How long does it take to recover from Chemo and Radiation?

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  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    Oh how exciting!

    One of my old post, revisited, and I'm still alive. YAY!

    Sorry Ranger, got distracted there by my own importance.

    I was on a different set of meds, as you see in my earlier post, but here I am, four years out from treatment, and my eyes are horrible. Every year I go get them checked, every year the optomotrist comments on how much they have changed in that year. My next appointment is August 4th, and I have no doubt I will get yet another prescription, as I can tell they have deteriorated. 

    Now, I don't mean to frighten you or anything, but just saying. For some of us, normal is never coming back; but for others (lucky beggars) all will return as before. You, may be one of them, especially if you are already seeing a change with the drop in medications. 

    I wish you all the luck. Please feel free to join us by introducing yourself on our home page (here https://csn.cancer.org/forum/128) and starting your own thread. 

    Tru

  • Footshort
    Footshort Member Posts: 1
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    Hello all,

                 I started treatment for 3 different types of cancer in December 2016. The 2 different types of lung cancer were surgerically removed with portions of the lungs. The lymphoma in my spine was going to be a secondary issue. I have been treated with Carboplastin, Toxol and Avastin chemotherapies for 5 months, radiation for 6 weeks and currently recieving a "consolidation" chemo treatment. Even though I am far past retirement age, I still go to work everyday and continue to pay off a IRS dept (totally different story).

                During the first chemo treatments, all hair was lost; but the one effect that surprised me was a peeling of skin. I lost all caluses from life long work and the "new" skin was tender in all body areas. I experienced some of the bowel distress with these treatments and the consolidation treatment put me in the ER (after something had a fight or whatever in my bowel). Several of my teeth have sheered off and other repairs have fallen out. The teeth will be addressed later as I have a blood clot on my chemo port tube in my juglar vein, therefor on blood thinners.

                I hope this information is usefull to anyone who experiences some of the same effects and God"s blessings on all who make this journey

     

  • ggatlanta
    ggatlanta Member Posts: 1
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    Get this off my chest

    Hi all, my first post here.

    I've been down lately because of my continued fatigue and other minor issues such as chemo brain and neuropathy. My wife is a neurologist (lucky me!) and she has been such a great support, but I want to reach out to others on this journey because only we know what it's really like. While looking for answers about recovery, I came across this discussion. Now I see that there is no answer to my question, because everyone has different reactions to treatment.

    I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in March of 2016 and everything was over by late October 2016. It is a rare cancer in the US. Basically, it's in the throat region. Lots of chemo and radiation. 

    My issue is that recovery a year out has been like riding a wave... sometimes I have decent energy, other times (like now) I just want to lie down all the time. The time between crest and trough is measured in weeks (one or two at most). So when I become weak, it really gets me down, like I'm back-sliding into my weakened place, not moving forward. I do a goodly (love that word) amount of exercise, but I tire easily, even when I'm feeling my best.

    I wonder if anyone else is on this particular ride and can give me some insight into their experience. I'd love to hear from others who have, or still are, riding "the wave" of energy and fatigue. Have you figured out a way to manage it?

     

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    ggatlanta said:

    Get this off my chest

    Hi all, my first post here.

    I've been down lately because of my continued fatigue and other minor issues such as chemo brain and neuropathy. My wife is a neurologist (lucky me!) and she has been such a great support, but I want to reach out to others on this journey because only we know what it's really like. While looking for answers about recovery, I came across this discussion. Now I see that there is no answer to my question, because everyone has different reactions to treatment.

    I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in March of 2016 and everything was over by late October 2016. It is a rare cancer in the US. Basically, it's in the throat region. Lots of chemo and radiation. 

    My issue is that recovery a year out has been like riding a wave... sometimes I have decent energy, other times (like now) I just want to lie down all the time. The time between crest and trough is measured in weeks (one or two at most). So when I become weak, it really gets me down, like I'm back-sliding into my weakened place, not moving forward. I do a goodly (love that word) amount of exercise, but I tire easily, even when I'm feeling my best.

    I wonder if anyone else is on this particular ride and can give me some insight into their experience. I'd love to hear from others who have, or still are, riding "the wave" of energy and fatigue. Have you figured out a way to manage it?

     

    Welcome to the forum

    I am sorry for your diagnosis, and your continued struggles. 

