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davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/1/2011 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Today I'm going back to lift weights for the first time since surgery ( 7 weeks ago ). I'm not sure what I'll feel and manage but assume I've lost a lot weight room strength and am a little worried about doing some damage to whatever my surgeon did in there. Really worried about doing abs. I know that I'll associate every pull, ache, and normal muscle pain with the operation and incorrectly assume I've done some damage. The nurse said I can do weights but to ease back into it. Any of you have previous experience with this?

I started running again two weeks ago and worked my way back to 4-5 miles. I'm still going at a much slower pace than I was prior to learning I had cancer. I'm at 6.5 on the treadmill now, I used to run continuously at 7.5 - 8.0.

My goal is to put everything behind me and start over again where I had left off., both physically and mentally. I don't weigh myself, but I feel like I've put on 10-15lbs since learning I had cancer. So I'm probably around 205 now. My goal is to get back to 190 ( I'm 6 foot )

I don't know how common it is, and it doesn't help that when I found out I had cancer I was in the middle of a very stressful work project, but between the two I just stopped working out. I was just too stressed and depressed.

Now I'm ready to start over again. Perhaps not as hardcore as before, but the desire is back nonetheless.

I hope people who just find out they have prostate cancer realize how quickly we can get back on our feet and carry on with our lives.

Ger42
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 3/1/2011 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
My doctor would not let me do anything more stressful then walking for 3 months. I then started going to the gym. I hired a trainer to show me what exercises I could do and not put too much stress on my abs. I gained 20 lbs am now down 12 lbs. Taking it easy. I am 68 soon to be 69 so I know it will take longer to heal then when I was 50.
Good luck
Age 68 weight 185 height 6'
Samples taken 4/19/2010 sent to Bostwick
3 out of 12 samples cancer
1) gleason score 3+3 involving 65%
2) gleason score 3+3 involving 65%
3) gleason score 3+3 involving 10%
PSA 3.5 Mar 19
PSA 2.5 Apr 4
Bone scan clean CT scan clean
Da Vinci 10/12/2010 DR Paul Kahn all nerves spared
Home 10/19/20
Cath out 10/22/2010
Prostate 56 gm. Gleason grade 3+4 = 7
2 MO PSA 0.0

Casey59
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 3/1/2011 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
davidg said...
Any of you have previous experience with this?

David, you will find a lot of guys here who have been down this path, myself included.  In fact, we just ran a 4-week long PC/Aerobic Challenge Program from mid-January through mid-February.  There was great interest and participation from folks here at HealingWell (there were four weekly threads, with a total of about 250 posts and well over 5,000 "views", and in fact one participant remarked how the program truly aligned with the spirit of "healing well."
 
If you want to take a peak in how it got started, here's the link to the first thread in the series of fourhttp://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=1996618
 
You might have also noticed Galileo's post from just a few days ago (Sunday, 2/27), which was a follow-up to the "Challenge" program.  Read his post here:  http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=2041796
 
 
Why such interest among this group in exercise?  There have been very reputible studies which have shown that lifestyle changes CAN and DO make a difference in the progression of prostate cancer (obviously, medical studies examine sample populations, and any one individual's results may vary). 
 
In the study, men with biopsy-confirmed PC were randomly split into two groups:  group one made no lifestyle changes, and group two exercised, ate very well, and participated in stress reduction activities.  No other differences in the two groups.  After one year, the average PSA of group one progressed "normally" (unfavorably), very much as expected.  The PSA of group two actually went down.  In fact, deeper analysis showed that those who were most committed to the lifestyle changes achieved the greatest favorable results.  There are lots of versions of this study out on the internet, but here's an easy-to-read version reported in an article:  LINK
 
So, there are lots of guys here who are doing the things within their control (lifestyle changes) to improve their outcomes with prostate cancer...that's why such interest in exercise among this group.
 
