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Climbing and other sports


Re: Climbing and other sports

Hi Jo


I've just passed my 13 year anniversary after Triple Negative BC, mastectomy and node clearance which gave me slight lymphoedema.  I took up dragon boating - look for a club near you.  Its now an international organisation the IBCPC.  Its a great form of exercise and you can tailor it to your own ability, i.e. full strength or lower strength or just sit in the boat for support. 

Google Breast Cancer Dragon Boat paddling and there might be a team near you.  I'm based in Manchester with Paddlers for Life Manchester Dragoneers.  

We're off to New Zealand in 2022 to take part in the Celebration of Life Breast Cancer Dragon Boating festival.




Re: Climbing and other sports

Hi Jo,


thanks loads for your response. Great to hear your story ... Very encouraging. 

I am obviously worried about the full node clearance .. as this puts me at a higher risk of Lymphoedema. That’s why I’m keen to hear from others. Thanks also for the link to the website ... i didn’t know about I before.

Good luck with the chemo. Like most things in this game, best not to worry too much about all the potential side effects as if like me, you will not experience most of them. I kept walking throughout my chemo .. but didnt do any other sports ... and some days those walks were very short. But helps the head as well as the body .. to get outside.


trish x


Re: Climbing and other sports



I had a mastectomy 3 years ago (although only had 2 nodes removed compared to your full clearance) and am just going through chemo (with rads to come) for a recurrence. 

I do a lot of mountaineering, kayaking/canoeing, cycling, running so I think quite similar to you. After surgery 3 years ago it was a case of building up things slowly but I got back to doing everything I was doing before my initial diagnosis. I struggled with fatigue as I pushed myself too hard too soon but once I'd got my head around trying to take it slowly I managed to build everything back up. It was hard as I lost a lot of confidence as I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere but you just have to take it slow.

I was sore carrying a rucksack when out in the mountains certainly to start with and then occasionally in the year or so afterwards, and I just managed that by using my waist belt to carry most of the load and loosening the shoulder strap to take the weight and pressure off my affected side which worked. And with kayaking it was a case of building up the upper body strength again gradually both on the water and with some physio, being very mindful of any symptoms of lymphoedema.

I'm very lucky I have a good medical team who understand how important being outdoors is to me and they have helped me to work out how to get back to full fitness. And I'm being encouraged to keep doing as much as I can (very carefully!) through chemo. The key thing is listening to your body. I'm rubbish at that, but its just being careful and taking things slowly and not pushing too hard to start with. Hopefully I'll get it right the second time around!


A useful website is: http://www.cancerfit.me/site/index.php


Hope that is useful in some way...happy to chat if you have any questions. Good luck getting back to everything!




Climbing and other sports

Hi there,

I’ve not finished my treatment yet. So far had chemo, and a maestectomy with full lymph removal. I have radiotherapy to come.


Before all his i was a keen sporty person ... swimming, cycling, mountaineering and climbing. I’m sure there are other people who can advise on how they have found returning to sports, and in particular climbing?? Is there any formal advise ... websites or stuff? I haven’t found any. 


Thanks, Trish x