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Post Chemo Fatigue

lauripiper
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2011

Yes I know it takes a year to feel like yourself again. :) But I'm still wondering if the fatigue I am feeling is chemo related. It's been 5 months and it hasn't improved. I expected to get tired more easily and not have the same stamina. But I wake up tired, go to bed tired and never get any relief. My eyes want to close and all I want to do is sleep. I exercise regularly (I'm running 6 miles a week) and I'm eating healthy and neither helps with the fatigue. I mention it to the dr. but of course she just says it can take a year. Is anyone else experiencing this level of fatigue? If it's chemo related, I can be patient and wait for it to get better but if not I need to find the cause.

Also I've got joint aches in my knees, hips and feet. That is new and started after chemo. Sound familiar? Is it chemo related or menopause related? I'm 41 btw so it better not just be old age!

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

To be more realistic, I was told that it would take 2 years to regain my full energy. I also think that healing cancer is like working a full time job and that you can't do much else while that is going on.

lulu1010's picture
lulu1010
Posts: 367
Joined: Feb 2011

I am actually relieved to read your post because I have exactly the same stuff going on. I have only been 2 months off chemo so I guess I will keep working on my stamina and just not push too hard for a while. The aches drive me crazy and I am trying different meds and things to deal with it. I was beginning to think I was the only one and maybe it wasn't the chemo but I have seen a couple others mention the same problems. I really wonder if I will ever feel "normal" again. Keep me posted as to how you are doing and if you find anything that helps.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

Just a thought, but when I was experiencing the fatigue and joint pain after chemo, I had my thyroid tested, including thyroid antibody. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (autoimmune related to thyroid). Once I was treated for that, my symptoms disappeared.

lauripiper
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2011

Thanks, I may check into the thyroid. If that's fine then I guess I will just have to be patient. Anyone else feeling better by 5-6 months?

mopar
Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2003

After my recurrance, and long after chemo, I was still sooooooooo tired. Plus I was losing my hair, had very low blood pressure, etc., etc. Eventually, I got someone to listen and take some tests. I now take Armour Thyroid, and I don't believe I've reach therapeutic levels yet as I still have symptoms. Anyway, you might want to at least get checked. And even if your blood levels are 'good' according to their criteria, they sometimes treat based on symptomology, since thyroid problems are not that easy to diagnose.

Hope you feel better soon!

(((HUGS)))
Monika

P.S. After a while I considered that my thyroid problems might be due not only to chemo, etc., but the overwhelming multiple CT scans I've had since 1999. That area has been scanned as well.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

Mopar,
You may want to read the Book "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Results are Normal?" It discusses Hashimoto's and how to treat the autoimmune condition rather than the thyroid symptoms. The author's opinion is that 90% of people on thryoid medication actually have Hashimoto's. I was on Armour Thyroid while I was still experiencing joint pain and fatigue. Once the Hashimoto's was diagnosed, in November of last year, my naturopath treated me with a combinaion of herbs. Within a week, my symptoms were gone and I realized I hadn't had that much energy since before my diagnosis. I was on 60 mg. of Armour Thyroid last summer. Recently, I was able to reduce it to 15 mg., and I still feel a whole lot better than I did last summer.

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

Reading your post has reassured me no end. I finished chemo end of March this year. I used to be a runner and have tried to go back but it is so difficult for me as I gain weight whilst on chemo. I am eating health (trying to lose the weight) but I too am so tired all of the time. I had the added problem of fluid around my lungs.

Aches in joints - I can't believe someone else has this. I never had aches and pains whilst on chemo but since I hobble about like an old lady as my ankles feel like I have run a marathon. My hips are painful & had to take pain killers one night so I could sleep. My lower back aches too. I also have tingles in my arms and hands. I think these are after effects of the chemo - its just strange I never had them, whilst on chemo.

I find my oncologist isn't very good at talking about after effects. He doesn't seems to care about my quality of life post chemo. I have asked about having the fluid drained from my lungs to enable me to breathe better so I can run but he won't do anything about it until I am breathless in my everyday life.