 
So you should, of course, get clearance to start exercising after your major surgery, but in my case after robotic prostatectomy, I was on the elliptical (slowly at first) a couple weeks after surgery, and started doing abs/core workouts (with a personal trainer) shortly after getting clearance at 6-weeks.  Furthermore, I incorporated Kegels into my workout, and it likely (no way to know for sure) accelerated my return to complete continence.  The way I incorporated them was (as a basic example) in floor exercises to clinch (Kegel), crunch (core sit-up), return and release (Kegel)...that's a very abbreviated version, but hopefully you can follow along.
 
 
It doesn't seem like you need a lot more motivation (you sound very motivated already), but in case you want more inspiration, read this article titled "How Prostate Cancer Can Extend Your LifeLINK
 
 

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/1/2011 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Casey. Great post. I will read them all as soon as I get back from the gym.

My ultimate goal/dream is to run the NYC marathon. 2 miles before the finish line I would see the window to my hospital room which overlooked central park. Anyway, that's a dream because getting into the the NY marathon is very difficult.

60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 3/1/2011 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
David,
Glad you have those goals and my only suggestion is a "slow go" with the weights. Take your time so as not to do any damage and before you know it you will be back at pre surgery levels. Running was easier on my body than weights but once again I was probably running ten minute miles when I started back. Good luck and keep us posted.
Michael

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/1/2011 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
well as expected I've lost a lot of weight lifting strength but who cares, it'll be fun moving up again.

I had absolutely no issues doing bench press, shoulders, squats, and triceps, but was very weary while doing abs and had very minor while doing flys. The harmonica motion while getting up while simultaneously lifting and dropping the 45lb dumbells on the last rep provided a little unexpected result. Made note to self to kegel at that very moment for all subsequent reps.

The abs were very dicey. Felt a little pulling here and there. I know it's nothing, but as with every other process associated with this disease, surgery and recovery it has become a mental thing.

Tonight I go play soccer for the first time in 4 months. That should be fun, but even there I'm worried about getting kicked with the ball or worse in the gut. It'll probably affect my game. Will be great to be among the crowd and "the guys" again. Last time they saw me they were all wishing me well for my surgery, now I'll be among them playing again.

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/1/2011 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Casey read the threads. I would have joined in on your first of a series of four but it ended 1/17/11. Where is the fourth? Do you guys do one weekly? I'd definitely play along. I used to keep a journal when I went to gym everyday and this could serve the same purpose and help motivate me more.

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/1/2011 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks, the urethra bit really worries me because i'm super paranoid about that. But how is doing chest, shoulders, back or arms going to mess witht he urethra?

Kegals aren't an issue for me so I don't have to worry about that.

Maybe I should take it slow though, maybe weights only twice a week for this month while running all other days.

James C.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 3/1/2011 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
davidg, none of my business, of course, but I wonder why, after having such great, 100% everything fine results, you would tempt fate and risk ruining your excellant doctors work by going back to your full bore routine so early? What's the rush? You are stitched inside with a multitude of very fine stitches, which takes a while to heal. I seem to recall that just the bladder and spincter connection alone contains around 6 different incised areas that have been stitched back together. It almost seems like you are trying to set a record for recovery. If so, this isn't a race, and the after surgery decisions you are making now can have lifetime effects on your urinary system. Aggressive gym workouts, soccer, whatever else? at 7 weeks? Whats the gain versus the risk of damaging what appears to be a fine operation? Like I said, none of my business, so you can tell me to butt out... :-)
James C. Age 63
Gonna Make Myself A Better Man tinyurl.com/28e8qcg
4/07: PSA 7.6, 7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe, GS6
9/07: Nerve Sparing open RP, Path: pT2c, 110 gms., clear except:
Probable microscopic involvement-left apical margin -GS6
3 Years: PSA's .04 each test until 04/10-.06, 09/10-.09, 12/10-.09, 02/11-.08
ED-total-Bimix 30cc

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/1/2011 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
you guys are right. I was destroyed on the pitch tonight. I had no jump in my legs and felt very tired.

