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Life after chemo!

cahalstead
Posts: 119
Joined: Jan 2007

Well, I'm off the chemo for now, I have a checkup in November & will have a CT and colonoscopy in Feb. This is my second week after chemo, you guys know what that's like. Anyway, I've never been this exhausted. I was so looking forward to feeling better having energy. What was I thinking??? I'm am so fatigued that probably should have occurred earlier but didn't. I've done well, had the ability to continue working but this weekend I'm totally exhausted. Is this a common occurrence? I was so looking forward to being "normal"??? I'm realizing that "normal" after CC will be different.

Please forgive me for whining but I truly enjoy your views on this whole "foreign to me thing".

Any thoughts out there??

Thanks.

Char

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I was just like you. I figured with no more chemo I would start feeling better pretty quickly. It didn't happen and I was so frustrated. I just wanted the whole cancer thing to be over and forgotten. Instead here I was still feeling like I was sick. A lot of people kinda crash after they finish chemo. You push so hard and are all geared up during treatment. Once it's over you feel like you can finally relax and let down your guard. That's when things seem to catch up with you. It is also fairly common to have some level of depression after treatment is over. I think a lot of it is because we all have unrealistic expectations of quickly returning to "normal". I'm not sure that I would have listened even if someone had tried to tell me before hand how long it was going to take to be "normal" again. It wasn't something I wanted to hear.

Don't worry about whining that's why we're here. I did mine about 4 months ago. :) It does get better, just not as quickly as we would like it to happen. For me it got better gradually. One day I just realized I didn't feel so bad anymore. So hang in there. It does get better. Plus you are done with the hard part. Just give yourself some time to recoup and don't expect too much of yourself.

hoagiemom's picture
hoagiemom
Posts: 87
Joined: Feb 2007

I know how you feel. I just finished in Aug and went thru my CT scan and check up. I'm not as fatigued like you but my hands and feet are really numb. It wasn't this bad during chemo. I'm still waiting to get back to normal but I think we have to realize that it isn't the same. I feel great otherwise but I also felt fine before I was dx. I think we just need to be happy that it is over and take one day at a time. Before we know we will be 30 year surviors. Hang in there and keep in touch.

Michelle

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I assumed, like you,that I would snap back more quickly than I did. My onc said it would take a year to get the chemo out of your system. I realized that I felt better and better, thinking that I was as normal as I would get. After a year, I could tell that that vile stuff was out of my body. There are still a few residual problems from the chemo, neuropathy for one, but it is great to be over the fatigue.
Jo Ann

valley
Posts: 94
Joined: Jun 2007

My husband finished his chemo 1 year ago. He's doing great, golfing, trip to Florida (did alot of walking). He finds that exercising 5 days a week helps him. He doesn't have the energy that he had before his cancer. But it does get better the further away you get from your treatment.

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hang in there, it does get better. I was so fatigued by the end of chemo, it seemed like it would be with me forever. I finished 07/09/04 (wow) and went on to unrelated thyroid surgery a month later. I felt "velcro'd to my bed" (a quote I read during treatment) and could lie in bed and stare at the ceiling for a long while!
Good news, it gets lots better, but think long weeks and months, not days. For me, I really believed I would be nearly back to my old self after about 6 months. In the meantime, stay as busy as you can and give yourself permission to continue to recuperate physically (exercise and good nutrition help)and emotionally.
Best of luck on this phase of survivorship.
Judy (nearly 4 yrs out of surgery, stage III, NED and doing great)

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Char,

You are normal! Yes, I think we all have unrealistic expectations of bouncing back once we are done with chemo. Like you, I felt more fatigued than ever, the neuropathy got worse, not better, and even after 4 months I felt crappy. Well, turned out I was nuturing another cancer, but that was not why I was fatigued. I was fatigued because I had so many toxins in my body and it was working overtime to get rid of them! I am now 7 months post chemo, and while the neuropathy is still there, I have a LOT more energy and feel more like myself every week. My onc says I will probably fatigue more quickly than I used to for the rest of my days, but that my stamina should continue to improve. Keep up the faith and don't be hard on yourself!

Love,
Kirsten

KierstenRx's picture
KierstenRx
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Char,
I am right there with you. It has been a little over 3 months for me and I am still recovering. I also thought I would feel better quickly, but that has not been the case. I am still tired but that is slowly decreasing every week. I also have numbness in my fingers and feet. Oncologist said that should slowly get better after 6 months. Also as others have posted I have felt some depression upon completing treatment. I use the term "new normal" to describe my days. Some are good and some not so good, but I am grateful every day to be here.

Kiersten

cahalstead
Posts: 119
Joined: Jan 2007

Thank you guys, so much, for your thoughts and experiences. This forum is so awesome, I so much appreciate the time and effort that has been taken along the way to encourage and educate me. You are the best!

Thanks.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Keep looking to the future, my dear....things DO get better!!!!!!

Just don't push it. Realize that your body has been thru alot. Consider it a loyal, true friend...even tho it wouldn't have chosen to do chemo, it supported you all the way.

Naps are a wonderful thing. 2 years post treatment, I still grab one when I'm feeling particularly run down.

I'm sending you strong, healthy vibes...

Hugs, Kathi

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Congrats on being off the chemo. Give yourself some time to get back on your feet. Your body's been through a lot. Hoping you'll be feeling better soon! God Bless, Diane

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