How long does it take to feel better post chemo?

MaxRudy
MaxRudy Member Posts: 56
I know everyone is different but thought you ladies could give me a little advice. I'm due for my 6th Carbo/Taxol treatment Aug 3 and I know it will take a while "to feel better" plus I have a TPN line that I want to try and ween myself off so that I can travel a little without the logistical nightmare of dragging TPN bags (cooled) everywhere I go.

I'd like to plan a week trip or so to a special place with family but am wondering how long it takes after chemo before you feel like it. The more time for healing the better but my CT scan after my 3rd treatment did show "indeterminant areas of low density fluid whhich may indicate a recurrence and should be watched" but my CA 125 dropped from 138 to 52. I had very extensive HIPEC surgery the end of Jan and suspect my high CA counts are due to inflammation from the surgery (the count has continually dropped). I haven't had any real probs with chemo except did need a blood xfusion 4th round. Nonetheless, I am scared I may have to go back on some sort of chemo relatively soon due to the CT report of "low desitiy fluid areas." My question is when to try and plan the trip....dare I wait til Oct or Nov?

Comments

  • Tethys41
    Tethys41 Member Posts: 1,376 Member
    Activity after treatment
    Certainly it will depend on the type of trip you are planning. If it is climbing Mt. Everest, I'd give it two years. My first trip after chemo was three weeks after my last treatment. The trip was to California to see my gyn/onc. It was low key, I spent a lot of time in the hot tub at the hotel, but I did fine. I was fairly active last summer, 3 months after the end of treatment. I did some light hiking, took a trip to San Antonio, and did some horseback riding, but got tired very easily. This summer, I am noticing that I have much more stamina than last year. During my treatment, I was given the following advice, after your treatment, give yourself a year to recover. I would say that advice is accurate.

    As an aside, I was on TPN until just before my last chemo. I was on it 24 hours a day for 3 months.
  • EnglishGal
    EnglishGal Member Posts: 101
    in reply to yours
    I guess it would depend on your body, we all react differently to chemo. For myself when I had chemo in the summer of 2010 with my last treatment being in September, it took me 3-4 months to feel myself. I was also having problems with depression which thankfully has gone now. During Sept. my hubby and I had company from England and they stayed with us 2 weeks, arriving on the day of my last chemo! Hubby took them places around our city and while I was not able to go with them on every outing, I did manage a few. I was also able to go up to a cottage with them.

    As the autumn progressed, I felt better and better.

    You know your own body and you will know when the time is right to go on a trip.
  • antcat
    antcat Member Posts: 270
    Hi MaxRudy
    I'm not sure what TPN stands for but I was also going to try and plan a trip to go to Florida but couldn'g quite figure out the best time to do it. I know with me I start to feel better when I have my rest week from chemo, but when you're trying to arrange a schedule to go away with kids, it's kind of hard, so for now, I just decided to put my trip on hold until I see how this latest chemo works out. I was thinking about doing the HIPEC treatment but didn't know what it entailed. Could you share any information on it. Again, I hope you start to feel better soon.
  • MaxRudy
    MaxRudy Member Posts: 56
    Tethys41 said:

    Activity after treatment
    Certainly it will depend on the type of trip you are planning. If it is climbing Mt. Everest, I'd give it two years. My first trip after chemo was three weeks after my last treatment. The trip was to California to see my gyn/onc. It was low key, I spent a lot of time in the hot tub at the hotel, but I did fine. I was fairly active last summer, 3 months after the end of treatment. I did some light hiking, took a trip to San Antonio, and did some horseback riding, but got tired very easily. This summer, I am noticing that I have much more stamina than last year. During my treatment, I was given the following advice, after your treatment, give yourself a year to recover. I would say that advice is accurate.

    As an aside, I was on TPN until just before my last chemo. I was on it 24 hours a day for 3 months.

    tpn
    how hard was it to get off the tpn? Did u take something to stimulate your appetite? There's not too much (try nothing) that I want to eat...I am on 75% versus the 100% I started at and I'm meeting with a nutritionist to help me off the TPN in a healthy way...none of the nutritionists wanted me to do anything with them until I was off chemo. I am forcing down some food/veg shakes/fruit shakes etc to get my other 25% worth of food and during chemo I did manage to gain about 8 to 10 lbs but I had lost about 20 to 25 after surgery. Thank you so much for your input. I pray I can stay in remission (get in remission) long enough to enjoy some things. Thank you.
  • MaxRudy
    MaxRudy Member Posts: 56
    antcat said:

    Hi MaxRudy
    I'm not sure what TPN stands for but I was also going to try and plan a trip to go to Florida but couldn'g quite figure out the best time to do it. I know with me I start to feel better when I have my rest week from chemo, but when you're trying to arrange a schedule to go away with kids, it's kind of hard, so for now, I just decided to put my trip on hold until I see how this latest chemo works out. I was thinking about doing the HIPEC treatment but didn't know what it entailed. Could you share any information on it. Again, I hope you start to feel better soon.

    tpn and hipec
    The TPN is my IV food source. My debulking during the HIPeC surgery entailed quite a lot of organ removal..including 1/2 my stomach and 3/4 my colon. It was tough keeping any food in...I had to have the TPN. There is a lot of info on the internet re: the actual procedure. It's been almost 6 months from the surgery but 3 months post surgery, I went into conventional chemo (carbo/taxol) and the chemo actually got easier for me (so far) because, I believe, I was getting stronger after the HIPEC so the chemo wasn't as tough. Good luck with your decision!
  • Tethys41
    Tethys41 Member Posts: 1,376 Member
    MaxRudy said:

    tpn
    how hard was it to get off the tpn? Did u take something to stimulate your appetite? There's not too much (try nothing) that I want to eat...I am on 75% versus the 100% I started at and I'm meeting with a nutritionist to help me off the TPN in a healthy way...none of the nutritionists wanted me to do anything with them until I was off chemo. I am forcing down some food/veg shakes/fruit shakes etc to get my other 25% worth of food and during chemo I did manage to gain about 8 to 10 lbs but I had lost about 20 to 25 after surgery. Thank you so much for your input. I pray I can stay in remission (get in remission) long enough to enjoy some things. Thank you.

    TPN
    It wasn't very hard for me to get off of the TPN. There was a period when I really had trouble eating, especially the few days following chemo. Between treatments, I could get to the point where I didn't have to force food down. I think it was more a mind over matter thing for me, because I didn't want to have a stomach tube installed, so I kinda forced myself to eat. I also ate foods that weren't necessarily healthy, but I could at least get them down, like coffee ice cream and crescent rolls. I would imagine it would be more difficult having had some of your stomach removed. There are some drugs for stimulating your appetite, Merinol is one. I didn't have much luck with that or with medical marijuana. I too am praying that you stay in remission.
  • cfont11
    cfont11 Member Posts: 115
    Feeling better
    It really depends on your body and how soon it can heal itself from surgery and from chemo. I had chemo last year (6 treatments) and then more chemo in April and May after my second surgery. I have started an exercise class for cancer patients which is helping me get stronger. My oncologist told me it can take a year or two to get your energy back and some people say they never get back to normal. Two months after my last chemo I still get tired very easily but the doc said the exercise will help. We are planning a trip in Sept. for our 30th. wedding anniversary and I hope I feel better by then. Listen to your body and it will tell you when you are ready.