Yeah, I'm being an idiot and should just stick with running for a few months at least. My wife likes lean and hates bulky anyway.

What bothered me tonight is that everyone was scared of hurting me and always asking how I was after a tackle, bump. They would see me huffing and puffing and ask how i was. I kept finding myself saying " i'm just out of shape, it has nothing to do with the cancer". I wa sokay playing the victim role when I first found out I had cancer because I really felt like one. I don't anymore and don't want people treating me like one.

DJBearGuy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 3/1/2011 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, in a few months you will seem pretty normal and when you act like your normal self, people will forget that you had surgery. That was my experience.

I was one that tried to get back to running too fast. I was making good progress week by week, or so I thought, but one day, blammo, I was exhausted, dead tired, and that lasted for about a week. This was at about 3 months out. Probably we need a coach or a trainer to keep us at the right level of effort.

DJ
Diagnosis at 53. PSA 2007 about 2; 2008 4.3
Biopsy Sept 2008: 6 of 12 cores pos; Gleason 4+3 = 7
CT & Bone scan neg
Da Vinci at City of Hope Dec 8, 2008
Rad prostatectomy & lymph node dissection
Cath out on 7th day, in on 8th day, out again 14th day after neg cystogram
Path: pT2c; lymph nodes neg; margins involv; 41 grams,
PSA 1/08, 4/09,7/09, 10/09, 11/09,2/10 <0.01, 10/10 0.1, 2/11 0.08

60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 3/1/2011 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
David,
That is just your current reality but it will change with time and patience. You went out today and were able to answer some of your own questions and some of the answers were not what you were expecting. Give it time my friend.
Michael
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4
Started IMRT Jan. 2010 72gys
7month post SRT PSA .2

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7082
   Posted 3/1/2011 10:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Davidg,
 
I was forbidden, absolutely, in writing (had to sign that I understood it for the file), from anything other than walking and a 5 pound lift limit for 8 weeks, then a 10 pound lift limit (and just walking) for another couple of months. At 5 months out I was told I could consider returning to a gym for light upper torso exercise.
 
A friend in the medical field explained that the internal sutures take 3 months to heal, pehaps more in some cases. So as you lift that 45 pound weight, ..... 
 
Mind you - DaVinci at age 56, and in good health before surgery.

Bluenose
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 3/2/2011 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
..Be careful with the Abs...I was told I could lift as much as 20 pounds @ the 4-6 week post op period(working on the Abs here)
I had earlier injured myself sustaining umbilical herina which was repaired the same time I had my DaVinci in July of 08'. Good to go after that right, and go I did...Doc said it was all good....well not to make a short story long, September 2010 I was back getting a incesional hernia repaired from yep' the fall of 08' and let me tell you.....the pain from that surgery was the worst I've ever felt....55yo at the time and in pretty good shape, all except that extra bump I had right next to the main cut from the DaVinci machine-heed all the warnings, cause I didnt go that hard at the Ab's but all combined....Pop goes the wiesel!! Back at it now though and better than ever! Good luck!
 
  age: 53 @ Dx, Pre-op PSA Feb 08' 5.0, April 08' 4.1
  Biopsy 5.1.08, 5 of 15 cores postive, T2a, Gleason 3+4=7
  DaVinci performed 7.29.08
  Bladder sling installed, umbilical hernia repaired during surgery.
  Path report, "cancer fully contained, margins clear".
  Cath removed 8.8.08, ED therapy begins 8.9.08
  100mg Viagra three times a week, pump for ten minutes daily
  and hold for ten minutes.
  8.16.08 switched to Levitra 20mg, immediate results
  9.15.08 Pad free at night, one thin (light) pad during the day
  9.18.08 1st Post-op PSA Undetectable Zero's....Yes!
  12.22.08 2nd Post-op PSA  Zero's still...
  6.23.09 1yr Post-op PSA Still a zero..
  12.23.09...another zero
  Pads gone 1.3.09, finally found the courage...Thanks ya'll
          ".....tryin' to reason with hurricane season...."
       