    I remember when I went for radiation, I talked to a man who was being treated for a form of throat cancer. We joked about how different, yet the same we were. He hurt when food went in and I hurt when food came out.  I remember thinking that I had the better end of the deal. 

    So, fatigue. I know there are others here on the forum, who continue to suffer bouts of fatigue. My only thought (because I don't have fatigue any more) would be to try and do some journalling to see if there is any kind of pattern. I'm a huge believer that food is a triggering factor in many, many diseases and conditions, so I would track food intake.  But there could be other factors that sap energy. 

    But then, at the end of the day it really could be the chemo meds lingering in your body and causing havoc. 

    So, with a huge welcome, I guess I really haven't said much that could help. HA! 

    Why not open a new thread, and introduce yourself. We would love to get to know you.

    Tru

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
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    ggatlanta said:

    Get this off my chest

    Hi all, my first post here.

    I've been down lately because of my continued fatigue and other minor issues such as chemo brain and neuropathy. My wife is a neurologist (lucky me!) and she has been such a great support, but I want to reach out to others on this journey because only we know what it's really like. While looking for answers about recovery, I came across this discussion. Now I see that there is no answer to my question, because everyone has different reactions to treatment.

    I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in March of 2016 and everything was over by late October 2016. It is a rare cancer in the US. Basically, it's in the throat region. Lots of chemo and radiation. 

    My issue is that recovery a year out has been like riding a wave... sometimes I have decent energy, other times (like now) I just want to lie down all the time. The time between crest and trough is measured in weeks (one or two at most). So when I become weak, it really gets me down, like I'm back-sliding into my weakened place, not moving forward. I do a goodly (love that word) amount of exercise, but I tire easily, even when I'm feeling my best.

    I wonder if anyone else is on this particular ride and can give me some insight into their experience. I'd love to hear from others who have, or still are, riding "the wave" of energy and fatigue. Have you figured out a way to manage it?

     

    Welcome

    Sorry you are going through all that you have and I'm so glad that your wife is a great moral support and helper.  That is a big thing while going through recovery.  It might be a good thing to post about your experience seperately so that other's might be able to chime in.  Wishing you the best.

    Kim

  • darcher
    darcher Member Posts: 304 Member
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      I wrote something in

      I wrote something in another thread about ongoing affects of chemo/radiation and mentioned this thread since it was near the top of the list when I opened the forum.  It's been just over a month since I've ended treatment and am waiting on surgery.  The affects seem to be diminishing a little bit. One thing that seems to be helping is getting good news. Today I saw the oncologist to review the post chemo pet scan.  The tumour is pretty much dead.  He went on to say if we were to wait a few months it would probably be completely gone.  However, before I could say anything he told me "You're still going to have the operation..."   I don't want to take any chances of it flaring back up from a pocket of well hidden cells somewhere so there is no argument there. There were no lymph node indicators and no other cancerous signs so that's all good.  I almost felt guilty in a weird sort of way.  So many have it far worse than I do.   

      I think a lot of the fatigue is mentally driven due to this disease being on the cusp of our thoughts 24/7.  Yes, even in my sleep it comes in and wages war.  There are good days and bad days and within each there are oscillations up and down.  On good days, like today getting positive news it's mostly on the up side.  Even with that one still wonders is there something that was missed.   A pet scan won't see a cell cluster under about a million cells so that's something that I get to consider.  

     A couple things I've found do help.  I've been taking a protein supplement in the form of a powder mixed with milk.  The picture on the can makes it look like a tasty strawberry shake but in truth it's barely drinkable.  My daughter confirmed that when she  saw it and wanted some.  I made her a small glass. She took one sip, set it down, and said, "It's yuk".  She's 3.   When I have a couple that will take the edge off the fatigue.  

      Another item is simple exercise.  Taking a walk helps but Ive noticed that it needs to be one where you can have your mind distracted.   When I posted about this last week (I think) it was because I was disappointed with how easily I got tired doing something that shouldn't have worn me out.  Looking back on it.  Maybe I was expecting too much too soon and the thought and knowledge as to why I was running out of gas made it that much worse.  

