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After-Effects of Chemo

lhodnet
Posts: 62
Joined: May 2004

What has everyone experienced? I can't describe it, but sometimes I just feel like I am not here. Being a new mom, type A, remember everything type of person, this is SOOOOOOOO not conducive to my life style. Any thoughts, experiences or guidance on how to combat this and how long does it last? Is this something that I will have to deal with the rest of my life?!?! If so, I can definitely say that this is FAR worse than going through chemo.

**speaking from 2 car accidents in 2 months, one serious (thank goodness no one was hurt, but the car hit us on the side that my daughter sits on) and I can't afford any more things like this.

Anyone have any ideas on how to cope with this too? :(

lisa

pickles123
Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2004

What effects are you talking about? Pain, Chemo brain, fatigue, or all of them. I find that drinking green tea and taking a daily vitamin help me a little bit especially with my memory.

Its hard especially with a Type A personality and a new child. When I do silly things I try to laugh at myself. As the months go by I find myself getting better and better. How long have you been off of chemo?

Hugs,
Pic

Heatherjb
Posts: 27
Joined: Feb 2004

I know exactly what you are talking about. Before chemo, I was the person who remembered everything. I never had to make a list and had a very good memory. I finished chemo 2 years ago October and have not been the same. I fought it for a long time. People at work would ask me to do things and I would commit to them and then forget all about them. I would commit to bring food to a church function and then would rack my brain for hours trying to remember what it was that I was supposed to bring. It is sooooo frustrating. Well, I finally had to change the way I did things. I now have to write everything down in detail otherwise, I can't recall what was talked about. I have a had time keeping my mind on one task at work, so I have to write myself a list of priorities and stick to it.
I also attribute some of my "memory loss" to getting old (after all I am 31). Of course I'm sure that everyone is different. I have just had to adjust and make changes to the way I do things. I figure that it is a small price to pay to be alive.
Best of luck to you. My prayers are with you all everyday. Feel free to e-mail me through the site if you would like.
Heather

lhodnet
Posts: 62
Joined: May 2004

I have been off of chemo for only 2 months, but man, it has gotten pretty bad with my memory and my arms/legs fall asleep very easily - I am actually going to see a dr about this (personally, I think it was the vincristine - that was the WORST drug for me) and just the mere fact that sometimes I feel like I am just not 'here'. I know that is a weird explanation, but that is how I feel. I am sad to see that the chemo brain doesn't dissappear, but then again, I did beat hodgkin's so now I just need to reinvent how I do things in my life.

Thank you all for your support.
:)
lisa

Ronnie10
Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2004

I know what you mean by being tired. I am 22 years old..finished chemo in April and radiation in June. About a couple weeks ago, I started feeling so weak that I got really worried. I went to the doctor, they did some blood work, and everything was perfect. My oncologist just explained to me that my body is going to take about a year to recover. He said that people with Hodgkin's take the longest time to recover because of how intense the treatment was. I am finishing up college, working, and on a Dance Team, and he said that I may just be doing too much for my body to handle. He said I NEED to work at least an hour of rest into my day no matter what. Nothing you have to do is more important than your health, because you know if you don't have that, you don't have anything. Also, I take vitamins and try to drink as much water every day as possible. I took it easy the next week and tried to take care of myself, and I actually felt a lot better. I fell a little behind in school work, but who cares! It was worth it. As far as the memory loss goes...at first I was afraid because I would forget things, but then I started to realize that I think sometimes it was more my nerves than something serious. We had A LOT to deal with, and we still do. I know it won't come back, but my mind wanders a lot and is afriad of it coming back sometimes. When you have serious, upsetting things on your mind sometimes, it is easy to forget the little daily things.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! God Bless You.

kiren
Posts: 40
Joined: Jul 2004

thanks god I am not alone! after chemo I started forgetting too and couldn't remember small things. I thought I was developing alzhimers, but then I saw that I have too much on my mind trying to remember docs appointment. managing kids and treatments... I couldn't blame myself for being forgetful. So I also started making notes of important stuff so I don't forget and I am so happy to know that we have a term for being not there . I was afraid to tell that because I thought no one would understand that sometime for a few mins it felt like my mind has gone numb and I couldn't feel or see things and i was scared of driving my kids to school, once I almost closed the window of my car while my son was sticking his head out of it and he was screaming which I for some reason couldn't hear( got brain dumb)that was a lesson for me and now I take it easy I try to get enough sleep because I think it was lack of sleep and trying to prove to everyone I am normal now that I over did everything and that was killing me. I realize no matter how long time has passed since i was treated, as I have read in a book, we will always be cancer patients or as the term implies..survivors. We have to care for ourselves through out our life.

JoeShmoe's picture
JoeShmoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2004

So how long before you all returned to work? I am hoping that it will not be long after Chemo? I really can't afford to be off much longer. Ihodnet... I recieved vincristine this week & I know what you mean! My eyes were watery with double vision and my hands and feet are tingling like crazy, not to mention feeling jittery from Prednisone. I think my worst drug is the Nitrogen Mustard... I feel the worst that week. Does all this go away after Chemo?

JenniJ
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2004

I have been in remission for 7 years and I still suffer from most of the effects all of you are talking about. I have finally regained most of my energy, where I feel like I can almost compete with others in my age group. Although I still get tired out more frequently and seemed to go through stages of being tierd and not being tierd. I never considered numbness to be a effect of chemo, but after reading your responses, my arms and legs do tend to get numb more freqently now. I also have short-term memory loss problems which I was acquainting to migrain mediciation, but maybe it is part of my ABVD chemo. Thanks for giving me something to think about

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