How long does it take?

Finally I am NED and I am headed back to work after my eleven month battle with this disease. My question to you all is how long will it take before I will start to feel normal again. I know normal at least what was normal to me before may never come back but as normal as I can get from here on out would be nice. I have a technical job that is outdoors and I am concerned about how weak I am going to be. I have not had chemo in about a 6 weeks and feel good but get tired sometimes and this is my biggest concern. Someone told me it takes the same time as how long your chemo was, if that's true I won't feel strong for a year. Please advise me on what you guys have been through and thanks in advance.

Comments

  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375
    How long does it take?
    I think you've been given pretty good advice, although everyone is different, so your mileage may vary. Rule of thumb is that you can pretty much count on a good year to get everything back up to par. That doesn't mean you are going to be weak and tired for a full year and then one day be magically better.... it's a gradual thing. Next month you are going to feel better than this month, the month after, even better... etc.

    You say you haven't had chemo in about 6 weeks... you are barely out of the gate here :) The chemo is still in your system and will take a couple of months just to totally leave, then once it's gone, everything starts healing, cells are regenerating, nerves are regenerating, etc.

    I think that's great that you are heading back to work and that's a great incentive to continue on with your life, knowing that you've been through a heck of a time but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just don't be too hard on yourself. I'm not sure what it is that you do outside, does it require a lot of physical labour? If so, you might have to give yourself some slack and explain to your employer that you are going to have to ease yourself into that gently. There's no point going full force and then causing such a setback of fatigue that you can't even do the simplest day to day chores.

    Give yourself a huge pat on the back that you have poured toxins into your body over a period of 11 months and so far (knock on wood) the toxins seem to have done the job that was expected of them, and you are now coming out at the end with the opportunity to carry on. But, do not make such high expectations of yourself that there is no way of accomplishing... first the chemo, then the period of recouperation, then life as it used to be :)

    Cheryl
  • Lori-S
    Lori-S Member Posts: 1,277 Member
    I'm not quite there yet
    But, I look forward to being in your shoes. I too have heard that it takes a while so just make sure that you get your rest when you have a chance. I'm sure you'll feel better each day. Congratulations on being done with chemo and getting ready to be back at work!

    I know when I think about being where you are it's a little bit scary. I get those thoughts of what if .... what if I don't have enough eneregy to get through a day? What if I do fine and then one day just can't get it together and sleep the whole day. What if I get sick again? Those are the scary thoughts. Try not to go there and just gear up with as many positive thoughts as you can. I am so happy for you!

    PS: What a great avatar pic!
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
    Lori-S said:

    I'm not quite there yet
    But, I look forward to being in your shoes. I too have heard that it takes a while so just make sure that you get your rest when you have a chance. I'm sure you'll feel better each day. Congratulations on being done with chemo and getting ready to be back at work!

    I know when I think about being where you are it's a little bit scary. I get those thoughts of what if .... what if I don't have enough eneregy to get through a day? What if I do fine and then one day just can't get it together and sleep the whole day. What if I get sick again? Those are the scary thoughts. Try not to go there and just gear up with as many positive thoughts as you can. I am so happy for you!

    PS: What a great avatar pic!

    Here ya go ...short and not so sweet.....
    DX was 3/25/08
    Rad/5fu 5 weeks/ 5 days a week
    surgery 7/15/08 permanent bag with ostomy at sigmoid
    did 6 months folfox 10 with oxy---last 2 with only 5fu
    felt alive again 1 1/2 years later
    scan found met to lung 8/20/2010
    surgery 09/07/2010
    no post chemo
    just now feeling alive again but know that all is not right and most likely won't be..
    but, Im alive, and yes it beats the he11 out of stage 5..........

    I was/am an active outdoorsman/ fish/hunt/camp/ you name it I did it...now I pick my hobbies, and still work 12 hour swing shifts and have for 27 years......
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
    tough question
    It's a good question, but hard to answer.

    For me, I felt pretty good and strong and normal fairly quickly after chemo ended. However, looking back, I realize that I didn't really have full stamina and wasn't really back to normal energy etc -- probably for at least 6 months, if not year. That doesn't mean you can't feel great and have fun. But I'd just say "honor your body' -- if it says take a rest, take it easy, just respect that. Naps are a good thing!
  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
    Congrats on NED
    I don't think anyone can give you an accurate answer to that. There are so many variables to consider. How much surgery did you have? How many rounds of chemo did you have? What shape were you in before all that happened?

    Best of luck to you
    -phil