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Extremely tired after first chemo treatment

RalphieC
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2013

Good morning everyone.  My name is Ralphie.  Last Nov I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.  In December I had colon resection to remove a 2 1/2 cm tumor and just this week I started chemo at Msk.  It's a 2 hrs at msk then I bring it home for 48hrs.  This was Tuesday thru Thursday.  It's now Sunday and I'm still drained.  I know it's my first treatment but I'm an active person and I can't find the energy to get going.  Last night had stomach pains and diarehea and this morning I'm still out of it.  Please tell me it gets easier.  I'm 43 yrs old and I like to get up and go but I have no go in me.   Thanks for reading.

jen2012
Posts: 1184
Joined: Aug 2012

My husband had the hardest time with the first treatment it seemed. He just had #11. If he pushes a bit to go for a walk he seems to feel better. Good luck!

RalphieC
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank u for the reply. Crossing my fingers.

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

My first treatment was the worst one of my treatments.   I think probably because still recovering from major surgery.....but, also I think you kinda get accustomed to the side effects and learn how to best manage them over time.     Fatigue would probably be the most noticeable for me...especially disconnect day ....

Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 433
Joined: May 2012

My first treatment I spent 4 days in bed. I was exhausted - couldn't eat, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting. I couldn't even stand in the shower. After that I talked to onc and got steroid, zofran (for nausea) and Amend (for nausea), I was still tired but a lot better. I finished all 12 treatmentsin Dec. Never missed a dose and never reduced a dose. You can do it!
Sandy :)
Stage IV

Chelsea71
Posts: 1167
Joined: Sep 2012

My husband does this too. When feeling tired, a walk will re-energize him. Hope things improve.

Chelsea

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2396
Joined: Jun 2006

ahhhh Ralphie I am sorry you feel so badly.  I think you will find it is not always this bad.  Do not forget the fear that comes along with the first treatment.  I think most of us are pretty scared wondering what this"poison" they are pouring into us will do to us.  I mean we all speculate like crazy on how we will do with chemo.  so for now just rest, relax...don't worry about it.  Next time you will know how the system works and I'll bet you might feel better.

 

someone else said a little walk and I think that is true.....I have done dozens and dozens of chemo treatments and found that just a little walk or some diversion ....well it sure does not make you feel worse and it probably makes us feel a little better.  Also I found positive imaging really helped me.....I would picture my chemo as a polar bear!!! this polar bear was very hungry and really ate a lot of cancer cells....Smile...treat yourself to nice little things to eat and drink....feel better

 

love, maggie

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi Ralphie,

i was diagnosed with stage 3 last month. I had the tumor removed 3 weeks ago and will be starting chemo soon too. My first appointment with the oncologist is tomorrow. I am so dreading the first chemo treatment. I'm a very active person too so I know what you mean. I'm supposed to go back to work February 25th so I'm hoping the chemo treatments don't put me down for 3 or 4 days at a time. Good luck to you and hopefully each session will get easier. 

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2171
Joined: Oct 2011

My experience with that chemo was that I felt ok while wearing the pack, and then got steadily more wiped out for about a week after being disconnected.  Then I would start to feel better, and end up with about a week each cycle where I was able to function in a more normal fashion.  I was never 100%, but I did take short trips and work some during treatment.  I did find that the effect was cumulative...felt pretty crappy non-stop by the last couple of cycles.  But from what I've seen, most people start to feel better relatively quickly after finishing chemo.  It's not an easy journey.  Sending you strength to get through it.  Ann Alexandria

PS You mention diarrhea...I had a terrible problem with that and the only thing that worked was a prescription drug called Lomotil.  It was the last thing my doc tried and I had a pretty hellish stretch there until he did.  So just wanted to mention it in case this becomes a serious issue for you.

PSS It looks like "Forever16" up there is trying to sell a product, based on those links.  Just FYI for everyone.

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

My first treatment was the worst out of the four I have had so far. My second one it was like I had nothing. My third I was tired for a couple of days. My last one has been pretty uneventful (I have them every other week).

Judy

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Judy, what treatment are you on?

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

FOLFOX W/AVASTIN every other week; I go home with the pump for 46 hours.

 

hippiechicks
Posts: 302
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi RalphieC,

 Sorry you are going through this.  I suspect things will get better.  Although this is not an easy journey, I strongly suggest writing these side effects down, report them to your oncologist when you go back, or even call before then.  It is always a good idea to report everything.  Your doctor may need to adjust medications as you go through this.  There are so many things that could play a part to your feeling so poorly. Dehydration and blood counts are often enough to make you feel worse than typical side effects. 

My very first treatment caused my WBC to go down so low that I needed nulasta shots each treatment.  This is pretty common. After that, I would be totally whipped out at least until I was disconnected from the pump.  Then I would slowly get my energy back, but never to what is was prior to treatments. I had to nap almost every afternoon and evening until several months after chemo ended.  I always made a point to eat as well as I could, as soon as I could, to gain strength back.  

This stuff takes a lot out of you...good and bad. Give yourself time to heal and recover from the hit it just took but be sure to talk to your doctor as well.

Best of luck and hope you feel better soon.

RalphieC
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2013

Just a little update.  Feeling much better this morning.  I still find myelf a bit tired but the weekend rest really helped.

I had some slight stomach pains yesterday but nothing crazy.  I just want to thank everyone for their replies and helpful ideas.  Its tough to talk to people that dont really understand the emotional ride and finding this board kind of gave me some ease.   Everyone have a good week and will be back later this week to how everyone is doing

thanks

Ralphie

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Glad you're feeling better. I start my first treatment next week so we'll be on this journey together.

RalphieC
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2013

Just a little update.  Feeling much better this morning.  I still find myelf a bit tired but the weekend rest really helped.

I had some slight stomach pains yesterday but nothing crazy.  I just want to thank everyone for their replies and helpful ideas.  Its tough to talk to people that dont really understand the emotional ride and finding this board kind of gave me some ease.   Everyone have a good week and will be back later this week to how everyone is doing

thanks

Ralphie

Maxiecat's picture
Maxiecat
Posts: 524
Joined: Jul 2012

I had 12 Folfox treatments...did have to reduce the oxaliplatin by 25% by the 8th treatment because of neuropathy.  Treatment number 1 was the worst...wiped out for about a week... Vomit tin, nausea, and diarrhea.   The rest of my treatments I was fatigued a little most of the time...but by far the day after disconnect was the day I felt most tired.   Try to arrange your schedule so that disconnect is on a Friday...this way you have the weekend to recover.

 

Alex

khl8
Posts: 809
Joined: Nov 2009

Hang in there, you will be tired as it's poisen coarsing into your body.  However, it does get easier, by my third treatment i was shopping with that darn fanny back chemo bag, going to lunch and just going on with my life.  I did find the disconnect day was the worst. and I was really tired the next day but I just trudged through and went back to work each Monday and tried to live a normal life. 

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