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
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    darcher said:

      I wrote something in

      I wrote something in another thread about ongoing affects of chemo/radiation and mentioned this thread since it was near the top of the list when I opened the forum.  It's been just over a month since I've ended treatment and am waiting on surgery.  The affects seem to be diminishing a little bit. One thing that seems to be helping is getting good news. Today I saw the oncologist to review the post chemo pet scan.  The tumour is pretty much dead.  He went on to say if we were to wait a few months it would probably be completely gone.  However, before I could say anything he told me "You're still going to have the operation..."   I don't want to take any chances of it flaring back up from a pocket of well hidden cells somewhere so there is no argument there. There were no lymph node indicators and no other cancerous signs so that's all good.  I almost felt guilty in a weird sort of way.  So many have it far worse than I do.   

      I think a lot of the fatigue is mentally driven due to this disease being on the cusp of our thoughts 24/7.  Yes, even in my sleep it comes in and wages war.  There are good days and bad days and within each there are oscillations up and down.  On good days, like today getting positive news it's mostly on the up side.  Even with that one still wonders is there something that was missed.   A pet scan won't see a cell cluster under about a million cells so that's something that I get to consider.  

     A couple things I've found do help.  I've been taking a protein supplement in the form of a powder mixed with milk.  The picture on the can makes it look like a tasty strawberry shake but in truth it's barely drinkable.  My daughter confirmed that when she  saw it and wanted some.  I made her a small glass. She took one sip, set it down, and said, "It's yuk".  She's 3.   When I have a couple that will take the edge off the fatigue.  

      Another item is simple exercise.  Taking a walk helps but Ive noticed that it needs to be one where you can have your mind distracted.   When I posted about this last week (I think) it was because I was disappointed with how easily I got tired doing something that shouldn't have worn me out.  Looking back on it.  Maybe I was expecting too much too soon and the thought and knowledge as to why I was running out of gas made it that much worse.  

    I decided to set a goal of

    I decided to set a goal of running 4 miles per day (average) for the two weeks before surgery and I've been hitting the weights pretty hard too. I don't know whether or not I can do this but I'm on track four days in. I'd say that my stamina was around 25% at the end of chemo/radiation but it came back pretty quickly. The bloodwork (RBC, WBC, H&H) showed me why I was a fraction of my former self. My body has been sore the past four days but it's a good kind of soreness and I sleep really soundly with it - though often not as long - maybe sleep is more efficient when it is sound. I've said it before but you look like an athlete in your picture so you do know how to exercise and I'd say that it can keep your mind off the bad stuff. I'm pretty busy doing the other stuff like preparing my family if I don't survive.

  • Ottawamarc1234
    Ottawamarc1234 Member Posts: 148 Member
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    khl8 said:

    Recovery is not really the word I wouuld use, learning your new normal is more like it  

    I am just about 5 years out from the end of my treatment from stage 3 rectal cancer and I stll have neurapathy issues with my feet.  I am on medication to lessen the effects that I take daily, my fingertips are still slighty numb. 

    My bowels still act up from time to time, and I have to be very careful about what I eat, salad is a huge no no if I am going to be away from home. 

    Chemo brain is always present, but it can also be attributed to my meds for the neuropathy. 

    So, the moral of my story is; it's not recovery, it's life changing, but I am alive and if this is what I have to deal with to see the sun rise another day, so be it. 

    I Finished Today...Rad and two weeks of Chemo....Rad Later..

    Whats next symptom wise. Was tired today but could be combination of Rad and our ongoing Ottawa Heat Wave. Weather is supposed to break overnight...cooler refreshing tomorrow.

     

    Very tired...lots of burnt areas on butt and ****. Poo kinda loose and frequent. Doc wants to see me in two weeks(Rad) . Onocologist next Monday. Going to stick with Pshco-Social for a while...good to talk things out I guess. The Unknowns coming. How long to heal etc. 

     

    Gave Gifts to the Clerical Staff (2 Boxes of Tim Hortons Tim Bits)...and Chocolates and Lottery Tickets to the Radiation Technicians. Two gag gifts..."One New Diaper" in bottom of Chocolate gift basket..and tapped together...box of crackers...two plastic knives and can of Friskies Pate Catfood Tin.

