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What to expect when treatment completed

Purplemountain
Posts: 104
Joined: Oct 2013

I have finished my third and final bout of chemo 5 days ago.  I will complete my radiation in 4 days.

My question is; I am very tired and weak...can barely lift my arms, legs or move about.  What can I expect in regard to the body response to the completion of the treatment?  Am I going to get weaker still or how long before I feel the energy back?  When does saliva and eating comes back.  I know everyone is different, please share your experiences so I know that the end of the tunnel is bright.

Thanks.

KTeacher
Posts: 894
Joined: Jan 2011

I don't want to worry you.  Yes, it get brighter but not in the first few weeks.  After treatment you will wonder how you had the energy to get to radiation and chemo sessions.  Fatigue, you will be taking many naps.  After about 4 weeks things slowly progressed.  You will keep the water bottle handy at all times.  I got my taste back sooner than most, saliva--everyone is different.  Thanksgiving will be hard but Christmas shoud be better.  Yes, it gets brighter.

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mar 2010

I can tell you for sure that how soon you get your zip back depends a lot on you.  I hated that feeling so much that I started an exercise program immediately upon completion.  Walked slowly, then farther, then faster, then jogged.  And I started a weight program too.  It really helped get my legs back under me.  Part of your current disabiliy is the treatment, part is just the inactivity.  You can speed all this up if you push just a little.

 

Congrats on completion.

 

Pat

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2866
Joined: May 2012

 

PURPLE

Your body will say “what the heck was that”.  Then you will take a drink of water and take a nap.  I am still fatigued at 20 months post (but getting better).  Saliva and eating, Hmmm, both are still improving everyday.

For me, I sampled foods from day one, but because of the awful, terrible feel of most foods I drank smoothies for 7 months.  I used to carry around an igloo cooler full of protein drinks and water when I was away from home.  I joined in on Sunday dinner at my parents’ home every weekend, many times having 1 French fry, 1 bite of chicken and 1 spoonful of potato salad.  After 7 months, things turned around and I was back to eating normal (plus water).

Whatever direction the side effects lead you, try and be happy with where you are and thankful that cancer is behind you.  Work with what is, not with what was.

Welcome to the new-normal

Matt

 

Nascarchristy
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2013

My husband is 2 months and 4 days post Tx Pet scan next Tuesday (fingers crossed for a good Thanksgiving) He has his taste back but no saliva yet was starting to eat for about a week but now is back to all tube feedings and trying to nibble here and there I check in for advice from the wonderful people on here from time to time and am learning there is no Normal But the hard part is done and and its all healing from here on Good luck in your recovery!!!

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 528
Joined: Feb 2010

I knew I was limited to what i could do at my job so I worked from home for 2 months sfter radiation while someone else did the leg work. I was like Pat, I did my yard work which gave me a good workout and when I was done I napped. I planted pine trees that someday will be Christmas trees for my family. Now, whenever I take care of them I think about my battle and in a few years they will certainly have a special meaning decorated for Christmas. I got tired of being tired but also knew my limitations.

Congradulations on 4 days to go. The day after your last treatment will have a special feeling and meaning that will be unique to you.

Heal on....one step at a time.......... and realize it seems to drag on but you will get there at your own pace.

      Jeff

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1166
Joined: Dec 2012

For sure, we each walk the path alone and sometimes they are similar and sometimes they are very different. My story is uplifting in that I got off pretty easy. From where youi are now, I did feel more side effects for the next couple weeks but it was gradual and slow and slight. About two weeks out was the bottom for me. I met Phrannie that week too and was feeling alright. There were days full of fatigue and I could not get up but there were plenty when I could and wondered around in a chemo fog and messed up sleep patterns. My mouth hurt like hell with ulcers and sores. Taste went down to about half but did not go off-taste.

