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Topic: Kicking LE's butt!! Exercise & Self Care Log

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Mar 7, 2012 07:32PM

Tina337 wrote:

Let's use this thread to post the exercise and methods of self care we are practicing each day to keep our bodies strong and our LE at bay. After experiencing a flare in my arm when I hadn't been as diligent in caring for my truncal LE, I am motivated to begin exercising regularly, performing MLD daily, and wearing prescribed compression garments. Rather than fall down on the job and become overwhelmed by this chronic condition, I want to challenge myself to kick LE's butt into a small, manageable corner! I started today. Here's what I did.

I still have my arm and hand wrapped, and I am also wearing my compression tank with round swell spots on each side in the underarm area 24/7 as per my LE therapist's instruction. This afternoon I did the entire Lebed DVD. Woohoo! It's a start. Yes, that DVD is still creepy! I'll have you know I continued with the exercises even when my husband unexpectedly walked into the room. I started making fun of the DVD, which was kind of fun, so I continued for the rest of the program taunting and making fun of the weird instructions, cheers, and "dancing!", etc. It actually made me feel more powerful and in control, and I liked that!
"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 10, 2012 03:44PM Binney4 wrote:

I only have the DVD too.

Did two secions of Lebed early this morning, though I usually do it in the evening. After the kids are in bed my DH and I like to talk a bit, and I've found I can turn off the DVD sound and do a couple of sections while we talk. He really doesn't mind (just has to wait while I do the deep-breathing parts) and it makes it all much less irritating to do. Yesterday I jogged for about 15 minutes -- first time since I got sick three weeks ago. And when I woke up this morning my stupid legs and hips hurt! You'd think I'd done some completely unaccustomed exercise -- my, how fast I get slug-like!Tongue out

So today I jogged again for 15 minutes, went for a walk, and will jog again this evening. Nothing too strenuous yet -- still trying not to overdo. I continue to clear my neck nodes a couple of times a day. Feels really good and is great when I'm feeling stiff from sitting at the computer too long.

I'm really glad to have you all to account to -- alone, there are so MANY excuses not to do anything!
Binney

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Mar 10, 2012 05:46PM BeckySharp wrote:

Way to go Binney!  Glad you are finally bouncing back from the flu.

I did my MLD, Lebed, and again walked 7 1/2 miles out at the dam on this beautiful day!!  My friend and sister came along.  It is sooo much easier with company even if they don't go as fast as I do when I am alone.  So only MLD left for today PLUS washing out garments, putting on night sleeve.......

 When I do weights my therapist says to wait one minute between each set.  While doing that I bounce on a stability ball and pump my arm.  Out at the dam or on any machine I pump every 10 minutes.  After I go up the steps I pump it immediately.  I think people think I am doing the Rocky dance for completing the steps!

Hate to face the exercise but I feel so good and virtuous afterward.  I try to remember that beforehand.

Becky Dx 1/20/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 10, 2012 06:01PM - edited Mar 10, 2012 06:29PM by carol57

I did not do morning MLD today, just lazy I guess. I just put in one hour on an elliptical machine (which I find b-b-b-boring even with TV!). Then did Lebed lymphatic opening (muted while keeping one eye on a TV news show). Now off to do MLD before hopping in the shower.

Becky and Binney, way to go!  Binney, I have a hard time enjoying jogging, although whenever I do it, I  know for sure I'm working my heart really well. I wear a heart rate monitor to make sure I'm working hard enough, and jogging works well every time.  I should try harder to get into it.  Maybe better shoes would help.  Becky, fifteen miles in two days is stunning. Wish I were nearby to tag along next time!

Carol 

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Mar 11, 2012 01:02AM Tina337 wrote:

Binney, so good to hear you are feeling better!

Okay, I am feeling a wee guilty seeing all these exercise posts. All I can report today is that I wore my garments until bedtime, did MLD and have tank and inserts on for sleep. Dinner out tonight to kick off my birthday weekend. Tomorrow I'm 55! Ate fairly healthy dinner, but had an appletini and dessert. Oops! Tomorrow we are going to a large outdoor sculpture garden so I will get some walking in, but it will be leisurely.

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 11, 2012 09:28AM carol57 wrote:

Tina, If you can't have an appletini and dessert to celebrate your birthday, when can you???? It's great that you did it up right!  You have a lot to celebrate this year, I think. Most recently, triumphing in your insurance appeal, and I'll bet you can think of lots more.  Think of everything you put behind you in these last twelve months!

Happy birthday, and have fun on that walk through the sculpture garden.

