Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Black Box

Because Science!

So here's a fun new thing - as of yesterday, I'm a participant in an NYU Langone study of the effect of exercise on blood glucose levels of chemo patients. One of the researchers had stopped by during my 4th infusion to see if I wanted to participate, and I said "Sure!". I'm part of the control group, who gets to just do what we usually do. Another group will be given an exercise regimen to follow. I probably couldn't have volunteered for the regimen group as the next few weeks are gonna be crazy at work, but my normal winter activity, when I can talk myself into it, is lots of walking interspersed with paddles. I say "when I can talk myself into it" 'cause although you wouldn't guess it from my "halfway through chemo" post, I'm actually such a warm-weather gal that in the wintertime, there's always a part of me that would really like to just curl up on the couch and eat cookies all winter. I try not to let that part win, though, 'cause I know I feel better when I'm keeping up at least a moderate activity level. One thing I was kind of psyched about with this study was that participants are asked to wear exercise monitors for a couple of weeks, and I thought it would be interesting to see how much I'm really doing - am I more lazy or less lazy in the winter than I think I am? - and also that seeing that might inspire me to do more.

So yesterday, I went for a 6 minute walk test (gives them a baseline fitness level - I was expecting a treadmill but they have you walk up and down a hallway around 2 cones, felt kind of silly but I guess it lets them measure how you walk naturally) and then I got my monitor during my infusion. Well - it turns out that although they understand that the control group may be inspired to be more active by being part of the study, they don't want us to be  actually looking at this doohickey and setting ourselves goals (exactly as I was thinking I would do, in fact), so they set it to a blank screen. Sort of like having a personal flight data recorder, where it tracks a bunch of stuff but you don't get to look at it. Bummer bummer bummer. Oh well, I still don't want it to go home and tell mean stories about how lazy I am, so I'm walkin' here, I'm walkin'!


LauraEhlers said...

How cool! Will they release your activity info to you after the fact? Ps-the medical community is doing a lot of studying in glucose and effects on various things! I expect we will be hearing about thus a lot in the future.

bonnie said...

I hope they will, I would find that to be very interesting! I've also been asked to keep a log of my activity and I'll be curious about how far over or under my estimates are.

I don't think I'm cheating too badly by consciously trying to up my just-walking-around time while I'm being tracked - I do push myself with personal challenges (best one was probably when I decided that I was going to walk 100 miles in one month, just doing longer after-work walks - I actually pulled that off) in the wintertime, when I'm fighting the couch-and-cookies desires, and also during intense times at work. I felt like this was a good prompt to kick off one of those.

FitnessInBalance said...

This sounds like a great idea---both in terms of the study and you having some positive thing to participate in around wellness. I think the benefits of activity could be helpful in a whole host of situations. It would be great to have some real data to back it up. Keep us informed!

bonnie said...

I will! I give much credit for how well this has gone to my excellent medical team, with a big helping of luck in catching it early, but I do also think that the fact that I'm an active person and in reasonably good condition has to have played a big role in how it's working out too - my oncologist and her nurse are delighted with how well I'm doing with my chemo!

O Docker said...

Bummer that there's no control group that gets to curl up on the couch and eat cookies all winter. In this country, that's the baseline data they should be starting with.

Have abandoned my old blogging haunts, so just happened upon this story of the rogue wave you have recently weathered. What that wave doesn't understand is that you are someone who laughs at Eskimo rolls in Eskimo water, and who has paddled all the way around a very long island.

It sounds like you are charging through this with your usual energy and speak-no-evil optimism - two things every mariner needs to make it through any storm.

It also sounds like blogging and Facebooking may be helping you to keep your thoughts organized and your direction focused. In any case, blog on Bonnie.

bonnie said...

O-docker! Good to hear from you, I hope all's going well for you. Thank you so much for the good wishes, I really appreciate them. So far so good and I'm hoping that that continues to be true!

bonnie said...

ps - actually the control group can curl up on the couch and eat cookies if they want to. And I must admit have also done a little bit of that, too. It's good to balance things out!