Mindy, transplant recipient, talks about exercise before & after her BMT

By: Be The Match

Hi. I’m Mindy Fast and I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2001, when I was 40 years old. I had my transplant in 2008. … my husband and I would walk every evening. At first, we were only able to go to the end of block and back. But, eventually I was able to work up to walking about a mile in my neighborhood, um, over moderate hills. Since my transplant, I have definitely upped the intensity of my workouts.

I’m feeling good. I have a lot more energy than I did because I’m no longer on any treatment or taking any post-transplant drugs. Every day I try to work up a sweat. I’m trying to jump around more, um, lifting more weights.

My cancer and treatment have left me with osteoporosis and I really feel like it’s very important that I exercise to try to strengthen my bones. … When you have cancer, you lose control over so much of what is happening to your body... Now that I’m healthy and feeling good, I wanted to take control over my body again. And exercising and, you know, eating well was a great way to do it. Tape 8/ Time stamp: 06:32 (start with third sentence in) – 7:02 (30 seconds) I’ve been doing pushups for 10 years now. I still do beginner pushups. I’m not able to do the, the full legs-straight-out pushups.

But, I’m working out. I’m enjoying myself. The more I exercise, the more I enjoy it and the better I feel about myself. So many of the exercise routines that I do, um, end with the instructor saying, “You did it! You completed another workout.” And, and it’s true. I mean the more you do, the healthier that you’re getting. If I only have 10 minutes, to, in the morning to exercise before I have to head out, I’ll do a 10-minute routine or I’ll just, you know, jog in place / lift some weights for 10 minutes. I used to feel, “Well, I only have 10 minutes.

Mindy, transplant recipient, talks about exercise before & after her BMT

I’m not going to bother today.” But, now I feel that exercising for 10 minutes or even exercising for 5 minutes is better than not exercising for 5 minutes. Whatever you do helps your body. My final suggestion about exercising is, don’t sell yourself short. I am not an athlete. I have never been an athlete. I hated gym class growing up. I started exercising because I felt it was something I should be doing.

The more I exercised, the more I enjoyed it. Someone had told me about 8 years ago that I should take a yoga class – that it would be good for my health. I L-O-V-E yoga. And again, I’m not an athlete, I am, um, I’m not very flexible but I really enjoyed taking yoga. If you have physical limitations from your transplant, which is not uncommon, talk to your doctor and the nurses about what you can be doing to exercise. There are a lot of personal trainers that have experience working with cancer patients or others with physical limitations and they’ll help design a program that’s best for you. Just do something. And, good luck.

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