Sit, Stand, Walk: Taking Exercise Day by Day With Myeloma | Transcript | Multiple Myeloma | Patient Power


Sit, Stand, Walk: Taking Exercise Day by Day With Myeloma

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:

Jim, I wanted to ask you, you've been through so much, what do you say to patients now about the role of exercise for you, and what you would say to them no matter where they are in their myeloma journey? 

Jim Bond:

Yeah, I'd like to start 25 years ago when I was diagnosed with stage III myeloma.  I have a history of wanting to exercise, but let me start with my first transplant, which was right—right out of the shoot, right after they got me ready for a transplant 25 years ago.  It was important to me, Melanie, that I kept my body as strong as I could going into the transplant, eating the right things and trying to do exercise each day. And then when I got in the bone marrow unit, it was my goal to get out of bed as much as I could. 

And in those days, the nurses would scold me and say, “Jim, why are you dragging your IV poles around the bone marrow transplant floor?  You're in our way as nurses.”  And I explained to them that I use the bed to sleep at night.  I'm really not going to lie around my bed during the daytime.

And eventually we reached some kind of compromises, and they even brought a treadmill outside of my room, so I would stay out of their way and be able to get my daily exercise in. 

But that was really important to me. And instead of the six weeks that they had said it's going to take you to get out of this first bone marrow transplant, I was able to get out of there in three weeks. And luckily the day before our oldest son graduated from college, so I got to be there.  So it reinforced my belief that daily exercise, whether I'm in the hospital or not, really makes sense. 

But I would—I did take this up during that first transplant: I use the phrase, sit, stand, walk and by that I mean, yes, there are days during transplant and other procedures when you feel really crummy. And you are knocked down, you're full of whatever drug, and you're lying in bed. 

So some days it was all I could do to make myself sit up in that bed, but here's the thing, Andrew.  I did make myself do that.  I'd make myself get into an upright, sitting position as long as I could, and then I made myself stand next to the bed as long as I could.  And now it sounds very small, but, believe me, it was not at the time.  And then I'd make myself take that first and second step, and before you know it I'm walking up and down the halls getting scolded by nurses. 

Same thing when I got home.  I'd make myself walk as far as I could to the end of the block, and it was hard.  And then the next day, I'd try a little bit longer and a little bit longer. And I just became—I became convinced, and I am to this day, that doing something every single day that's safe and in accordance with our doctors' and physical therapists' advice that really did help me stay alive, and it's helping me today.  I still do it.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on November 7, 2017