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Post surgery, chemo & radiation questions

Posts: 52
Joined: May 2001

I continue to do exercises after my mastectomy (in June). In spite of the exercises and moisturizers I use, sometimes my chest wall and back on the side where the lymph nodes were removed seems tight, painful, and stretched. Any advice? Also, most days I feel really good - occasionally however I feel really tired - am taking vitamins and exercising...is this typical. I guess my primary question, is how long does it take to gid rid of the after effects of the treatment we go through?

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi Gayle,

I read somewhere during my treatment to figure two months of recuperation for each month of treatment before feeling like your old self - if it is ever possible to feel like one's old self after cancer.

When I had colon surgery - a resection - in 1996, I asked the surgeon when I would feel ' as good as before the illness' and he said: a year. right! even though I was up and around and driving etc. about three weeks after surgery, it was about a year before the scar did not bother me etc.

Good Luck! June wasn't that long ago!!


Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2001


I don't want to discourage you, but I did find it takes about a year to get back to normal. Take your time. Be patient with yourself. That was the hardest part for me the first bout with cancer. I wanted to bounce right back and forget I had had cancer. The second bout I realized I had to be patient and allow my body to heal. Next month, it will be 3 years since the second bout. I feel wonderful. Don't be alarmed if the tightness on the side the lymph nodes were removed never goes away. It has been 11 years since my mastectomy and my right side still feels tight and tender at times. Just a reminder to thank God I am still alive!

Take care and God bless,

Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, I am so glad you wrote, I am 3 years post lumpectomy, but an extensive lymph node removal. I have no feeling on the outside of my arm and it felt sort've tired for about 2 years. Lately, it seems stronger. As for your overall fatigue, some of that is emotional. It is a real hard thing to go through and your mind kind've says, "Well, this is okay, I am fine," but your body takes it's own sweet time deciding when it is not insulted! Hang in there, with the vitamins and excercise, you should feel good soon. It does take a while, though, Love, Shirley

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