Monday, February 13, 2012

"I'll Be Back"

 My oncologist just reduced the frequency of my Zometa infusion to every sixty days from a thirty day interval.  The drug has served me well for almost ten years. We think that the change will continue to protect bone mass while avoiding potential side effects.

I've been pondering ways to supplement the reduced Zometa dosage.  There is, fortunately, a plethora of dietary and nutritional material offering a broad range of foods,  (frequently accompanied by savory recipes), and natural supplements to be considered with the counsel of one's oncology team. My infusion nurse suggested weight lifting and light impact workouts that meet my conditional limitations.

I have trained for and participated in long duration, 100 to 200 mile, bike events over the last ten years or so. However, as many of you know, biking, (like swimming), while great for overall health has limited effect on the bones because of the low impact nature of the exercise. A consistent jogging or fast walking routine would strengthen leg bones, my nurse explained, while light, weight training for the arms, shoulders and chest would help add density to the upper skeletal structure. Weight bearing and impact exercise adds bone density.

Obviously, changes to your daily regimen should be discussed with your oncology team. The doctors and nurses of the Dana Farber in Boston have considered and evaluated  nutrition, nutritional supplements and exercise routines that are touted as beneficial in the treatment of multiple myeloma. More important, they know how one patient's response, i.e. my response,  differs from others to a drug, a particular dosage of a drug, the level of exercise intensity your physiology can manage,  and even how much weight your bones can bear without causing damage. For example, my doctor suggested I should lift not more than 35 pounds. That sounded light to me until I was introduced to a program using light weights, a high repetition count and a unique combination of exercises.

I'll let you know how I feel after a couple of sessions. In the meantime if you body builders out there have any ideas, I'd like to hear them.

Thanks for checking in...