The Importance of Exercise - to Survive Brain Cancer

Crater Lake X-Country Ski 2010Crater Lake X-Country Ski 2010

When I was first diagnosed with brain cancer, the GBM brain tumor, I was not in the best physical shape. I was too busy working and taking care of my kids, to give myself time to exercise. I did not realize until I was told I had cancer, that exercise is a valuable "medicine", to boost your immune system and fight the cancer!

To keep my body healthy I began exercising 5 days a week, for 40 minutes. How hard I work out during the 40 minutes varies depending on how I feel that day. But I make sure I do something! Often I use my elliptical or recumbent inside bike (while watching something good on TV). But when the weather is good, I get outside and hike, bike, run, walk, swim, canoe, backpack, X-country ski, or mow my lawn. Anything to keep moving. While I was on chemotherapy (Temodar), each of those 5 days I took the capsules I felt fatigued. But I knew it was important for me to keep moving, so I would still get out for a slow walk, or went on the elliptical slower. But I wanted to keep moving, so the cancer cells could not catch up to me!

My plan during the 40 minutes is to move my body, getting my blood pumping through my lymph nodes and my whole body. I’m not trying to become an Olympic athlete, just trying to stay healthy and happy.

The benefits of exercising for me is: Boosting my immune system, giving me more energy the rest of the day, and making me feel more at peace – reducing depression.

I feel exercising is a key factor in my efforts to keep the brain tumor away.