Average Recovery Time

airborne72 Member Posts: 300 Member


I will complete my 25 sessions of Xeloda and radiation next Monday (thank goodness).  So far, I have not had any serious issues and hopefully I will not have any.  But, this is my question - on average, how long does it take before I will regain my appetite, rid myself of this yucky taste in my mouth, stop having ocassional nausea, and most important increase my energy level?

If I have any say in the matter, which I do, then I will have my resection in late October or early November.  However, there are some extenuating circumstances.  My first grandchild (thank you Lord) is due on 2 September and from a selfish standpoint, I also would like to spend a long weekend at the Gulf before the summer gets away and I get sucked into hospital gowns, colonoscopies, IV's and possibly very discouraging results. 

Is it safe to assume that I will feel normal enough to enjoy a long weekend beach get-a-way only four or five weeks after completing my chemo/rad treatment?



  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    Be selfish

    Though I can't possible see how, wanting time at the beach, is selfish. 

    You have been through allot; physically and emotionally. Time at the beach sounds like the perfect way to recoup before the next round of treatments. 

    It sounds like you have tolerated your treatments well (thank goodness). Of course, each person's recocvery time differs, but I would hazzad a guess that you will do well. I had a HORRENDOUS time during chemo, yet after about a month I was getting back to normal. So, if it was that quick for me, after quite the ordeal, it may be even quicker for you. 

    Eat well, exercise to tolerance, be good to yourself, and you will recover from the treatment well. 

    I wish you all the best; starting with that grandchild, and all the loving pouring out there, and then with your vacation by the beach. 


  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213 Member
    Getting back to "normal"

    I'm behind you by two weeks and am in my second week of Xeloda and radiation and I find that I've kind of adjusted to this stuff (not that it's fun). My family is also discussing doing various things like trips out in October and January and I'm wondering how hard or easy it will be to do this stuff.

    I find that I can eat if I want to and actually have to be careful of not getting into mindless eating. The doctors that I've heard about all say that you shouldn't try to lose weight while going through this and that you shouldn't worry too much about gaining weight. I'm on another forum where there are discussions about weight gain so clearly there are people going through this with healthy appetites. I also think that some of the appetite issues, at least for me, are due to anxiety (which has been less of an issue lately for me).

    On activity level: I find that I can be quite active on the meds and radiation but have probably 20% less energy which is okay. The thing that makes it harder to be active are: the extra time required for the Radiology appointment and the drinking of the water an hour before, spending more time on the toilet, and worry. It was already somewhat of a challenge to be active (in terms of time) between work, home maintenance and other family obligations but it's moreso an issue with daily radiology. Still, I try to squeeze something in every day and I feel better for it. Yesterday, it was a 1 mile run and pullups early in the morning and then some weights last night at home. This morning it was stretching early morning and crunches. I've scheduled 30 minutes of tennis for this afternoon. Much, much less than I did before cancer but my body and mind feel much better after doing them.

    I know that you have a lot of restrictions on what you can do but I'd recommend doing whatever you can, at least a little (or a lot if you can manage it) every day.

    I was looking to do the surgery about six weeks after or the second half of October so it seems to me that you want to delay it by two weeks. The Xeloda keeps working for some period of time after you stop taking it but I don't want to take the risk of the cancer starting to grow back again or spreading so I'd rather have the surgery done sooner rather than later. A grandchild is a great blessing these days. My kids aren't married and don't look like they will get there anytime soon. The kids of my sisters aren't married either (don't even think that they're dating).

    I think that you're really the best judge of whether or not you can do it. At this point in time, I feel quite normal and could take a long weekend off. I don't know about getting on planes because of infection risk but I think that I'd just wear a mask. Our plans are for a week away between chemorad and surgery. I asked for a place that's secluded (mountains or beach), has good access to services and is quiet and relaxing within 90 minutes of home in case I need to see a doctor on short notice. So right now I feel like I could do a trip fairly easily. But I'm only two weeks in. I might change my mind in one, two, or three weeks.

    I do appreciate your posts because our our near-timeline.



