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Swimming during/after treatment

18 REPLIES 18
Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi Wahini 

I have reconstruction in June, so I’m swimming with one side flat. 

I love swimming, it’s been so helpful. 

Had anxiety over people staring at me at the pool, however no one has bothered looking at me. 

Started Radiotherapy today, radiologist said I could continue swimming, as long as I showered straight after. 

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

That is great Monica, did you have a reconstruction also?

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi 

I started to swim 6 weeks after my Mastectomy, I could not actually swim, so Iv been taking lessons, which have been great. 

Swimming has helped my healing and reduce my slight lymphodema. There have been studies to suggest swimming is one of the best exercises post surgery and in the recovery of Cancer.

 

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi, not sure how successful the sew in pocket would be in the costume. I’ve bought some swim shorts to wear over my mastectomy swimming costume. Given up worrying what I look like! Short sighted of Speedo though. X

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi Flossie, I have just seen this post as I wanted to find out when I could venture back to the pool.

 

I have always had problems with swimsuits, being an F cup I have had to buy expensive 'cup size' suits.  I am wondering if it would be possible to buy the 'pockets' that you can (apparently) sew into your bras and sew one into your Speedo suit?   I am going to look into that, but won't be swimming for a good few weeks yet I think.

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi there, I went swimming 5 weeks after lumpectomy and was fine - it felt great to get back into the water. As I wa son holiday it was only in a small hotel pool but with so few people in there, it was lovely. Go for it, but be cautious about overdoing it.

Regarding surfing in a wetsuit, I understand any exercise is good post treatment and I think a wetsuit compression could be good but recommend you speak to BCN or lymphoedema clinic nurse. Good luck

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

I am a very keen board surfer and after my lumpectomy over two years ago I was back surfing after about 4 weeks, protected in a 6 mm wetsuit. No problems with that. Soon I will have one sided mastectomy (same breast as where the lump was) and full node clearance and I am very concerned about my future surfing. Especially te side efferts of the nodes clearance and consequent risk of lymphodema. I heard swimming is good exercise to reduce lymphodema and wetsuit might put enough pressure on the arm to prevent swelling?  Getting in and out of the wetsuit may be the hardest part. The surgeon says I will be back surfing within 4 to 6 months but can that be true?

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Well, having been very reluctant to visit my local pool following surgery in February (more to do with my thoughts than anything else!) I have today (after several false starts due to the pool being refurbished and the time of my usual visit being changed to far too early on a sunday morning) been swimming - there were only 3 of us in the water to start with, my kind of heaven. It was bliss and although not a strong swimmer i managed about 15 lengths, about half of what i used to do, before my stamina ran out, i cant explain my irrational thinking that stopped me from getting back to swimming sooner it is my preferred form of exercise snd i have missed it so much but now i have gotten rid of the ridiculous block in my own headspace i thoroughly enjoyed my swim today and i will be going back regularly now. Having done very sporadic exercise since February apart from race for life 5k, i tried getting back to zumba but find it still too uncomfortable for now, so i am especially pleased to be back swimming and i will continue. To all you water babies i say dont let this illness stop you from doing what makes you happy and enjoying life however simple, once your healed and your doctors and nurses give you the go ahead get back to what you enjoy doing and be you again, i have waited too long to do what i enjoy and wish i had done it sooner. Dont let this illness take everything from us dont let it win.
Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

I braved my first swim this week after a mastectomy in June. I really miss my Speedo swimming costume and they don’t do a costume with pockets. I emailed them and apparently it isn’t something they are interested in providing. A little short sighted I feel. I have bought a pocketed one but for serious swimmers the choice is very limited.  However it was great to get back in the pool and finally begin to feel normal. 