Carol 

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Mar 11, 2012 10:48AM toomuch wrote:

Tina - Thanks for starting this thread. Reading all of your ambitious posts has made me realize how far off my exercise routine I've fallen. So, after feeling guilty for 3 days, I got off my butt yetserday and cycled for 30 minutes. I'm going to try to double that  today! I have to be consistant about doing MLD once a day and arm exercises daily or my arm swells!. I lost my LEBED DVD so I'm doing exercises that my LE therapist recommends. I wear a sleeve and glove all day, everyday and sleep with a compression cami and swell spot and wrap or wear my tribute night sleeve. I wrap my hand even with it!

Thank you all for motivating me Smile

"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before" Dx 7/13/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 11, 2012 11:24AM kira wrote:

Back from Chicago:

I dd nothing except sit in meetings and eat salty food, and during the meeting, I was showing my Solaris to the company rep--tne new one isn't doing anything for me--and an experienced LE PT who trains for Klose, said "Your arm is too small to need a Solaris", then she felt my arm and said "OMG, you have tissue changes and should be in a sleeve and glove, and worry about cellulitis."

Freaked me out a bit, but I know my arm and it was in rotten shape from the flight, food, hotel--flew home last night, wrapped and it's like 85% better. I'll call my LE therapist later.

Toomuch: I need to be more consistent with the MLD. I do Norton exercises, and I find that if things are acting up, I get tight through the axilla and need to stretch it out. I was feeling that way at O'Hare and put on the Tribute with a 6 cm bandage in the boarding area, and wore it for the next three hours and it helped. I do tend to pull it off as I get off the plane, and I left it on for an hour, and it helped.

So, I hand out advice, but don't apply it to myself....

I am so much better when I ride the exercise bike every day--it's brainless, easy--except I keep raising the level--and I stretch my arms while I ride.

Kira

Knowledge is the antidote to fear, Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 11, 2012 01:05PM carol57 wrote:

toomuch, welcome to the LE-Care-True-Confessions thread!  It really IS motivating to check in and read what everyone else is managing to squeeze into the very full days we all live.

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Mar 11, 2012 05:08PM BeckySharp wrote:

Happy, happy birthday Tina!!!  Don't feel guilty indulging.  I would have done more than you did!

Welcome too much.

My day was the same as yesterday except I also added weights, plus church.  Friend went along again which helped.  We did groan the whole way.  It is supposed to rain next few days so will probably be my elliptical or treadmill.  Onward and upward everyone.  Groaning allowed!  I am going to treat myself to two Hershey's Kisses.

Becky Dx 1/20/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 11, 2012 05:12PM carol57 wrote:

It's 5 pm and I have not exercised.  Often I take Sunday off. Guess I did this week...by default.  Not a fan of heavy exercise after 5 because it keeps me awake later.  Tomorrow I will absolutely do an hour of cardio plus weights.  Tonight MLD; already did it on awakening. Becky, you are so very faithful to your routine you should be an LE poster woman for taking charge of this nutty condition.

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Mar 11, 2012 05:25PM Bluebird-DE wrote:

Since I realized I had LE, I have stopped sleeping on the right side (surgery side) and either sleep on  left or on back with arm elevated to body level.  That alone made a world of difference and can now do the finger-thumb touches and close hand for slanted line at knuckles, so am better.

When in vehicle, I hold the rail over head often, do arm circles often, 3 or 4 at time.  

I stopped carrying heavy bags, dog food, buckets of birdseed, laundry because just because I can did not mean it was working for me.

Have recorded pilates so will begin those moves today.

I have been taking walks every day, will this evening.

Making appt with LE specialist for MLD and lessons to do my own.

Taking homeopathics for Lymph Drain support and am using RC oil, geranium oil and aloe juice on my breasts and arm and under arm every night.  Plus will start to use DMSO and aloe on arm and under today too for blood flow.

Without all the shared knowledge, I would not know to do anything at all, was told by surgeon there would be swelling for a few months and it would pass, but with swollen hand and could not type, I say it was / is LE and not wait for worse to come, not smart of him at all.  So thank you.

"Every mistake I have made has proven to be invaluable information for someone. Namely, me." Me. Diane Dx 7/15/2011, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs/other, Grade 3, 3/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/4/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Left
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Mar 12, 2012 01:45AM Tina337 wrote:

Not a good day ,and I am awake way too late. Did brief MLD in morning, wore all compression, Lebed early evening, and MLD after getting in bed. Tank and inserts on again for sleeping. My arm and trunk had some swelling and I am uncomfortable again. Appt with Dr. Kathleen Francis on Monday. Will be back to ask some questions.

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2012 06:49AM BeckySharp wrote:

Tina--I did not start cardio and weights until out of wrapping.  It takes awhile to get into routine when learning all of the new stuff.  Getting the MLD and Lebed in is really good.  Plus being compression compliant.  Good luck today with Dr.  Becky

Becky Dx 1/20/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2012 09:14AM - edited Mar 12, 2012 10:00AM by kira

Essa, do you have a qualified LE therapist to treat the hand swelling?

www.stepup-speakout.org/Findin... 