  • Ottawamarc1234
    Ottawamarc1234 Member Posts: 148 Member
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    thxmiker said:

    The thrush  - I needed a

    The thrush  - I needed a mouth wassh and dissolve able tablets.  This treatment took about two weeks.  If I get a reoccurence it is because i have eaten to much sugar in my diet.  Now i have learned not to eat sugar and that has lept the thrush away.

     

    I have never regained the feelings in my toes, and have dimminshed feelings in my two perferal fingers.

     

    My sight and hearing took a little bit of a loss also.  I now use reading glasses and I am fine.  My hearing is dimminshed slightly.  I had a hearing test done and it says I am still better then average, but as a Audio Engineer I can tell it is off a little from before.

     

    Taste and feeling warm again all came back to normal.  Taste came back quickly after chemo.  Feeling warm took two years for me to feel normal again.  I do like things sweeter then I did before chemo, and I can not eat pickles any more.  They upset my stomach.  (I used to love pickles!) 

     

    Else, life is pretty much back to normal.  I actually move faster then I did when I started my cancer journey.  The daily walking turned in to daily jogging.  I went from walking a few blocks daily, to jogging 3-5 miles every day.   I lost 60 lbs and now I am very fit.  We eat only real food, no more fast food, no more boxed or frozen food!  We make fresh food every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Life after recovering from cancer is a real good thing!

    Best Always,   mike 

    I got a dose of Thrush on my Wing Wang (Penis) from Radiation?

    Docs got me on Canestine to help with Thrush the stinging....and no Spanking The Monkey allowed for weeks....look at ugly people only and take cold showers...Doctors orders until stinging goes away and Thrush clears up.

  • Ottawamarc1234
    Ottawamarc1234 Member Posts: 148 Member
    edited July 2018 #31
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    Ranger100 said:

    How Long Vision problems Direction is more important than speed

    Everyone,

      This is my first posting here, It's hard for me to write or even talk about what I've been through.

       First I pray that all of you will be blessed, have peace, joy, healing and face these things day by day.

        I enjoyed reading the comments "how long does it take" Thinking about that question it seems no one tells you because they don't know.   This could be a good thing because I can focus on the little good things going forward and ot that it's going to take so many months for this to change.....

         I'm thankful now in this moment after four months the cathater and Kidney drain are OUT - YIPEE!!!

         I have a question ad maybe someone here knows somethig about this problem.  I was on Ativan 0.5mg 3X a day and Hydrocodone 10.325 3X per day for about 4 months.  I think it has really affected my vision.  I have blurry vision at times and sparkles,swirls at different times durrig the day.  I went to the eye Dr. annd she did an exam ad said my eyes look healthy, my catracts will need to be adressed in the near future.  But over all my eyes are Healthy.

       So, the vision problems have encouraged me to taper off both meds.  I'm now down to Ativan .05 1X per day and 0.25 Hydrocodone 1X per day.  My eyes seem to be less affected than before. 

        Has anyone had any experience with these drugs and vision problems.   So here is my "HOW" long question.  How long will it take once I'm off the meds for my vision to clear up?

         I had 8 weeks of Radiation and 4 - 3 day sessions of Chemo.

         I wish you all well in your journey,

         Sincerely,

         Ranger100

      

     

    Me too exact same drugs. Finished Treatment today..Blurry

    ...vision too from both drugs.Still need oxy for a few weeks cause of my anal proctitus. Hope the blurriness clears up soon. Good Luck and God Speed!

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    I got a dose of Thrush on my Wing Wang (Penis) from Radiation?

    Docs got me on Canestine to help with Thrush the stinging....and no Spanking The Monkey allowed for weeks....look at ugly people only and take cold showers...Doctors orders until stinging goes away and Thrush clears up.

    Ouch!

    I think I will count my lucky stars I got it on my tongue, then. 

    Hope it clears up soon, and you can start to....... well, you know.

    Tru

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
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    I'm three weeks out from

    I'm three weeks out from chemo. I have neuropathy in fingers and toes. Arthritic feelings in the finger joints. I still have the bag and the port and I suspect that things will improve in what I can do afterwards but will be harder GI wise, at least for a while. I can work, workout and generally function though there are a lot of things that I can't do now that I used to be able to do. I'm planning on at least a few months to get the GI system in order and then about six months to get back to a decent level of physical fitness. It's been an incredibly long road already and it's still got a ways to go, even if everything works out well.