Casey59
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 3/2/2011 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Interesting to see the differences in the post-surgery instructions from various doctors.

I had the minimally invasive robotic surgery, and with my doctor's approval I was doing abs/core workouts after 6-weeks. These were light workouts for about the first month, but I was released to do whatever felt ok.

I would always advise men, as I did for davidg earlier in this thread, to get approval from one's doctor before abs workout after a prostatectomy. From the responses here, it sounds like many doctors are giving that approval at about the 6-week mark, but some are longer.

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/2/2011 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Casey.

I was also given the 6 week wait. I was told not to get frustrated and that it would take me 6 months to get back what I had lost. But reading what I've read here raises concern so I've decided to stick to cardio only for the next 1-2 moths at least. Soccer also since it's basically cardio with benefits.

cyclingboy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 3/3/2011 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
davidg,
I am 4 weeks out and going to my 1-month post-op tomorrow. I am dying to get out running again and feel normal too. if he doesn't ok me to do some jogging I will probably threaten him with his own prostatectomy. I definitely hear you on wanting to get back to my old self again. It's been 20 years since my first and only marathon, but I admit I am having marathon thoughts myself. I guess it's pretty normal for all of us to want to recover and come out strong (think Lance Armstrong). But I will heed everyone's advice on taking it easy on the weights and such. seems logical.

good luck
AB
age 45
PSA 9/2010 = 4.2
biopsy 11/2010 - 3/12 cores positive, Gleason =3+3, 5% volume in positive cores
RP 2/1/2011
post-op path Gleason 4+3, organ confined, lymph nodes clear
waiting for follow-up PSA in 3/2011

diamonds3
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 3/15/2011 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Flys with 45lb dumbbells! Even Arnold would be impressed. In my prime I could barely curl 45lb dumbbells. Anyway, 11 days out from my da Vinci, my surgeon said I could start working out again as long as I lifted nothing heavy and didn't strain. I planned on doing neither.
DOB: 01/1961
PSA: 01/2010 2.8
PSA: 11/2010 4.2
DRE: 12/2010 Normal
PSA: 01/2011 4.1
Biopsy: 01/2011 7 out of 12 cores +
Gleason: 6(3+3)
Stage: T1C
Epstein 2nd opinion.
da Vinci 03/04/2011 Penn Hospital
Catheter Removed 03/11/2011

Viperguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 3/15/2011 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
David,
 
Take it slow slow slow.  I used to be a competitive weight lifter (bench 300 @ 145 lb. body weight) and am looking forward to weight training again.  However, my surgery was March 3rd and i will not consider lifting anything heavy for at least 2 months or longer if the doc says it's okay.  I feel your pain getting your life back but you MUST take it easy.  Having the hose hooked to Jr. just isn't worth rushing. 
2009 PSA 2.2
2010 PSA 3.2
Biopsy 24 cores 3 positive
Gleason 3 plus 3
Robotic Surgery March 3, 2011 @ 6 am
At home recovering
Cath removal scheduled 3/17/11
Pathological report confusing, no seminal invasion Gleason 6 but margins not completely clear.

davidg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/15/2011 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
unfortunately i've got a problem with my calves. They lock up after 10 min of running. Going to see a specialist. Sucks because was going to run run run instead of weights. Maybe spin and elliptical now even though always thought elliptical was useless. Might go back to lighter weights and more reps. Hard to conceive of a good workout without straining though, always thought that was when the work kicked in.

Viperguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 3/16/2011 4:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm a lot like you David, I like a hard workout where it feels like you have done something. After reading all those post about the fine stitches I'm afraid to jump in and start straining. Remember your muscles have a memory and it will take you a short period of time to get back where you were (except for an injury) if starting out slow.

I think you and I need to know which weight exercises would have the least impact on our surgery. Bench press? Anything seated? I don't know. May have to seek advice of a physical therapist on this one.

