available at the pool where I go. Water shoes are useful too. Working out in the water is easier than working out on land, but the resistance provided by the water still makes the work out effective. You might also ask for a referral to PT for generalized conditioning for the secondary effects of cancer and cancer treatments like fatigue. I recently learned that some PT practitioners specialize in this area.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 551

    lmdws, Steroids can save your life but really damage your body with the weight gain, bone loss and high sugar. I second meow's and wen's suggestion of pool walking. There are special life vests designed to let you walk in the deep end. First I would ask a doctor (your PCP or whomever prescribed the steroids which have caused the side effects) to refer you to a physical therapist experienced in working with with patients with fragile bones. They can figure out what muscles need to be stretched and strengthened to help support your body in a slow gentle way that won't cause more harm than good. Once I knew what to do I only had to go once a month to check on my progress and alter exercises. I was told to keep using a cane for stability to prevent a fall even when I felt I could do without it. Some places even have access to a therapy pool (not my hospital but mom got to use one when recovering from joint replacements and fractures due to osteoporosis.)

    You could also ask for a referral to a dietician who can help design a plan with the side effects of your meds in mind. From experience I knew that my body responds to a keto diet. My endocrinologist thinks it's terrible since it can start to damage the thyroid after two months. She was OK with me doing it six weeks at a time with twelve week breaks since it really helps your health and bones to shed the extra pounds. My sister lost weight before hip/knee replacements on a plant based diet and I have friends who have had success with gluten free, dairy free and other strategies. What works for weight loss seems to be so individualized. The downside was having to cook two slightly different meals to feed the rest of the family but I adapted.

    It takes time but in eight months I have lost 14 lbs and got to where I could go for a sedate three mile walk on a flat paved surface. Currently I've had a bit of a setback (I have an mri on my knee tomorrow) but I've kept up the upper body exercises and haven't gained any weight.

    I hope you can figure out a strategy that works. Being able to do what you love and need to is just as important as keeping disease at bay.

  • lmdws
    lmdws Member Posts: 11

    Thank you for the suggestions, unfortunately I live in a small community therefore I do not have access to a pool or therapists who specialize in these areas. The nearest city is 2 hours away and with a toddler I and no income i am unable to travel for those things. We do have a swimming pool we use in the summers at my father's so until the summer I will have to be creative. Not having access to a lot of resources is another reason why this has been so difficult for our family. Every one here has been so supportive and helpful, thanks ever so much!!!

  • mkestrel
    mkestrel Member Posts: 112

    Hi, lmdws. I have mets to spine and rib, fusion T4 to T8 and the tumor caused permanent spinal cord injury. I get muscle cramps with twisting moves, trouble walking. Im allergic to the pool chemicals and the gym pool is full of germs. Anyway, I have similar issues and need to control weight too. I can walk with the stick carefully. I've found I get more of a workout going up and down stairs if you can do that. I can do some pilates type exercises low impact strengthening. I do HIIT type exercises but very modified. You do something like squats for 30 seconds, rest, do again three times. I can ride my bike, risky but I don't care. I have an indoor bike too. I Try to eat small portions, no stress snacks. I'm trying to find other things but as I'm sure you know, energy is a thing we have to pace. I think any attempt to keep moving is helpful for us.

  • lmdws
    lmdws Member Posts: 11

    thank you that is very helpful, I have not been brave enough to try a bike yet, I have been sitting on a yoga ball which is not to bad. I do not have stairs in my house but I do have places I can go that do have them. I find my hips ach after doing the stairs, I am assuming that is from lack of muscle maybe? The HIIT exercises sound like something i could definitely try.

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 588


    Sometimes hotel/motels with pools in small/med towns will open their pools to the wider public especially during the day. I assume there's a small charge based on time used. If you don't find one, you could ask if the business would consider doing this. The motels I've found that do this do so for the extra income and as a community service.