Pacemaker and Cancer

Are there any distance runners dealing with heart and cancer issues? Four years ago I had a pacemaker implanted. It probably took until this time to psychologically adjust to it. That includes other heart procedures as well. Just a few days ago it was confirmed that I have polycythemia vera, a blood cancer. Is there anyone who runs dealing with these twin issues? How are your medical conditions effecting your running? 


Exercising with medical conditions

by Gemita - 2023-11-23 05:00:45


The fact that you are asking this question tells me that nothing will stop you from exercising.  I hope with effective treatment you can live as near normal a life as possible for many years with your newly diagnosed condition. 

Yes I have seen many members with cancer continue with their lifestyle.  I suppose with any illness, we must learn to “pace” ourselves better and to listen more to what our body is telling us and to rest/recover whenever we need to.  

I wish you every success with treatment and hope that you will continue to have a quality of life

Polycythaemia ruba vera. (PRV) and exercise

by Selwyn - 2023-11-24 13:34:05

I think you will find that your ability to breath, and tiredness  is a  limitation, unless treated ( which it can be).  PRV results in increased blood viscosity.  I would be very careful about dehydration as this will worsen the problem which includes blood clotting.  There is some bleeding risk associated with an enlarged spleen. Muscle and bone pain may occur.  If your spleen is very large, then running may not  be a good thing. What about swimming?

Clearly, some exercise of a moderate nature is to your benefit. 

If you want to look at 182 people's experience, then offers a recent review.

I wish you well. I have lymphoma and am a bit anaemic ( the opposite to your excessive number of  red cells). Fatigue and breathlessness, yes, but then I expect swimming a mile, playing competetive table tennis etc. may do that anyway! 

Keep fit. The chances are your cancer will be sorted. 

Best wishes.

Thank you

by runpacer - 2023-12-05 16:22:50

Gemita, thank you for always responding to posts. I'm trying to not let anything stop me... it's getting more challenging. Selwyn, thank you. Your post was informative. I think at this point the challenge for me is sorting out symptoms. Is it the PV or PM that makes my legs feel so heavy causing me to shuffle instead of actually running miles. I thought the fullness in my legs were caused by a maladjustment in my pacemaker. Now, I am not so sure. It fits the description of thickened blood trying to pass through vessels in my lower limbs..and there is additional pain in my knees and legs... I guess I will learn over the next few months which is which. Thanks again for your helpful and encouraging posts.

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker interferes with your electronic scale.

Member Quotes

But I think it will make me feel a lot better. My stamina to walk is already better, even right after surgery. They had me walk all around the floor before they would release me. I did so without being exhausted and winded the way I had been.