Yup, that's exactly what happened to me ... it was, and still is, amazing. When I started Gleevec in mid-April a year ago, I started tracking my running times in detail to see how my running performance would respond. There is a 4.8 mile hilly route from my house that I run regularly and it improved drastically through the summer .. for anyone who's curious, here are some of the times that I recorded throughout the spring/summer last year (I was running the route about 4 times/week). I was tracking it like I track my CBCs!
The speed-up below directly correlated to response on the TKI. Each month I saw a pretty big improvement in running, and the resulting blood draw would show increasing RBC/Hemoglobin and decreasing FISH/PCR. Running is a great treatment monitor for me when I'm in between the 3-month draws. I have to think that if my fitness level is good, then something must be going right:
Running Time (minutes.seconds)
4/18: 41.00 (was on Gleevec for ~ 5 days and I was very winded, RBC/Hemoglobin levels well below normal)
I still track it, and I've now settled in and can run this hilly route at a pretty good clip for me ... I'm around 32.50 or so, although I've been nursing a foot injury for a bit [probably caused by the faster pace]. Despite that, it is a mind-boggling 8 minutes faster as compared to a year ago when I started Gleevec. I have lost a decent amount of weight during this period through some diet changes and from the faster running feeding on itself, so that's also a contributing factor.
I also started a weight training routine in early June and that has shown some remarkable improvement with the TKI response. I truly believe that rigorous fitness masks the Gleevec fatigue as well, so I'm trying to keep this up as hard as I can, as long as I can.
It could all fall apart now, but it definitely feels good today...