Good afternoon. I had cancer several years ago. Bowel nearly 8 years and Breast coming up to 2. I didn’t exercise much for quite a while apart from walking the dog most days. I recently started walkg with a family member 4-6 miles aporox 4 times a week. I am overweight but my stamina does not seem to be improving reality. I still struggle with the stairs and walking more than 6 miles. We have en walking since mid May and I did not know if this was normal. I had 9 chemos for bowel cancer and 2 weeks of radio for breast. I’m just wondering if these treatments have an impact long term or am just not putting in enough effort. I’m 57 and work full time and about 4 stone overweight. Thank you in advance. Jacki.
Thanks for getting in touch. My name is Kat, I am one of the Macmillan Cancer Information Nurses. Well done on completing treatments for both cancers. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been.
It can be frustrating when you feel that even after a few weeks of exercise your stamina is not improving.
Some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can have long term effects on the body. Some treatments can affect other organs though your treatment team should have been aware of this and monitored you through out your treatment for any damage.
Some people do suffer from long term fatigue after treatment. You may want to contact your Breast Care Nurse to see if there is a late effects clinic at your treatment centre.
I am wondering Jacki if you are on any hormone therapy for you breast cancer. Some hormone treatments can cause fatigue, and this may impact your stamina.
It can take time for the stamina to build up. It is important that if you are struggling with stairs or if you see no improvement that you get reviewed by you GP. They can give you an exam and check your bloods to see if there is any other reason you are unable to build up stamina.
Our booklet Move More, has some other physical activity you can do that may help improve your stamina. There is also a DVD available, I would suggest that you speak to your GP before starting this.
I know you have been walking four times a week, four to six miles and not seeing any improvement. However, you may see benefit in doing smaller amounts and build it over time. Looking at other forms of physical activities to do along side your walks might also help improve stamina and fitness levels.
The Maggie’s Centre online does have some good information exercises. You may find that there is a Maggie’s Centre in your local area, here they also hold different forms of exercises cancers for those who have been affected by cancer.
I hope that you are enjoying the walks that you are doing and don’t feel discouraged that you don’t seen an improvement in your stamina yet.
Best wishes and take care,
Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse
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