Now, five months post, I am am nearly 100% or better. Only remaining side effect is some dry mouth during a few evenings a week. I'm more than 100% in my general health and fitness and I lost nearly 40 pounds of dead weight and feeling really trim and fit now. I hope you the very best and most speedy recovery! Don

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1853
Joined: Jun 2012

I was warned that the weeks following tx would be rough so I was pleasantly surpised that I saw steady improvement each day. A couple of bouts of thrush, my neck and cheek turned brown and peeled but did not hurt at all and about week 3 post tx I lost the hair at nap of my neck but that wasn't painful and grew back. I did not experience issues with mucus and the sores on my lips started to improve right away. I hope you have an easy go of it. It did take about 5 weeks to completely recover my energy level. By week 6, I had more energy than I did pre-tx. I think that was due to a needed 65 pound weight loss. I have maintained the weight loss and kept the high energy level more than 1 1/2 years despite dealing with a recurrance. 

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 648
Joined: May 2013

It's hard to see it and it's hard to hear people say it...but it's so true.  Things get a little better EACH and EVERY day!  I had a horrible, rough, terrible time through treatments.  I was ready to quit and not finish because I was in such misery.  I also had an AWFUL rads onc.  Thanks to my CSN family..I finished and made it through the hardest thing I've ever been through.  I was blessed during recovery, even though I continued to cook for a couple of weeks, I noticed a significant improvement each day.  I was back at work part time about 2 weeks after finishing rads and now I'm packing up our entire home (of 15 years) to move.  I'm 5 months post tx.  I feel really pretty great, just a few differences.  I have a mouth as dry as the desert at night and in the mornings.  I am missing 1/4 of my jaw and teeth.  I have some pretty awesome scars on my neck.  I have numbness in my neck and collar bone areas.  My left arm is very weak.  I can't eat spicy foods.  Sweets taste pretty nasty.  THOSE ARE MINOR THINGS!  I'm alive, feel great, am able to live my life pretty normally and I feel blessed!! You'll get there.  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter :)

Purplemountain
Posts: 104
Joined: Oct 2013

Reading the posts to my inquiry have set my anxiety down a bit.  I can't wait to go to the hospital and finish up the two more radiation after this weekend.  I felt like I had no energy left and can barely walk to the treatment room.  Before diagnosis, I am 5'8" at 160 lbs.  Now I am barely holding on at 107 lbs.  Needless to say, my skin is barely holding onto my ribs and bones.  Sitting and lying down hurt due to bone contact with surface.  Unable to sleep for more than 1 hour and had to get up to rinse mouth to moisurize it then go back to sleep finding different position to get comfortable.  Going throgh all this, I am glad to hear your stories of recovery and I can't wait to follow your path.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

First, you need to look long term....

Short term, yes..., you're still in the thinck of the worst part of it for a few weeks... Then slowly, each week or two that goes by you'll get a litttle better than the week before...

Long term.... take a look at the many posts of mine..., you'll be back doing the things you love, eating more than likely most anything you want..., and mainly you'll be a live and enjoting that...

For me, though I still work full time, fishing is a big priority, eating (making up for lost time)..., cooking, etc...

It does get better..., start thinking long term.

Best,

John

CathyHorner's picture
CathyHorner
Posts: 29
Joined: Nov 2013

I thought I was a real trooper during the radiation and chemo treatments. Always walked when I could even though I was tired. However, the month following treatment I was very surprised how weak I became. I thought I would immediately start to feel better but no! That 1st month was the worse. Not only fatigue but awful congestion, gagging and coughing and sore throat. Now it's been 3 months and pretty much the congestion is gone , throat a little tender but I can eat anything and can do some house and yard work. Much better.  The only thing that is new now that is has been 3 months is swelling under my chin which is from the lymphtic fluids not draining. It is a little painful. Trying exercises and massage to make it better.

Ruben and Jude's picture
Ruben and Jude
Posts: 152
Joined: Apr 2013

I know Ruben thought once treatment was over, he'd be 100% back to normal. NOT. It's been 5 months now, and while he is steadily progressing, it is a slow process. But considering where he was even 3 months ago (2 months post treatment), he has made leaps and bounds. His stamina is improving everyday. He just starting making saliva about 2 weeks ago, and is eating more (but still using his G-tube for the majority of nourishment). His voice changed about 3 months out, and he now sounds like Barry White. He's able to go out into the world and do whatever the heck he does for about 5-6 hours a day. Granted, he's not working like he used to, but he's enjoying life.

You may not be able to see it today, but give it time, you'll get there. One 'good' day at a time. Thank God you've made it this far, and it will get better.

Prayers and blessings coming your way.

Jude

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