Adventure with Optune®

Here’s how

After I was diagnosed with GBM, I immediately decided that I was not going to give up any activity without an earnest and persistent effort to continue to do what has always been good for my body, mind, and soul.

I have been active my entire life. So, when it came to using Optune, I thought about how I would be able to stay active and do what I love.

Here are my “hows” and “whats”:
    

Blue light: on Heart rate: up Stress level: down

My first activity objective was to get out and walk every day. Once I formed the habit of wearing a hat anytime I was outside and carrying at least one extra battery, I worked up to walking about four to six miles as briskly as possible. And I always used a backpack or a lumbar pack to carry Optune.

Oh, and remember to talk with your doctor before engaging in physical activity! Make sure your exercise is doctor-approved before you take off.
   

Next up, every other activity I enjoy:

  • Traveling by plane, train, and automobile to visit friends and family, I bring
  • Optune along for the ride.
  • Biking, which I do with Optune on my shoulders in my backpack.
  • Skiing, which I also do with Optune in my backpack.
  • Weight training, which I do with Optune close by.
  • Hiking with Optune in my backpack.
  • Ice hockey, which I do with my backpack off and my cord tucked into my pants.
  • Home repairs and chores and cooking.
At this point, I kind of consider myself a pro at device placement. But though I’ve had to change the way I do most of these activities, I’ve still been able to find enjoyment with them—even if it does require a bit of creativity.
      

The great outdoors with Optune

When embarking on hiking or camping trips, Optune might feel like a whole lot of extra weight.

Here’s what works for me: A lightweight hiking backpack with chest and abdomen straps sized to fit Optune.

Things that are handy for your head: Wider hats or helmets, skull caps, light runners’ hats without mesh (to let the sun in), bandanas, and flexible cooling packs.

Sometimes it also helps to have: A large umbrella to shade my backpack and me from the sunlight or protect the device in the rain, a large rain jacket and poncho that can cover Optune, and a dry bag (for water activities).
        

When it comes to arrays

I always have additional supplies prepared. I also pay attention to gel and contact integrity. I use a comfortable, sunlight-blocking hat over a moisture-wicking skullcap to keep my change schedule at about two to three days.

When it comes to percentage numbers, compliance is an average. For me, that means it comes with credits and debits. I seem to be at about 90% usage per month.

Activities reserved for change days (when I’m not using Optune) only: running at the highest pace I can manage, swimming, golfing, or any activity that makes me sweat a ton and may cause the arrays to become wet.
           

The spirit of adventure

Mindset Matters. I accepted that some activities would have changes in intensity or duration in order to maximize my time on Optune, but I remained patient with myself as well as the device to find what worked for me. It’s easy to become frustrated when dealing with extra weight. But with enough patience and adjustment, I was able to keep doing a few of the things I’ve always loved doing.

Some of my favorite activities weren’t ended by Optune. But some were. And the others required quite a bit of tweaking to get just right.

Finding that perfect balance required persistence, determination, and plenty of laughter—at myself, mostly, when my ideas failed. But while a few of my inventive solutions blunder and backslide, my excitement for exploring nature and exercising only keeps evolving—even if I am hauling a few extra pounds.
          

Here are pics of me doing my favorite things!

Craig-Biking-Gear.JPG

Getting out for a bike ride


Craig-Hiking.JPG

Climbing in Muir Woods

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Hitting the slopes in Lake Tahoe

Craig-Golfing.JPG

Golfing

Topics: Daily Life with Optune
By Craig, Optune patient

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What is Optune® approved to treat?

Optune is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.

Newly diagnosed GBM

If you have newly diagnosed GBM, Optune is used together with a chemotherapy called temozolomide (TMZ) if:

Recurrent GBM

If your tumor has come back, Optune can be used alone as an alternative to standard medical therapy if:

What is Optune Lua approved to treat?

Optune Lua is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated for the treatment of adult patients, with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) to be used together with standard chemotherapy (pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy).

Who should not use Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM?

Optune for GBM and Optune Lua for MPM are not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have:

Do not use Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Optune/Optune Lua is safe or effective during pregnancy.

What should I know before using Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM?

Optune and Optune Lua should only be used after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical staff who have completed a training course given by Novocure®, the maker of Optune and Optune Lua.

What are the possible side effects of Optune for GBM and Optune Lua for MPM?

The most common side effects of Optune when used together with chemotherapy for GBM (temozolomide or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, seizure, and depression.

The most common side effects when using Optune alone for GBM were scalp irritation (redness and itchiness) and headache. Other side effects were malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcers.

The most common side effects of Optune Lua when used together with chemotherapy for MPM (pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy) were low red blood cell count, constipation, nausea, tiredness, chest pain, fatigue, skin irritation from device use, itchy skin, and cough.

Other potential adverse effects associated with the use of Optune Lua include: treatment related skin irritation, allergic reaction to the plaster or to the gel, electrode overheating leading to pain and/or local skin burns, infections at sites of electrode contact with the skin, local warmth and tingling sensation beneath the electrodes, muscle twitching, medical device site reaction and skin breakdown/skin ulcer.

Talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects or questions.

Caution: Federal law restricts Optune Lua to sale by or on the order of a physician. Humanitarian Device. Authorized by Federal Law for use in the treatment of adult patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, malignant pleural mesothelioma concurrently with pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated.

Please click here to see the Optune Instructions for Use (IFU) for complete information regarding the device's indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

Please click here to see the Optune Lua IFU for complete information regarding the device's indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

On this site, patient and healthcare professional videos as well as all images labeled as Optune users, caregivers, or healthcare professionals depict actual patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. All other depictions of patients and caregivers are actor portrayals. Patient images reflect the health status of the patients at the time each photo was taken.

What is Optune approved to treat?

Optune is indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.