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Stamina following treatment

cbs6931's picture
cbs6931
Posts: 63
Joined: Mar 2010

I'm finding the lack of stamina following treatment a bit discouraging, and am wondering if others have run into the same situation. I've always run at warp speed and am now finding that even a short walk, or brief period of watering my garden leaves me winded and tired. My treatment was completed roughly two weeks ago. Have others run into this? And if so, how long did it take to get your stamina back? Was there anything you did that you felt helped?

Thanks a bunch!

Cathy

lemonade
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2010

I finished treatment in October 2009. I am still sleeping 10-11 hours per night. My stamina is not where it was at all. I had stage IIIB and they zapped me pretty good with the radiation.

Try to be patient with yourself. It is very frustrating.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

Hi Cathy,

I completed treatment on 6-30-09. Before tx, I used to mow my front and back yard, weed eat and blow off in about 2.5 hours. After treatment I could only do my front yard, with several breaks. I would get winded and had to sit down or even go in the house and cool off and lay down. It took several months before I could complete the front yard without having to come in the house and lay down, I didn't do the back. Well just this past Saturday, I completed the front and back and didn't have to stop but for water. My energy level is finally back to where it was. Please be patient with yourself as you just went through an energy draining tx. I have been walking everyday now and that helps. 2 weeks isn't that long of time. I wish you well, and just take baby steps and gradually you will get back to normal. Lori

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 522
Joined: Jul 2009

Cathy
It takes time, you've been through ALOT! I too was high energy but for a month or so after treatment (and during of course) I was zapped. Needed to nap and rest. And I did. Listen to your body. In time you will re-gain your strength. Treatment is both physically and emotionally tough.

One day at a time.

Liz

steve714's picture
steve714
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2010

Hey folks, I sure understand about the lack of energy! Before treatment I was of those people who never stopped-now Im luckly to keep myself bathed and fed. Done with chemo and have 6 more targeted rad trestments. I have found if I'm having a low energy day , I just go with it. I'll feed the dog myself and anythinhg else that HAS to be done and then stop and rest. Maybe nap all day, watch movies all day, take a bubble bath etc. Just treat my self and just let everything else flow right off me till another day. You would be surprised how much this helps. Also when folks ask If they can do anything for you,give them something to do. Like the wash , shopping, bring you an ice cream on their next vist, take you for a short drive etc. It will pass, just dont try to be a hero. Good luck to you.

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

It took me (in my 60s) about 3 months to gather stamina back. I have never been quite back to what I used to be but I am now mid-sixties and think part of this is as much age related as treatment. Since treatment, I have run for office and remain an active grandma of grandchildren 1-7 in age, town councilor, substitute teacher as well as participating in activities in church and other community activities...

You WILL gain all or most of your strength and stamina back.
Hang in!

Priscilla

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Cathy--

If you are only 2 weeks out of treatment, you must give yourself some more time! It takes awhile for your energy level to return, as your body has been through a lot. It is good to begin getting in a little exercise, but when your body tells you to rest, you need to do just that. Try to eat good, healthy foods, which include good carbs and protein, drink plenty of water, and plenty of sleep. Afternoon naps should not be avoided if you feel like you need one. Your body will come back in its own time, so please don't try to rush things. Take care.

Majulie
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

Your energy will come back, but it does take time. I am only 40, and finished treatment August 2009. I did several weeks of physical therapy in the pool, and found that helped me gain strength/stamina back. I too got winded, and I actually use that now as a gauge, when I'm winded it tells me that my body needs me to slow down. And like someone else said, when I have an off day, which I still do from time to time, I tell myself, my health comes first now, and not all the other things I use to break my neck to "get done". I too will still occasionally spend an entire day in bed, resting and watching TV, just taking it easy and being good to myself. You are only a few weeks out of treatment, so take it easy, be patient and know that it just takes time.

dharma19
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2010

My radiation oncologist made me feel that I was being much a drama mama when, at two weeks post radiation, he informed me that I should be done ALL the side effects of radiation. He just didn't want to hear it. I found someone else I felt comfortable raising my exhaustion and pain to. I kept my medical oncologist. The point I am trying to make is that even docs don't know how long it takes some time. I am exhausted a lot, and I do worry that it means that there has been residual cancer, etc. I have been educated that it is totally normal to be exhausted, so I am very happy to have the validation of my docs and this board. I hope you feel the same sense of relief. It will get better. And don't worry if you are strong some days and tired the next, that happens too.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

It took months to get my stamina back. That radiologist has no clue, and he should be ashamed of himself. I'm sure if he went throught the same tx, he would have a different outlook. I completed tx on 6-30-09 and stil have gyno issues from the radiation. Just remember it takes time and you will eventually have your stamina back. Lori

Chris3
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2010

I agree with Lori. That doctor should be ashamed to say that! I finally finished my treatment on 06-03-10. I had a bad 12 day stay in the hospital after Week 5. Then I resumed my final 8 days of radiation after I got out of the hospital. Three weeks ago I started going to Cancer Physical Rehap on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to build my strength back up. I am still an exhausted wimp! I just started back to work yesterday - only working 1/2 days. It is just tiring to hold my body up for 4 hours. My lower back gets sore very easily.

I used to be the party girl - going to numerous activities and staying out late. Not any more! Oh well... things are slowly improving, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

I am closing in on 2 years post treatment and I don't have nearly the energy and stamina that I had prior to cancer. The treatment not only affects our blood levels and digestive system, but also does a number on our muscles and bones. I think that all adds up to fatigue. I do well throughout the day, but almost always reach a point when I just hit the wall and I'm done. I was never like that before. Any doctor who believes that someone should make a complete comeback in a short time, if ever, needs to get a grip on reality.

lemonade
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2010

I'm with you on the stamina. I am 9 months post treatment and I still sleep 10-11 hours a night. I have good days and bad days. It should be required reading for all oncologists to read our posts just for a couple of days to see what it is really like.

Barbara

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

oncologist saying to expect it to take about a year to feel like my old self. He was right. The treatment takes a toll on our system. Because the healing of the visible wounds is so swift it is logical to think that we should feel better quickly. Not so, internally our bodies are reeling with the effects of drugs, radiation, compromised immune system, not to mention the emotional toll that all of this takes on our system. Please be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time necessary to regain both your emotional and physical health.

Best regards,
Joanne

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

My onc said at least 2 years to return to same level of normalcy if ever. He also stated that the chemo/rad takes a huge toll on the body and the body needs lots of time to heal. I am 28 moinths out of treatment and it was only 3 months ago that I felt like my old self again. I do get tired later in the week and I can't seem to take the Texas heat like I could before. My red counts continues to stay lower than normal so that accounts for some of the fatigue but because the radiation created scar tissue in my bone marrown, I'll never have a high blood count. My onc told me I would not be able to run marathons but that's fine with me - I only run if someone is chasing me and then it depends upon who is chasing me. If it's Richard Gere, then I won't run too fast! ;)

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