It's not a "do it yourself" thing, and you'll need a therapist to teach you how to treat it, and help you get garments. So glad you joined the thread.

Tina: Happy Birthday! Let us know how it goes with Dr. Francis.

I walked the dog for a mile and did the recumbent for 30 minutes and due to left over swelling from the plane, did a lot of MLD--that was yesterday. Now I'm at work....But did a "non-rushed" MLD this morning

Kira 

Knowledge is the antidote to fear, Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2012 10:36AM - edited Mar 12, 2012 10:37AM by olearca

I am so happy to have this "kick butt" log to keep me accountable.  I haven't posted in forever although I lurk all the time.  I had my first "flare" and I can't believe how much it set me back emotionally and mentally.  I wasn't prepared for it.  So, I am back to square one.  Since it is Monday - seems like a good day to start.  So, I am going out for a walk later today, did my node clearing and have been in compression sleeve. 

 You all inspire me!  I hate this LE more than anything, but at least coming here always makes me feel not so alone. 

Tina, happy birthday!!

~Catherine: Multi-focal high grade DCIS, LCIS.Micromets 1 node, NSBMx 6/2/11, Lymphedema 8/11, Reconstruction/Exchange 10/27/11
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Mar 12, 2012 10:48AM toomuch wrote:

I doubled my exercise  yesterday, added a lot of hills, and today I'm paying the price with sore muscles! So, I think I'll go for a walk with my dog. If I push him, he'll go 1 1/2 - 2 miles!

I did a bad job wrapping my hand last night and my thumb was hurting. Had a really poor night sleep. I don't know when I'll learn to give in and redo the wrap from the get go when it doesn't feel good...so pointless to lose another good night sleep! 

At least I have the day off today and I'm heading off to do a leisurely massage now.

I hope you all have a wonderful  day!

"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before" Dx 7/13/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2012 04:58PM BeckySharp wrote:

Eased off today.  Did MLD, Lebed and 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I had not been on it for over a week and it was torture--but felt so good after.  Now one more MLD to go. 

Becky Dx 1/20/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2012 07:27PM carol57 wrote:

Today I.....did wake-up MLD, met with my LE therapist, went to gym for a one-hour weight training session with my trainer, did 40 minutes on a treadmill and...that was pretty much my day, or at least it feels like I spent my whole day on LE. Good thing I'm self employed. How do those of you who need to be in an office and on a schedule handle all of this? 

I will do one more MLD at bedtime.

Oh, I am also resolved to eat low-sodium for at least three days in a row to see if that improves what my CLT thinks might be new areas of truncal LE. At least I can hold out some prayer that it's not really more LE, just the sodium ravages of the past two weeks of being away from home and in too many hotels and airports.  Low-sodium day #1 complete. Two more to tough out. I love cheese.

Carol

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Mar 12, 2012 07:28PM carol57 wrote:

Becky, I can never decide which is the worse torture: treadmill or elliptical.  I feel like a gerbil on both.  But wow, we can sure get the heart rate up on those infernal machines, can't we?

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Mar 12, 2012 07:50PM hugz4u wrote:

wow, you Greyhounds got me beat!

I thought I was doing pretty good forcing myself into a 45 min walk a few times a week.  After I read what you are all up to I think I need to adjust my exercise routine.I will be moving into a new office tower next month with 4 floors and I will definately be  prying my butt off my  new comfy office chair to try 10 minutes of stair climbing.  Can someone send a defribulator to the floor floor please!

All said and done, I have stuck to it and have done the Lebed opening once a day since this fantastic thread started.

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Mar 12, 2012 08:09PM carol57 wrote:

Oh, hugz, what led me to LE was a prophy bmx, so I could side-step the hard part that all of you have soldiered through. I feel like this whole journey has given me an extension on life's big tax return, and I don't want to waste the gift I was given by succumbing to heart disease or other sedentary conditions. That has made it pretty easy to commit to an ambitious return-to-fitness routine.

Ten minutes of stair climbing is very serious cardio work! Hats of to you that you even want to try it!  We live on a high bluff over a lake, and we have 90 steps down to the water.  My DREAM is to be able to walk the 90 steps up without gasping for air. Now that it's thawing out here, I will be trying that soon, as a kind of fitness test to see what this winter's workouts have (or have not) done for me.

Go for it!  And then you can sink into that comfy office chair with a proper 'ahhhhh.'

Carol

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Mar 12, 2012 08:40PM hugz4u wrote:

carol57. Thanks for the encouragement, you are right about the heart disease and other life sucking sedentary conditions.  Trust me it has been on my mind. I am creeeping close to crossing the  borderline of cholestrol kingdom! I think that has pushed me to walk more in the past year.