You'll get it back, just go slow. I remember in my body building days, guys with the large quads often had hamstring issues, it's all about balance.
2009 PSA 2.2
2010 PSA 3.2
Biopsy 24 cores 3 positive
Gleason 3 plus 3
Robotic Surgery March 3, 2011 @ 6 am
At home recovering
Cath removal scheduled 3/17/11
Pathological report confusing, no seminal invasion Gleason 6 but margins not completely clear.

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 3/16/2011 7:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I will echo what others have said. Take it easy. Your body has been really reworked. Give your body a chance to heal fully before you do anything too strenious. I would say stick with the running do some upper body workout and yes stay away from the ab workout.

You are doing way too good to mess things up. Before you know it you will be able to do all the activiteis that you did before your surgery.

Best of luck on the healing.

Cajun Jeff
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1% cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radicalSurgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clea
r3 month: PSA <0.1
19th month: PSA <0.1
2 year PSA <0.1
Only issue at this time is ED but getting better

NEIrish
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 3/16/2011 8:38 AM (GMT -6)   

 davidg, My husband's surgeon had the same post op instructions as 142's.  Anyway, he was in no shape to start back to an exercise routine other than moderate walking.  He had a great deal of long lasting fatigue, plus 3 months or more of rectal pain.  He began his exercise routine 6 months post op at a fitness ctr. and I posted for him in Casey's thread.  He used our brutal winter as the main source of exercise (wood cutting/hauling, shoveling etc.) No free weights, but the Nautilus machine for abs set at light weight was all his abs could tolerate.  When he attempted floor crunches,  he could do no more than one,  and said the whole area reacted badly.  He truly felt it "did something" to it, and 2 days later a 16 day lower GI problem started.  We have no idea if it was coincidental or just a nasty winter virus, but he's really leery of doing more than the 15 light reps on the Nautilus for his abs.

As far as spinning is concerned,  it seems that would be a lot of pressure on the area.  Since my husband was advised that his overdue colonscopy had to be put off for at least 9 months post surgery, and his long lasting rectal pain made any question of a bike seat moot, that sort of exercise wasn't on his list.  What does your doc say re: specific exercises?

Your desire to return to an active, physically fit life is such a healthy instinct.   This particular surgery really hits a man where he lives, and many here fight a mental and emotional battle, as well as a physical one.  I hope you can find a balance between the impatience to return to your pre-cancer life and the physical need of healing TIME.  Good luck!

 


diamonds3
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 3/16/2011 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
The old exercise adage is “no pain, no gain”, not “no strain, no gain”. At this point, just weeks out from our surgeries, we should not even be thinking about any gains, only to maintain the musculature that we have. I submit that this muscle maintaining can be accomplished with the correct diet and lots of reps, sets, and super sets with light weights, and no straining. As soon as I have clearance I will be using the cable cross-over machine and light dumbbells that I have in my basement. I’m going to stay away from my bench and squat rack for a real long time. I’d be very wary of any core exercises, concentrating only on “finishing” movements. Just my two cents worth (based upon 25 + years of weight training).
DOB: 01/1961
PSA: 01/2010 2.8
PSA: 11/2010 4.2
DRE: 12/2010 Normal
PSA: 01/2011 4.1
Biopsy: 01/2011 7 out of 12 cores +
Gleason: 6(3+3)
Stage: T1C
Epstein 2nd opinion.
da Vinci 03/04/2011 Penn Hospital
Catheter Removed 03/11/2011

Viperguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 3/16/2011 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree 100%.  I wish we knew which exercises to do.  I may consult a physical therapist when I get the green light.  I don't want anymore surgerys. 
 
PS:  Juniors plastic snake is being removed tomorrow and I will get the full pathological report from surgery.
 
 
2009 PSA 2.2
2010 PSA 3.2
Biopsy 24 cores 3 positive
Gleason 3 plus 3
Robotic Surgery March 3, 2011 @ 6 am
At home recovering
Cath removal scheduled 3/17/11
Pathological report confusing, no seminal invasion Gleason 6 but margins not completely clear.
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