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How long after chemotherapy - radiation you feel back to normal?

thank you
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2009

Hello all!
My mom completed 4 cycles of carbo-taxol, on September 28th 2008 - almost a year now.
Radiation treatment was completed on December 15, 2008.
She still complains of numbness in her feet and feeling not back to her previous self. Getting tired more easily, muscle tightness. Very vague, nonspecific symptoms which she attributes to those treatments.
How are you doing after treatment. Are you back to normal? Any advise what she can do to help her self?

thank you

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I think everyone has different issues so what is "normal" for one may not be for another. All I can do is relate my own experience. Age and other physical conditions certainly play iinto the whole picture.

I am 66 yrs old....had 28 radiation treatments and 5 carbo/taxol treatments. I finished treatment in Jan 09. It took me several months to start feeling decent again, improved energy level, etc. but I noticed my energy level, strength and balance were POOR. I do have neuropathy in both feet from the chemo. SO....I started walking and initially I could barely do 10 minutes slowly. Now I walk 2 miles every morning at a brisk rate. I am taking a restorative yoga class which is wonderful, a movement class (gentle) and a very gentle pilates class. I have been really enjoyed getting out and about, lunching with old friends, doing some volunteer work, taking a few trips etc. BUT, I have to say, I had to push myself at first, even though I am pretty much a very optimistic go-gettor.

However, I must tell you, that I have worked very hard the last 6 months, to get to this point. My husband and I decided to take a little camping trip to a State park on Friday. Simply beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery. Sat morning we took a hike on one of the trails and I fell and fractured my ankle in 2 places.....and getting back out of the woods on a broken ankle was NOT fun. A part of me says....#!!#$$...it has taken me so many months to get my strength back. NOW...no weight bearing on that leg for at least 2 weeks and then maybe a walking boot for 4 weeks...and "expect a 2 month rehab". OK....it could have been worse, but nevertheless a bit discouraging. Since we have reservations to go trout fishing for 5 days in mid-Oct, I plan on being there....so a new goal!!

I am thinking you may want to compare your Mom's current level of activity with before, talk to her dr./nurse practitioner about it, understand what your Mom's goals are and help her develop a plan to start back on the path if she is physically capable and motivated to do it. Do you think that maybe she is depressed??

Wishing you and your Mom the very best.....there is more to life than cancer!!

Karen

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Karen, I like your attitude. Sorry about your ankle and hope it heals FAST so you can continue your progress!!! Mary Ann

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1407
Joined: Jan 2009

I too like your positive attitude. I hope your ankle continues to improve and you get to enjoy that trout fishing.

I agree with you that everyone's "normal" is different, and we all have different expectations after our treatment is finished. I have been lucky that I did not get any neuropathy with the treatments. I am able to walk 2 miles every day, but I don't have my energy level back to where it was before I started treatments. It has only been 6 weeks since I had my last chemo, but thought my energy level would be better by now. I know I need patience and things will get back to "normal". I too have multiple gardens and would like to be able to work in them more. I know the time will come when I can.

kansasgal's picture
kansasgal
Posts: 117
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi, Karen.

On the one hand I was so sorry to hear about your injury - especially having to drag yourself off the hiking trail and back to the car. However, I must say I was cheering to learn that you were feeling well enough to actually be ON a hiking trail! My friend broke her ankle just stepping awkwardly then falling out of her own back door a couple months ago.

About the neuropathy: I don't know why, but my feet feel much better (less numb and tingling) when I'm wearing sandals than when I'm wearing sport shoes like lace-up or even velcro Reeboks or Nikes. I am fortunate to have about 5 pairs of sandals in different colors. All are the same size and style and brand. I can see myself wearing them right through the winter, even if I have to wear socks (gasp!) with them.

Maybe we could meet some time next year when I am out of quarantine (imposed by my solicitous husband) and we come up to the Kansas City area.

Sally

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Sally.... I would love to meet you. Let me know when you are planning a trip this way. I am thinking you are in Wichita??

'til we meet....stay strong!! Karen

kansasgal's picture
kansasgal
Posts: 117
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi, Karen! I'm wondering how to exchange e-mail addresses. Could you search using something like google "Gragert, Hiebert, Gray & Link" to get the web page for our office. Then click on David Gray. At the bottom of his page you will see his office e-mail address. If you could just send me a message there with the subject something like "For Sally - Personal" my co-workers will be sure not to delete it. Please imagine David with more white than black hair. He still has that necktie, but it is too threadbare to wear. And his face hosts many more wrinkles!
Sally

cleo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2009

Age 68. Super fit before 30 radiotherapy treatments. It took 6 months before I felt anything like back to normal, was told that it could take a year..and I had nil chemo. I still have numbness and tingling in both feet after 2 years, irritating but not debilitating. Although I feel totally healthy and 'pre-hiccup' in myself I find that I still can't rush about as I used to, the body tires more easily and the aches come more quickly. I go with the flow, potter in shorter bursts and figure there's plenty of time tomorrow, everything still gets done but in a more relaxed way!!

livenow09's picture
livenow09
Posts: 63
Joined: Apr 2009

Aloha "Thank you" finished up treatment end of Nov 08; foolishly went back to work part time in mid Jan 09; struggled through until May; then felt like I was turning a corner; have to be careful not to push too hard; no more pushing the envelope; have to stop before the fatigue sets in; working 30 hrs a week (homecare RN, lots of driving); take it slow but steady and Mom will get there; can't say I'll ever be as energetic as before but then again I'm 61 and it's hard to separate out what was effects of chemo/cancer/surgery and what is normal aging slowdown; tell Mom to keep dancing despite the neuropathy

Marie

thank you
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks everybody for all your replies.

Marie, I am SO GLAD you passed one more 3-month period NED. That's it, and this is how it will be from now on: NED.
I would be very surprised if you weren't anxious before the appointment: that's an absolutely expected reaction. I feel the same before my mom's follow ups - we have kept the prognosis and the possibility of recurrence a secret from my mom who believes that was it, not at all concerned for recurrence. Which makes me happy that she doesn't have to go through the anxiety before the follow up appointments, but I "die" every time in the possibility I have to tell her: mom, your disease is back....
My best wishes to all of you
Chrysoula

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