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Topic: Crossfit during/after treatment

Forum: Fitness and Getting Back in Shape — Conversations about exercise, diet, and getting back in shape after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Nov 20, 2015 08:58PM

JaneSheridan wrote:

Hi - does anyone want to share crossfit experiences during or after treatment?

Dx 3/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 8, 2015 02:43PM - edited Dec 8, 2015 02:45PM by Marg64

Here's my tentative post bmx/diep/pleurisy home WOD

1) 2 push ups (mod as needed)

2) 5 bicep curls each side

3) 70 jumps OR jog 1000 paces OR row 5 minutes

4) 5 deadlifts, to 20 pounds max.

All not for time.

That's not Fran by any means but hey, it's a start.

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Dec 8, 2015 11:27PM coraleliz wrote:

Marg- Here's what I remember. While I had my drains in following my BMX without recon(1 week), i was barely able to lift my arms. Pressing the buttons on the microwave was difficult. Jumping or jogging was not possible for me during that time. After the drains came out, I was able to run. I was able to do biceps curls soon there after. I was doing pushups by one month. Swimming really help me get my mobility back. I started swimming at about 2weeks. I've experimented with crossfit & like it. I don't go to a crossfit specific gym because I want to be able to swim. Although I do know people with more than 1 gym membership. Hope you recovery goes well & you return to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Feb 20, 2016 10:43AM molliefish wrote:

I have just started back to crossfit after a 9 month break to deal with the surgery and chemo. I had mild swelling in the armpit and cording after surgery that I took physio for and then chemo really did a number on my legs and muscle endurance. I feel great to be back at it but after only 2 wod I have swelling in the armpit. Slow and steady I think will win this race. I will incorporate my physio tips into my wod too. Good wishes all.
Dx 5/24/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/8/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/14/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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May 6, 2016 09:28PM Basia wrote:

Hi! I was doing CF before my first time around with BC and I was able to get back to it about 3 months after chemo stopped. The second time around though, it took me over a year to get back into it. Surgery, chemo, radiation, more surgery, just couldn't find the energy for it. Now I am back at it and love it. I shouldn't have waited as long as I did, mentally I needed it back in my life much sooner.


Dx 8/2/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 9/5/2010 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Targeted Therapy 10/12/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/12/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/18/2014 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 5/19/2014, IDC, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 6/8/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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May 22, 2016 02:22PM molliefish wrote:

After a couple of false starts I got a Crossfit trainer I know to create a series of wod for me and I've been making good gains this last 4 week. Pretty happy to be back at it.

Dx 5/24/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/8/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/14/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Jul 18, 2016 11:55AM josieg wrote:

So happy to see this thread! I've only just started crossfit - did onramp in April and have been taking it slowly since then. Just had lumpectomy and SNB on Thursday and looking forward to getting back into it once I get the all clear. Owner of the CF has been so super supportive and asking what he can do to help. There's an amazing 63 yr old woman from this CF who is competing at the crossfit games this week and I plan to be watching online! She is so super inspirational - I got to see her do her first muscle up the other week! I start a new job (although might delay it) and radiation in August so I'm worried that I may not get the CF in but will be definitely making it a priority.

Dx 6/30/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/28/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 31, 2016 03:17PM kscinsocal wrote:

Great thread. I do Orangetheory Fitness (OTF), not Crossfit. OTF is a chain. The workouts are just under an hour and involve alternating between HIIT on a treadmill, sometimes rower, and free weights, floor work and TRX. You wear a heart rate monitor so you can monitor what heart rate zone you are in. I started chemo on May 11, 2016, and have been able to continue working out. Initially I was going 3 x per week on the weeks I had treatment and 4 x on non-treatment weeks. Treatment is every three weeks. With my last cycle, cycle 4, I was able to do 4 workouts the week I had treatment. What I notice the most is how easily my heart rate is elevated. Before chemo I had to run swiftly for a bit to get my heart rate over 85%, now a slow jog for a few minutes will do it. I also had to move to lighter weights and need breaks when lifting. Even with the decreased performance, I am thankful that I have been able to work out during chemo.

I even gained a few pounds of muscle since starting chemo. I did begin to eat about 150 to 200 calories a day more and eat a lot more protein. If you are going to work out through chemo, I would definitely recommend the increased protein, I think it has really made the difference for me.

I think the exercise has really helped keep my side effects to a minimum. I get tired if I do too much, but I haven't been fatigued (fingers crossed that this continues).

Dx. 4/2016, IDC, Right x 2, 4.5 cm and 2 cm., Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2 nodes, ER+, PR+, HER2-, Chemotherapy: 5/11/16- 6 cycles Cytoxan and Taxotere to end 8/24/2016, Surgery: October, 2016 to be followed by Radiation and Hormonal Therapy
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Jul 31, 2016 10:09PM molliefish wrote:

I've almost finished month three. Feeling really good, lost most of my menopause induced belly, and I'm feeling stronger and have more energy. It's great to be back at it.


