An Active LifeI was lucky to grow up on a lake in northern Wisconsin where I learned at a young age how rewarding staying active could be in your life. I skied, hunted, hiked, and played almost all sports. You name it, I have probably done it. As I got older—let’s face it, we all do—I remained active. I had a job that required frequent travel, so I was able to take advantage of hotel gyms to run and lift weights during weekdays. On weekends I almost always had a project going on that required physical strength. I never did it for any reason other than to feel good and to be able to hike as far as I needed to get to the perfect spot.
I thought that level of activity would be left in my memories with GBM and Optune. I was now dealing with a reduced peripheral vision in my right eye, double vision, and a number of other deficits including executive dysfunction AND a device I have to use and carry all the time. I had no idea how life would change as I began treatment. I initially thought Optune would hold me back from parts of my old life.
I was wrong.
With encouragement from friends and family, as well as a go-ahead from my doctor, I “got back on the horse.” My doctor and I talked about timing and starting slow, listening to my body, and paying special attention to any fatigue or dizziness. I started with walking. I couldn’t drive and felt better being outside, so I put on my tennis shoes and did walks around the block. I found that I could wear a hat to help my head stay cool and minimize alarms due to the sun. I got a USB-powered fan that hooked up to my backpack and pointed towards my head to keep better airflow. I realized I just needed to be open to what might make new things possible.
A New RoutineThese days I work out just as much as I used to, in some cases probably more. I typically get well above 10,000 steps a day to make my smartwatch happy. On array change days I have started running again and would like to get back to doing a few 5Ks a year. I was also able to get back out hunting with all my gear, including Optune.
Remember, it is important that you consult your doctor if you plan to start exercising or increasing the intensity of your exercises. They can help you create a workout plan that aligns with your goals. I also do strength training at least 3 days a week in addition to cardio to make sure I can continue to do the things I love. My typical workout consists of:
- 3 sets of 60 push-ups
- 3 sets of deep squats
- 3 sets of 30 pull-ups
- 3 sets of 50 sit-ups
- 3 sets of 40 dips
- 3 sets of 30 ab rolls
- 3 chair planks held for 2 minutes
I encourage anyone who is struggling with Optune and staying fit to think about ways they might be able to change their previous routines to something a little more manageable with the device. If you want to play golf, play golf! If you want to go fishing, go fish! Do what works for you, to the best of your ability.