I don't think your symptoms are menopause related. I am 51 and went through the menopause before I had cancer. Maybe you might experience fatigue with the menopause but it is more likely your fatigue is the chemo after effects.

Cheers Tina x

AnneBehymer's picture
AnneBehymer
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

Why is your doctor not removing the fluid I had over a liter on the right and then a again just under a liter on the same lund my left lung had 200cc then 300cc both times they removed the fluid and then they did the surgery because they could not keep the fluid off my lungs so they could heal for the surgery I would be looking for another doctor if I was you just saying

Anne

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm now 7 months post chemo, exercise regularly, eat well (I do smoke but not excessively) but i too feel tired, some days more so than others. On my worse days i just have to lie down and go to sleep (usually at the weekend). I was NEVER like this before chemo and it is really annoying. I went for my regular 3 month check last week and my oncologist said that this was quite normal and he also said that the more active and fit his patients are (and were before dx) the harder they find it to get back to their normal.
Also my joint pains....... these started AFTER chemo finished, i was walking around like a 90 year old, this has improved somewhat although the joints in my fingers still hurt and i've just have to have a cortisone injection (extremely painful) into my thumb tendons last night because i've got tendonitis - apparently nothing to do with chemo but to be honest i'm really not sooo sure. I never suffered with these probelms prior to chemo!!!!! BTW i'm 46. :)
Michelle x

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

I too had to have a cortisone injection into my thumb (at the base) as I had quite severe tendonitis. I had never had it before but it came last year about 4 months after I finished chemo. That is too much of a coincidence for it not to be an effect of chemo?????

Tinax

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Tina
How you doing?
I am very pleased to report my thumb/wrist is feeling much better today, i think the injection is going to work - hooray.....
but yes tooooo much of a coincidence me thinks!!!
Michelle x

Cafewoman53's picture
Cafewoman53
Posts: 735
Joined: Jul 2010

I thought the arthritis in my hands was getting worse or the carpel tunnel but the dr said it was my tendons. I really don't think they even know all the side effects of the chemo because they don't really seem that interested because they are concentrating on the cancer.
Colleen

JMSheeder
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2011

I am going on three months post chemo treatments and I fight fatigue as well. I bike ride and do yoga, while that helps I find I just cannot get enough sleep. Do any of you find it hard or struggle with finding any sort of normalcy? That has been a huge struggle for me. Is this part of the transition?

JMSheeder
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2011

I am going on three months post chemo treatments and I fight fatigue as well. I bike ride and do yoga, while that helps I find I just cannot get enough sleep. Do any of you find it hard or struggle with finding any sort of normalcy? That has been a huge struggle for me. Is this part of the transition?

JMSheeder
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2011

I am going on three months post chemo treatments and I fight fatigue as well. I bike ride and do yoga, while that helps I find I just cannot get enough sleep. Do any of you find it hard or struggle with finding any sort of normalcy? That has been a huge struggle for me. Is this part of the transition?

kikz's picture
kikz
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jun 2010

and still get tired but I have more stamina. Today was the last day of the Living Strong/Living Well program I mentioned before. We had a farewell gathering and brought finger foods. We all agree we are much stronger than when we started. We see it in ourselves and each other. We have become quite a cohesive group and want to continue to meet at the gym although it will be informally now. I have gone on a couple of hikes which will continue every other Thursday. A couple of weeks ago I noticed my aches and pains had decreased and the others in the group said they felt better too. I remember how we looked and sounded the first day. We all feel better phsically, emotionally and mentally and just look healthier. I still am not crazy about exercise but I have reaped so many benefits, I just have to continue. I am also trying to lose weight because I know it will help my joints and muscles as well. I am doing it sensibly of course.

Karen

lauripiper
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2011

Thanks everyone for responding. I also didn't have joint pain or neuropathy during chemo but since several of you said it started after as well, then I'm glad to chalk it up to chemo. We'll see where it is at 9 months and then a year. I just got back from Hawaii, I didn't let the fatigue stop me from doing anything I wanted to do. I just tanked up on caffeine and kept moving. I'll probably collapse for a few days now!

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