Dx 5/24/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/8/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/14/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Oct 5, 2016 01:17PM FitDuringChemo wrote:

I started 5 months of chemotherapy (2 months of AC and 3 of Taxol) in June, 2016. I only have 3 weeks/chemo sessions left and I am happy to report that I did not let up with my Crossfit workouts, running, nor volleyball playing/hiking/softball/etc. during any of these 5 months. Before my diagnosis, I had already been going to my local Crossfit for 3 years and was in pretty great shape. Once I was diagnosed, I mentally prepared for the worst; thinking that I wouldn't be able to continue working out and would slowly lose all that I had worked so hard for. But the morning after my first AC chemo infusion, I got up and ran my normal 5 mile, hilly trail run near my house. Then the next day, I went to Crossfit and worked out just like I had done before... doing RX workouts (lifting heavy weights), jump roping, climbing ropes, doing burpees... and still finishing near the top of my class. Then week after week, infusion after infusion, I just kept going! I consider myself in the fortunate 20% (so says my doctor) of chemo patients who do not get many serious side effects from it. My last chemo is scheduled for Oct. 20. On November 13th, I will run a half marathon with a group of friends. To be truthful, my pace is much slower than normal- but hey... I'm out there doing it and so happy and grateful that I still can!!! I've posted much more info about my journey at cancerjensway.blogspot.com

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Nov 6, 2016 10:35PM Miko wrote:

Crossfit is wonderful. I have a trainer who has helped me for about 6 months pre-diagnosis. He is great and helps this senior citizen ( goodness gracious I am 66 this year). Will have my lumpectomy on 11/17 and followedby radiation. He is prepping me for the surgery building upper body. And he is planning to help me get back post surgery. Want to recover asap and not loose any ROM. ☺️

Dx 10/19/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/16/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2017 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 1/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 7, 2016 07:18AM - edited Nov 7, 2016 07:19AM by Claire_in_Seattle

I too had minimal side effects from chemo and exercised throughout. Admit I dragged a lot of days and much slower than normal. I will also say that I recovered a lot more quickly than most patients. I did a cycling event during Taxol (shorter route and walked a lot of hills), and then two 45-mile events just following radiation. Again, I was slower than normal. (I am NOT fast at either cycling or running.)

7 years later, I remain fit and sculpted.

Exercise is good for every single thing you can imagine. This was underscored recently at a survivorship conference I recently attended at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Not just a quality of life benefit, but also a survival benefit. And for diseases other than cancer, as cancer patients are also much more likely to die from heart disease.

Good luck Miko!!! You will do just fine. And do let us know how you do in the half marathon, FitDuringChemo!!! BTW, you should expect radiation to be a breeze after chemo. And yes, you should expect to be able to run throughout.

One thing I will mention is that all the exercise potions are your friend. I don't use nearly as many now that I am 7 years out. But I did use a lot of GU Gel and ibuprofen to do the events and training. So don't worry if you need to slug down a few. The important thing is that you are out there. - Claire

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
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Nov 7, 2016 09:53PM Miko wrote:

tyty Claire for the kind words. I exercise is the best therapy for mind and body

HUGGZ

Dx 10/19/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/16/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2017 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 1/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 7, 2016 09:55PM Miko wrote:

I forgot the most important thing is friends I have made on this site

Dx 10/19/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/16/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2017 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 1/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 25, 2016 02:51PM JaneSheridan wrote:

Hi - I'm glad this thread got some traction and sorry I haven't posted in a while. I just had my exchange surgery and started crossfit again. I'd love to hear anyone's feedback about pull-ups and push ups (assuming mastectomy with implants)...hope you all had a reasonably good thanksgiving. Best, J-S


Dx 3/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 27, 2016 09:30AM rj27 wrote:

I haven't done Cross Fit but I do a lot of power yoga. i often feel sore in the rib area around the reconstructed breasts. Fortunately i have not had any issues with range of motion. i wear a supportive sports bra for yoga and running. It took me several months to get my stamina back post-treatment, and also my balance

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Jun 7, 2018 06:09AM SofiaPO wrote:

I’m newly diagnosed and about to start 18 weeks of TCHP next week and getting a power port put in my chest. I’ve been Crossfitting for 10 years and now I’m really worried that between the fatigue and the port in my chest that I won’t be able to keep any kind of training going. What has this group done to modify CF workouts because of the port? I can deal with modifications for fatigue but without the port, any lift where the bar rests in front rack near claviclesnow seems off limits....

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Sep 4, 2018 11:16AM NashS wrote:

Hi Sofia!

I was recently diagnosed too (mid july). Before that I was weight lifting 6 times a week, and since the news haven't been able to workout. The primery reason is because when I found out, my brain wasn't really focused on it (was actually very stressed about being athletic and taking care of my health my entire life, to have CANCER). Then came surgery, and now I am about to face the boogie man a.k.a chemo. Going through the web I found several individuals who had participated and completed the Ironman competition while undergoing chemo. Then I said: I have to go back to the gym!!!! I also have a port, not really sure if I'll be able to do pushups with it, but i'll try to diversify my routines.