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Thanks for all the replies. Unfortunately it was famous last words regarding making a good recovery. I subsequently developed a large haematoma, ironically not in the breast with the tumour (which has healed up really well), but in my other breast which was reduced as part of my surgery. I have had to have it drained on several occasions in the last few weeks and this has delayed my radiotherapy, plus with more punctures now on the other breast I feel like there is  more of a risk of infection. Hopefully will get to the pool this weekend - just really keen to get back to some sort of normality, of which swimming is a key part for me.

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi Swimmer,

 

 

I've just gone back to swimming after my treatment ended. My surgery was late December, so fully healed from that. I wasn't comfortable with the idea whilst on chemo, worried about infection with low immunity etc. Pretty much got in the pool after the end of radio as my skin was intact and I just felt the need to be doing something normal. It's been great xxx

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi Swimmer, I have carried on swimming throughout treatment leaving approx 4 weeks after each op. I also swam throughout chemo in the good weeks although I was a bit wary about infection, oncologist said it was fine. I too am waiting to start radiotherapy and have been told providing the skin does not break down and is not sore it is fine to swim.

 

I agree its good exercise and also for de-stressing.

 

Good luck with your remaining treatment. xx

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi swimmer, I’m a aqua fit fan and love the water. Swam gently in the pool on holiday, 6 weeks post op and went back to the classes after 8 weeks - on the advise of my surgeon. I had a WLE. Been advised by my onc not to swim for the 3 weeks of radio and then the 3 weeks after, we’re all different, hope this is helpful.
Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

I went swimming 4 weeks after masectomy and got an 8nfection so be very cautious xx
Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Thank you for replies. I have just come back from holiday in Norfolk - felt like torture being near the beach in such hot weather and not going in! I had left my costume at home deliberately - but then nearly bought one in a charity shop! However I did discuss this with my surgeon and BC nurse. They both said they thought that sea (salt) water is very good for healing wounds, but to wait a little while until things heal up more - so on my estimation maybe six weeks following my particular surgery. I have had no complications and everything is healing well, although I have had a lot of incisions as it was a breast reduction. I notice in the radiotherapy information I have it says you can go swimming during radiotherapy as long as the skin isn't broken and you wash any chlorine off immediately. I haven't started my radiotherapy yet. I think I will probably give the pool or beach a go in the next week or so, but appreciate will need to be careful with arm movements, cleanlinessm moisturing etc. It will be worth it!!   

Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

I would also love to know the answer to this. I am 3 weeks post surgery for lumpectomy and lymph node removal (far far harder than expected) and still having drains for seroma.
Member

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi, I had a wire guided wide excision to remove tissue to achieve clear margins at the end of February. Like you I am a jern swimmer - after everything healed I went in holiday in may and was swimming in the sea and hotel pools and have been fine, I have to say I am reluctant to visit my local pool for fear of picking up any kind of infection even though my wound is fully healed - I think this us down to my mental attitude rather than anything else though, I'm sure if everything is totally healed if would be ok but if you have any concerns ask your bc team for advice. Me it's just my headspace I have to contend with even though I was fine on holiday, it's weird I know but its what this thing puts in your head!! I hope you get back to enjoying your swimming soon x
Community Manager

Re: Swimming during/after treatment

Hi Swimmer

 

Sorry that you havent had a reply yet.  You may find it helpful to talk this through with one of our speciliasts on the free Helpline, 0808 800 6000.

 

Alternatively you can post a question on the Ask Our Nurses area of the Forum.

 

Another possiblity could be to post in an area where this may have more meaning, Recoverirng from treatment.

 

Best wishes
Anna
Digital Community Officer

Member

Swimming during/after treatment

Are there any keen swimmers out there? I love indoor and outdoor swimming, not only for exercise but also it just makes me feel so much better. I had a therapeutic reduction, lump removal and SNB about three weeks ago. I am waiting for things to heal up before proceeding to radiotherapy.  I am just wondering how soon people were able to get back in the water after/during treatment. The chlorine in pools is very drying to your skin I know, but I was wondering about the sea swimming. I am really missing it - if only for a float around!