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Exercise Question.....

Fay A.

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Well Fay, if you are Roger Bannister, that 1 mile is in less than 4 minutes.

Seriously, a mile in 15 minutes is just short of jogging. I am healthy and do a mile in about 17 minutes and can maintain that for about 3 miles. The times are dependent on so many factors. The purpose is to increase and maintain your heart rate, so taking your pulse and knowing where you want to get your heart rate should be a better barometer of speed and time.

Walking is such a great exercise. I hope you are feeling well enough to do some.

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Fay, I walk the local country roads near the house.It has level areas and hills mixed.I walk 2 miles in 34 to 36 minutes.Shorter walks are faster and longer walks are slower.

The last time I tried to do 4 miles I got out a couple or so miles and had to hitch hike home ( couldn't make it that far yet).

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I walk a treadmill and set it at 3.7 mph which is about as fast as I can go without breaking into a run. I maintain that for about 50 minutes, and add elevation of 4% to get my heart rate up. BUT, I've been exercising for years, and am now back to what I feel was my pre-cancer and surgery exercise condition and it took me a lot of pushing for nearly two years. I lost a lot of ability and conditioning between the breast incident and the lung incident, and continue to push a little at a time to improve.

I'd say certainly get a baseline--what you can do without becoming extremely tired, and then build from there slowly. Fitness is an individual thing, and the last thing you want to do is jeopardize a fitness program by getting hurt and being unable to continue. So, do what you can comfortably accomplish, and then improve on that in a gradual manner.

What works for me is constantly telling myself that I want and need to get in shape, but it's not a race, and small improvements build up to big improvements over time.

Good luck to you....I'll tell you, I feel great now and I'm sure it's the exercise. I've also lost about 11 pounds, and again, am telling myself slow progress on weight loss is good. And, believe me, it's slow--I'm talking about half a pound a week, but at least we're going in the right direction.

Good luck--this will be a good thing for you.


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I've been walking on my treadmill all winter and never paid attention to the time/mile thing -- I was just walking one of those "cross training" programs that slows and increases the speed and incline over 30 minutes.

BUT...when I heard that Joe B was running an 8 minute mile (big bragger :lol: ), I decided I needed to pick up the pace so I tracked how long it took me to walk a mile and it was 17 minutes (he put me to shame). I increased the speed the next day and got it down to a mile in 15 minutes, but I was beat :oops:

Now, with the nicer weather, I am walking outside, pretty briskly for 30-40 minutes every day, but I haven't gotten a pedometer yet to see how far I am walking.

I wouldn't worry too much about the rate you are walking your distance.....just go by how you feel. If your lungs are expanding and you can feel yourself getting a workout, you are on the right track, my friend! :wink:

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I want to thank everyone who replied (will reply) for sharing their information.

I have to find a way to build up my endurance.

I don't "feel" like doing this. At least not now. Not yet. But I have to do something. I've got to build up my strength and endurance. This one lung (of which 1 & 2/3 lobes are functional) and this heart are all I have to keep me going.

You all may think I'm crazy, but I have it in my mind to (someday) try for an en bloc organ transplant; heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, even the gastric system. Think about it.....Super chemo/radiation to kill off all of the cancer cells and a full system organ transplant.

If I didn't have Lung Cancer I would eventually be on a list for Kidney and/or Liver Transplant because of the Polycystic Kidney Disease. If I didn't have Polycystic Kidney Disease I would probably have qualified as a candidate for the Lung Transplant Program for BACers at either UAB or University of Colorado.

Bottom line is I want to insure that if an opportunity presents itself for treatment my body is in optimal condition so I'm not ruled out.

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Doesn't sound crazy to me at all.

My motivation for exercising probably sounds equally silly. I eat an organic, mostly vegetarian diet, and I walk to strengthen my lungs, because in my (dilutional) head, I am convinced that by feeding my body top notch foods and working out, I can somehow keep cancer from growing. Like the foods/exercise are going to "flush" to toxins out or something :roll:

Call me crazy, but it's what get's me through the day (and gets me off the couch and walking!)

Whatever it takes!!

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Just a thought Fay....I understand you don't feel like exercising, and I didn't either when I first started, but improvement is so motivating, even when it's just your own personal best.

