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Topic: Pull ups?

Forum: Working on Your Fitness —

Conversations about exercise, diet, and getting back in shape after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: May 18, 2019 06:40PM

edj3 wrote:

Hi all,

I'm hoping to return to my normal until May 6 fitness routines, including weights and pull ups. I wondered if any of you have been able to return to those kinds of workouts after having a sentinel node removed? I sure don't want lymphedema but I also don't want to stop doing those kinds of workouts.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 18, 2019 07:41PM Moderators wrote:

Hi edj3,

You're sure to receive some helpful responses soon, but we wanted to share with you the main Breastcancer.org site's section on Exercise, which offers some good information on exercises that are safe after treatment. Also, there's good info on the page Lymphedema and Exercise that you may find helpful!

We hope this helps!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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May 18, 2019 07:48PM Ingerp wrote:

It’s funny—besides lifting heavy things, which was a short-term restriction, the last thing I was allowed to add back in was yoga, because you do so much opening up through the underarm. Your BS will let you know when you’ve healed enough to resume your routine—it probably won’t be too long. (FWIW—I’ve had cording pop up several times since rads, including a year later, and it always seemed to happen after I’d increased my weightlifting. It always goes away on its own—you just have to be patient.)

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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May 29, 2019 10:45PM Darnit_DDD wrote:

I had a BMX with no reconstruction/sentinel node removal on March 6th, and was walking right away, returning to the gym about 10 days after the surgery. The early gym work was mostly core and lower body, along with slow measured stretching of the arms/upper body under the supervision of a personal trainer.

We started with light weights doing tris and bis, but were surprised how quickly I was able to integrate chest flys, bench press, lats etc. I didn’t attempt pull ups until about week 10, and used a machine with counterweights so really not pulling that much weight... I’m sure in time that will improve.

I did 30 minutes of yoga at week 9, but now ready for an hour class of slow flow and feel confident with high planks and down dog.

I bet you will do well and you’ll be back to all the workout routines you enjoyed before in no time

Dx 2/6/2019, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/6/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 3/6/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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May 30, 2019 09:17AM SummerAngel wrote:

I've been lifting weights my entire adult life. After my BMX I resumed training after a few weeks with very light weights and gradually increased. I'm back to my usual routine with the exception of push ups. Push ups did bad things to my implants so I gave them up.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 3/27/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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May 30, 2019 09:35AM edj3 wrote:

Thanks, you guys. I have a history of not paying attention to pain signals (broke my pelvis last year from overtraining) so I'm trying my damndest not to do that ever again.

You all give me hope SillyHeart

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 26, 2019 04:28PM arizonaboundgal wrote:

Edj3, you asked the question I was just going to ask! And thanks to all who have responded. You all give me hope as well. I've lived a very active lifestyle and want to continue doing the things that make me feel strong and healthy. The thought of having to change things up really scares me. I'm not afraid of temporary setbacks; I had a knee replacement several years ago and it took me a long time to regain my fitness which I know will help me going into this operation. Hope in time, I can rebuild these guns of mine, continue my road cycling and hiit training. It's really stupid, but I'm in tears right now because I should be grateful to have my life. Instead, I'm worried about not being able to do a push up ever again. It seems so shallow...so not me...but I don't want my life to change. I want to go back to being the person I was. But I can't. And this makes me very sad.


Enjoy every sandwich--Warren Zevon
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Aug 14, 2019 11:04AM bcbarbie10 wrote:

i started my crossfit journey after mastectomy and lymph node dissection. As you can see, I had 20 nodes out

Surgery 3/8/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 3/9/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 4/26/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/25/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 1/27/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 27, 2019 11:02AM MydogandIhadcancer wrote:

Thank you for this thread and the comments!

i went for a routine screening in 9/5/19. I had no lump, no symptoms, no family history. Once finished, the tech asked if anyone had ever told me I have calcifications in my right breast. This was only my second mammogram ever! I soon after had a diagnostic mammogram and a biopsy. On 9/27, I was told I have DCIS.

I am a pt personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I am not a body builder or power lifter but I lift fairly heavy, do HIIT, run, teach Spin, etc. I felt like I faced a daily barrage of fitness things being taken from me and could not stand the idea of just walking for exercise. I even read that using a foam roller would be off limits due to risk of lymphedema. Plus the problems caused by recon don't thrill me.

