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Getting Your Strength Back

cancer survivor x 4's picture
cancer survivor x 4
Posts: 183
Joined: Sep 2009

Hello Ladies,
I was just wondering how long it takes to get your strength back after chemo. It has been almost 1 year since surgery, June 2009, and 6 monthes since my last chemo treatment. I have been walking twice a day, but I get very tired. I am wondering if I will ever be has strong as I was before. The real test will be when I get into the pool. I swam competivley for about 8 years. Up until last year I could still beat my 26 year old son in a 25 meter race. I hope I can still swim 25 to 50 meters. Other then that I am feeling well. I am happy to feel the sunshine on my face, look at the beautiful, blue sky, plant flowers, slow down and talk to people more, and just try to be happy about everything. This time last year, I was a mess. Crying all the time, not knowing how invasive my cancer was, waiting to go to surgery, not knowing if I was even going to be alive. What a journey. What a test of faith. I never, ever lost faith, even if I had to go to heaven early. I was even going around asking people if they would come to my funeral. We all sit around and laugh about that now. But, still I am ever watchful. Re-occurence is always in the back of my mind. Currently I am NED. I get my CA-125 drawn every 30 days. I have a CT scan every 6 monthes. I see the oncologist every 3 monthes and the OB/GYN oncologist graduated me to every 6 monthes. My CA-125 has been bouncing around between 5 and 7. Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone. I read this board and every single posting everyday. I never want to loose contact with any of you. Thank-You, Paula

cancer survivor x 4's picture
cancer survivor x 4
Posts: 183
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Nancy707,
So, I can expect to be tired for the next 2 1/2 years? I take a nap everyday also and sleep very well at night. In fact, I love to sleep. I try not to sit around to much because I know how important it is to exercise, but I just get tired so fast. I was thinking about you today, because I got my blood work results. My white cell count is great, but my red blood cell count is still only 4.0, but the oncologist said that is okay, because the platlets are fine. I thought mayby I was tired because my RBC were low. See-Ya, Paula

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

I would say the low RBC is definitely a factor, although 4 isn't all that bad. I have had six units of blood in as many months and when my RBC is low, I tire very easily.

Do you take a multi-vitamin with iron? I think it's a good idea in general, and especially for us "low blood" folks.

Congrats on being NED and out of chemo.

Carlene

cancer survivor x 4's picture
cancer survivor x 4
Posts: 183
Joined: Sep 2009

Good Morning Hissy-Fitz,
I take a multi-vitamin everyday. I just do not think I have very good blood. When I woke up from my de-bulking surgery, I was getting a blood transfusion in my jugular vein and I had 3 more blood transfusions before I could get out of the hospital. The funny thing is, all during chemo, my blood counts were fine. I took all my chemo treatments on time. Today is an exciting day. I am finally having my concrete patio poured in the back yard. I was supposed to do this last year, but I got sick and nothing got done. I live in a 75 year old farm house, so we are always doing work to the house. Love You, Paula

cancer survivor x 4's picture
cancer survivor x 4
Posts: 183
Joined: Sep 2009

Hissy-Fitz,
Also, congrats to you for being NED. I know you are doing Taxol maintenance. How is that going? Is it bad? Paula

msfanciful
Posts: 580
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Paula,

It does take a while for the body to bounce back from these medicines that have been infused into our bodies (sometimes for months on end).

I am currently on taxol for 5 weeks now and my numbers (last checked) two weeks ago had dropped significantly from a continually rising 62 to 36 in 3 weeks. :-D. I notice now my hair is growing back spotty, so I am keeping it cut.

Although I know to keep the effects of steriods at bay I must eat less and exercise more; the energy level is not there as it used to be and it is not there for me (mentally) do so either. Plus the killer is the steriods also makes my appetite almost maddeningly craving everything.

Yet everyday is an effort and oh yes, I love to nap now...every chance I can get! LOL!

Hang in there it is a tough journey back to pre-cancer days.

Sharon

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

Hiya I am so glad you started this topic. I had my last chemo on March 26th and was wondering how long it will take me to:

1. Get my fitness back as I used to be a half marathon runner.
2. Lose the 2 stone I have put on while I've been ill.
3. Be able to swim 50 lengths of the swiming pool (As I used to do before)

Reading all of your posts have kinda answered my questions. I guess it will take longer than 6 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I put such a lot of hard work into losing weight and getting fit for a half marathon back in 2008 I am actually finding it very hard to reconcile myself to the fact that I am not that person anymore. (In fact I am more upset over this than I was over losing my hair).I don't know if I will ever be able to do any of my 3 things I listed above.

I should be glad to be alive but I am feeling anxious about being able to go into remission. I have just had a CT scan to see what is happening after my chemo has finished and will have my CA 125 taken soon. I get to see my oncologist June 14th.

Anyway, back to the original post, I am trying really hard to regain my old self. I swim about 2 lengths without stopping, I am able to run for 19 minutes so this makes me feel good. The only thing that is still really hard is losing the weight. I still get tired but it gets better every day :)

Take care everyone. Tina xxx

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