  • lizard44
    lizard44 Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited August 2017 #4
    Go for it

    If you've  gone  this far  with no major problems from the chemo-radiation you should be fine for a week at the beach. I did pretty well through my 28 chemo/radiation treatments except for developing mouth sores at treatment 11.  I never lost my appetite and don't remember having the bad taste in my mouth, so  consider myself very lucky. The oncologist took me off the 5-FU pump because of the mouth sores for treatment 12 through number 25. The pump was hooked up again for treatments 26 though 28. Being off the 5-FUThat could be why I never lost my appetite or had the bad taste in my mouth. I got my 25th treatment on Dec. 23 and was able to  have the family over for our traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. And somehow, I managed to get the Christmas decorations up, presents bought and wrapped, etc. during the treatments.  My notes and photo album tell me that I  did fine with all the food prep and cooking before running out of steam  just as dinner finished cooking and my husband and son took on the responsibility of getting the meal on the table while I sat and supervised. A trip to the beach should be a walk in the park (or in the sand) for you.  I say go for it if you feel like it. It will probably help you relax, regain your appetite and energy, and build up your reserves for the upcoming surgery. Good luck- and enjoy that grandbaby.Smile

  • darcher
    darcher Member Posts: 304 Member
    No where near completion

     I'm only on my second week and 3rd day of xeloda/radiation.  What I've noticed is that a big determining factor as to how I feel during the day is dictated by the amount of sleep I've gotten.  The last couple days my appetite has gone from practically nil to voracious. Im sleeping a lot more. The energy level is much higher now and even my bathroom trips and so forth seem to be improving.  Prior to I was lacking sleep, losing weight, and feeling generally like crap.  The amount of sleep I was getting averaged around 5-6 hours.  Pushing it to 8+ seems to make a huge difference.  Sometimes it's tough to sleep but melatonin seems to cure it.  Considering what we're doing to ourselves the quantity of sleep and it's affect is that much more amplified.  If you feel up to it, do what ever you want to do as long as it doesn't interfere with the end result. I'm of the mind the doctors know best. They've been doing this for countless years plus have the training and so forth so their advice is usually best followed.   


  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213 Member
    Sleep is a huge issue for me

    Sleep is a huge issue for me too. I don't function well during the day if I don't get enough and I can get into a negative feedback look with not enough sleep. Part of it is going to bed early enough and not getting interrupted during the night. Fatigue is also a factor. If I have a good workout during the day, I'm going to sleep better. But I haven't had much in the way of hard workout days since diagnosis. I imagine an hour of tennis a day would do it but I don't know if I can manage an hour of tennis right now.

    My fitness tracker says that I got 5 hours of deep sleep and four hours of light sleep last night. That sounds about right as I'm doing quite well today. I normally get up at 4:30 AM but decided to sleep in today.

  • airborne72
    airborne72 Member Posts: 300 Member

    I want to thank everyone for your responses.  One reason that life is so interesting is because each of us are unique.  Consquently, our reaction to and recovery from events such as chemo/rad is also unique.  Your personal experience was sufficient to help me make some decisions.

    From my house to the white sand beaches on the Gulf is only a 7 hour drive.  I am tempted to pack a small bag, jump in my truck and head south without any motel reservations or other inhibiting issues.  Sort of a Forest Gump moment - drive until I make it to the beach and then stop.  What happens then can be an adventure.

    What I would like to do is sit on the beach, replenish lost fluids with cold Peroni beer, and then go float in the Gulf waters.  My diet will consist primarily of boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce.  No worries about stage II versus stage III; partial or temporary ostomies; mop-up chemo; etc.  I may just sleep in my truck.

    The first time I ever saw the white sand beaches of the Gulf was 45 years ago this week.  I was a student in Ranger School participating in a simulated beach assault at Ft. Walton.  That was a miserable experience.  Since then I have only been back twice and both of those trips were abbreviated so my beach time was measured in hours, but they were very enjoyable. 

    If I can figure it out, I intend to post a picture of me and my oldest daughter parasailing at Destin last October.  We were there because my son had a beach wedding.  Ten months later a grandchild will be the outcome of that union.

    The water and the beach are so beautiful and entrepreneurs have taken advantage of every inch of it.  I guess if you want to get away from people then you could just float further out into the Gulf and leave the land sharks behind.

    Regardless of that potential escape, I will absolutely dedicate all of my resources/energy/attention/time to the birth of my first grandchild o/a 2 September.  Talk about anticipation.  What a feeling of excitement!  A trip to the beach is secondary to the arrival of Caroline.

    Jim (an unofficial Parrot Head)