Hope you're doing wll!!!

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Sep 4, 2018 03:01PM Moderators wrote:

Hi NashS, and welcome to our community. We're really happy to hear that you feel the energy to return to the gym! And indeed, you'll see on our boards a lot of people get back to exercise, albeit often in a different way during treatment. Important is to keep moving, even if it's a short walk!

Here are some research news pieces you may find interesting:

Exercise Boosts Health of Breast Cancer Survivors

Exercise Boosts Cognition, Helps Ease Chemo Brain

Exercise Helps Ease Fatigue, Chemo Brain

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Sep 4, 2018 03:50PM AllyBee wrote:

Hi Sofia & Nash,

I'm glad this board is active again. I only took up cross fit last September after I had finished my first lot of breast cancer treatment (lumpectomy, chemo and radiation). I've recently been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer with 1 brain tumor and 1 lymph node and have continued going to crossfit. I had to have 6 weeks off after the crainiotomy but have been given full clearance to do whatever I want physically now. I'm in the middle of chemo and while I don't feel as fit as before I still complete the WOD every second day. I do find my heart rate goes up pretty quickly and i'm probably a bit slower but it feels good to be active again.

I had a port put in about 4 weeks ago and specifically asked the surgeon if I was allowed to lift, do burpees, etc. He said I can do whatever I want but it may just be uncomfortable. I haven't had to modify much, but i'm not doing a lot of lifting at the moment and I do inverted pullups on the rings instead of hanging from a bar. I find my shoulder on the side with the port is very stiff, I had issues with it before but it seems worse now. I do pushups without any issues.

During my first round of treatment everyone just told me to take it easy but I really wish I had of kept active, I think it helps with the side effects and mental health. Of course take advice from your own medical team about your specific situation.

If i'm struggling mentally during a workout I try to imagine my cancer cells dying :P


Dx 11/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, metastasized to brain/other, Grade 3, 2/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/21/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Dx 6/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/other, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/3/2018 Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Oct 10, 2018 07:35PM Candygirl96 wrote:

wow @allybee... you rock!!! I am doing lifting 3x/week and Crossfit the other days. I just started lifting a few weeks ago more so for asthetics burn it has also helped me with my WOdS. I am struggling with my diet though bc I’ve been doing high protein ith reduced fat and carbs for those 12 week fat loss cut and I am loving the results but concerned about all of the animal protein now. What sort of nutrition is everyone doing now

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Oct 10, 2018 09:38PM AllyBee wrote:

Holy moly candygirl sounds like you're killing it. I'm struggling a bit with my heart rate during wods, Im hoping it's just related to low blood counts. Maybe I should focus on lifting and slow the pace down a little.

No advice on diet, it's my biggest weakness. I eat a lot of protein and my husband is bbq obsessed. I worry that I eat too much red meat but still can't manage to get my nutrition on track. Carbs = life for me SillyHeart

Dx 11/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, metastasized to brain/other, Grade 3, 2/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/21/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Dx 6/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/other, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/3/2018 Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Mar 10, 2019 09:40PM ParakeetsRule wrote:

Anybody still around? I started Crossfit for the first time in late December, a year after completing all my cancer treatment and about 9 months after developing lymphedema, but it's going well so far and I really like it a lot!

Dx at 36 after several years of being told it was nothing. Lymph node biopsy was also positive. Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/15/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/13/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Mar 11, 2019 02:41AM AllyBee wrote:

I'm still around Smile I've left my crossfit gym but only for financial reasons. I miss it so much but still doing cross fit workouts on my own for now. Doing a few spin and pump classes as well

Dx 11/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, metastasized to brain/other, Grade 3, 2/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/21/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Dx 6/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/other, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/3/2018 Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Mar 11, 2019 06:11AM santabarbarian wrote:

Read a great, encouraging study re working lrge muscles and how when the blood circulates through large muscles during exercise, any stray cancer cells are literally crushed by this. That's why exercise correlates with lower rates of recurrence. Crush that cancer and get ripped at the same time! Hows that for motivation??

I don't do crossfit but I am a hiker/tennis player and cant wait to get back to my normal routine when finally done w treatment. Just finishing rads now.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 20, 2019 01:56PM 2002chickadee wrote:

Parakeetsrule, do you have any tips on how you got into strength training? I was a weightlifter (but not crossfitter) before BC, and since I'm still in physical therapy for my shoulder and have significant tightness in arm and chest post-radiation, I'm not ready to get back to it yet. But I want to dream! Would love to hear about how people on-ramped back slowly after treatment.

DX'ed at age 41 on my first mammogram Dx 1/11/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/5/2018 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 3/23/2018 CMF Dx 9/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/3/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall

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