Hearing from people who were highly fit and who returned to high levels of performance is just what I need. My plan is to start with walking and light indoor cycling, add core, followed by leg machines, light upper body machines, light free weights and then build the intensity.

But first I have to get treatment. I am hoping to have cryoablation but if I cannot, I am going double, probably without recon.

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Oct 27, 2019 11:47AM pupmom wrote:

Lol, I thought you were talking about the baby underwear! Figured it out after opening the thread. Anyway, you should wait until you are completely healed to stress your arms and chest with a lot of exercise.

Life is what happens while we're making other plans. Dx 10/18/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2019 07:03PM edj3 wrote:

The only set back I've faced so far is scarring from radiation--my pec and armpit are painfully tight. But last week my RO said I wasn't going to injure myself so I'm hitting the weights harder, and I'll be working on regaining pull ups.

She also made a good point when I said it seemed like this should have been a faster, easier recovery that most don't work out the way we do. So those who weren't trying to hit exercise as hard as we do naturally wouldn't have encountered setbacks. Make sense?

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 29, 2019 06:40PM MydogandIhadcancer wrote:

Makes total sense.

Please keep us posted on how you’re doing. I’ll definitely appreciate hearing about your progress.

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Feb 14, 2020 03:07AM Lisa-s wrote:

hello I am new to this forum, I am in a quandry about exercise too,

I have had double mastectomy with the imediate implant recon (implant behind pecs) lymph node clearance one side, and am currently 1/2 way through chemo, I am due to have node clearance on the other side after chemo,

One of my implants has rotated and is upside down so that needs removing, and repositioning, also i have been told due to having radiotherapy previously in 2012 that my implant fail rate is increased, so i need to be careful.

I was a pole dance instructor and trained hard and really want to return to this, but the info out there doesn't seem to cover this type of training, i know the size and density of my pecs has caused major problems for my surgeon so far as they have made the use of implants difficult, but I wanted to try it so we are working together on it, so far so good (apart from pec rotating implant from over use of arm) which is prob because i foolishly tried to do some weight training without clearance, although I have been reassured this may not be the cause.

so my quandry: is returning to pole after node clearance and reconstruction, it would seem that the info out there cant agree one way or another, especially as it is a lot of arm loading push and pull, what are the thoughts on time frame and limitations. I really don't want to mess up as it has been a long road to recovery and i still have 6 months + of ops etc to come.

Thanks Lisa

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Feb 15, 2020 12:02AM MinusTwo wrote:

I was told no pull ups and have determined no downward dog in Yoga. I don't have the upper arm strength that I did. I would really hold off on arm things for now. You don't list the date of your surgery, but I'd say you need to start the weight training back to 1 lbs only after at least 6 weeks an with the approval of your surgeon and gradually move upwards. Gradually means at least several weeks before increasing weights. Hold off on the pole for awhile.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Feb 15, 2020 08:06AM edj3 wrote:

I'm in no way qualified to give you advice. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node surgery followed by radiation. So my situation is very different from yours.

I will say even with the less drastic surgery, and working with an OT, I'm not back to pull up shape eight months out. I can only think the recovery time for a masectomy would be longer.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 17, 2020 09:35PM mitziandbubba wrote:

I am curious about all of this as well. My doctors looked at me like I was crazy when I asked them questions about weight training. I see a LANA certified PT and she cleared me just recently to do body weight exercises and gradually build the weights back up. My surgery was last May and I had an elbow issue that started in July. I still am confused if I can do down dog etc.

An unassisted pull up was my goal for 2019. It did not of course happen with my cancer diagnosis in the way. I don't see this on track for 2020 either, but I would like to get there.

Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/28/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 18, 2020 02:20PM MinusTwo wrote:

mitzi - just start slow & don't rush it. Otherwise I've heard of many women who are back where they were before cancer and then some.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Apr 18, 2020 03:45PM edj3 wrote:

I'm still not back to doing a pull up. In my case, I believe I've got a fair amount of radiation fibrosis and I have a lot of pain in my left pec. My left armpit is quite tight, despite doing all the stretches etc. My muscle tone is good, I can do push ups, planks for days but the pull up is still hampered by those issues I mentioned.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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