I also am a firm believer that exercise is good for mood...I feel so much better emotionally when I'm done with my workout.

And, like Heather said, it's a control thing with me...trying to get exercise and eat right and do everything I can control to keep myself healthy is in some ways all we really have as weapons in this battle. Just knowing that this is a part of my life over which I have control helps.


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Fay -


I think it's a great idea. And I don't think you're crazy. I think it stinks that the illness of one organ disqualifies you for a transplant of another organ. Sounds good to me, just replace all of 'em.

Dave and I are going to try to start walking. He wants to desperately, but poor thing, he is SO TIRED all the time. Vicious circle. Walking may or may not give him more energy at this point, his body is so beat up. But you're giving me some inspiration.

And, by the way, didn't you tell me once that there's alot of hills around your house? so you need to give yourself extra credit for that.

Happy Trails!


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Dear Fay-

How I ADMIRE you, my friend! You are ever looking forward and not afraid to think "outside-the-box".

I applaud your plans for exercising. People have had good suggestions for you about starting gently and increasing slowly. Someone also mentioned using a heart monitor as a tool, and I think that is an excellent suggestion...it takes the guesswork out of your routine. Then all you have to contend with is the length of time of your workout. I don't worry about distance.

I had my RLL lobectomy 2/22/02, so obviously I have way more lung capacity to work with than you do, so keep that in mind as I chronicle my attempts to exercise again after my surgery. Plus, Bruce and I had walked 3 miles three or four times a week for about 15 years before I developed LC and were active in recreational ways such as skiing, biking, hiking, etc., so according to a PFT, I was in excellent shape going into surgery (never had any symptoms...LC accidentally discovered on CT while inverstigating abdominal pains that resolved themselves).

Here is part of my exercise journey:

2/22/02 - surgery

3/3/02 - walked 1 block

3/4 - walked 1 1/2 blocks

3/5 - walked 2 blocks

3/6 - walked 3 blocks

3/7 - walked 13 blocks (big jump here; can't remember why :?)

3/8 - walked 15 blocks

3/9 - walked 17 blocks

3/11 - walked 20 blocks

3/12 - walked 25 blocks in 1/2 hour

3/13 - walked 29 blocks in 1/2 hour (approx. 1 3/4 mi.)

3/14 - walked 33 blocks in 1/2 hour (approx. 2 mi.)

3/15 - same

That was the last entry in my after-surgery cancer journal. As you can see, I started VERY slowly. It helped to keep notes and watch my improvement. We now walk about 3 miles in around 40 minutes 4 or 5 times a week. I also joined a gym and do light aerobics for 30 minutes followed by30 minutes of toning with light weights for 3 or 4 times a week. I crept up on everything slowly.

I also participated in a relatively short study of the effects of exercise on cancer survivors. They did a baseline on my fitness, heartrate, oxygen usage, etc., then designed a walking program. I wore a heartrate monitor and started out fairly easily and maintained that for a couple of weeks, then they upped the heart rate a little and increased the length of time by 2 minutes. They did that until they had me walking for 40 minutes a day with my heartrate no lower than 121. It was fun and motivational and carefully planned out for me based on my statistics at the time I started. Something like this might be ideal for you. Do any of your doctors or cancer care facilities have exercise programs in place or resource people you could use to help set up your own program?

Wishing you the best, as ever. PM me if you have any questions.


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Hi Fay.

I have always been impressed by your determination and defiant attitude with regards to your medical challenges. I tip my hat (bike helmet) to you on your latest goal -- I have never heard of this total organ transplant idea. WOW!! On the exercise front, I would suggest starting real slow. Walking will increase your lung capacity and strength, but it's not how fast you can walk a certain distance that counts so much, it has more to do with how your body handles certain levels of exertion over a particular amount of time. Heart rate and breathing rate are good indicators; maintaining a higher heart rate and a breathing rate that makes it difficult to carry on a normal conversation, when done over a certain period of time, will be how you can gauge improvement in your exercise program. This should also be combined with some type of muscle resistance or weight training program. If you can check out a fitness facility,there are women's only ones where I live, it would be beneficial to work with a personal trainer who can individualize a plan for you. They're also pretty good with the dietary side of exercising too. And of course, you should run all this by your doctor. Way to go Fay! Take care.

David P.

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