Those 90 steps back from the lake would be a challenge allright. I bet you can do it.  Resting so you don't drop is OK! Stretch out your legs while catching your breath. I find that it puts back a little more bounce into my step for a while if I stop and stretch when I walk.  For heavens sake don't try the steps until the ice has thawed. Youv'e lost 2 boobs (like me) now we don't want you to lose 2 legs!

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Mar 12, 2012 09:29PM Binney4 wrote:

Okay, two neck node-clearing sessions, a lot of practice doing the kegel/deep breathing, and two sections of Lebed (including the opening). But no walk, and only one 15-minute jog. I spent most of the afternoon at the cardiologist's office for a routine yearly check-up that should have taken 15 minutes, but at least there's yet another medical assistant who now knows how to do leg BP.Undecided

I'll do better tomorrow!Surprised
Binney

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Mar 12, 2012 09:33PM kira wrote:

One mile walk with the dog and 30 minutes on the exercise bike. A good MLD this morning and a neck clearing this afternoon, and lots of those kegel/breaths.

Kira

Knowledge is the antidote to fear, Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2012 11:48PM carol57 wrote:

Anyone who has not read the thread about breathing is going to wonder what the heck a kegel breath is...

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Mar 12, 2012 11:54PM Tina337 wrote:

It is so good to see what everyone is doing. I'm glad you guys find it motivating - it's definitely helping me stay on track. Thanks for the birthday wishes! This morning I did MLD and put on tank with inserts, sleeve and glove. Several rounds of node clearing during the day, lots of fist pumping, deep breathing, stretching when possible. Still wearing sleeve and glove. Will do MLD after I am done posting. I might leave tank off tonight, as I am getting pretty claustrophobic and need some solid rest. Tomorrow morning I have appt with LE therapist.

Today was pretty exhausting, 2 1/2 hrs each way to Dr. Francis', but it was worth it. Last night I was miserable, didn't sleep well, and I realized that the drive would probably be taxing since I wasn't feeling very good. My husband took a sick day and drove me there. That is probably the birthday gift I appreciate most. We had planned to have a nice dinner out last night, just the two of us, but I was done by the time we returned from the sculpture place. He went to the store and got a whole bunch of vegetables and made me a large spinach salad. I just ate it dry. I will have to report about my appt tomorrow, as I need to get in bed. We ran another errand after arriving home, so it was a long day.
"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 13, 2012 07:19AM BeckySharp wrote:

Carol--I have done the 122 steps at the dam (180 with platform between every two steps) for seven years and I still cannot do it without gasping for breath.  I just recover more quickly at the top.  I used to stop  halfway but now do not have to.  Now I have to add kegels and butt tightening to the trip as I am inhaling and exhaling like mad!  Let's see--clear nodes, pump fist, inhale, exhale, kegels, etc......have to have a memory to do all of this.  Hard to daydream during exercise.  Now when I exercise I think of my swell sisters and hope all are able to do just a little bit more exercise each day than the day before!

Becky Dx 1/20/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 13, 2012 07:33AM KS1 wrote:

Toomuch, how do you wrap your hand while wearing a Tribute night sleeve.  Does your Tribute have a hand part?  -- KS1

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Mar 13, 2012 08:34AM - edited Mar 13, 2012 08:35AM by kira

KS1--I met with Kathy Weatherly, CEO of Solaris, at a recent meeting and a senior PT from Klose Training sat with us. I showed them my Solaris and how it doesn't do much for my hand--it's a one piece, axilla to fingertips with finger spacers. The senior PT told me to put in swell spots on the palm (I already do) and dorsum as needed and use a 6 cm bandage over the hand up the forearm. The senior fitter who got me my first Tribute in 2009 had told me to do this. They sell over jackets, but when we need to focus the extra pressure, bandaging works.

My arm was in lousy shape from the flight/hotel/food--so I put on the solaris Tribute at the airport and wrapped the hand/forearm, before the flight, and flew 2 hours and left it on for an hour afterward, and it was in pretty good shape. 

I have a handout from jovipak from the NLN, and it states that jovipak is always meant to be an undergarment. I have really bad results from my open fingered glove jovi, with the overjacket, but never tried to wrap.

I know this is off-topic, but I know how hard you're working to deal with the hand.

Hope it's getting better.

Kira

Knowledge is the antidote to fear, Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 13, 2012 06:13PM BeckySharp wrote:

Is everyone too busy exercising to post?  Did my two MLDs, Lebeds, weights, and an hour on the treadmill.  I know Binney will get her exercise today by blowing out her birthday candles! 

Becky Dx 1/20/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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