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Side effects of treatment or relapse?

Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2012

My husband had 3 rounds of R-CHOP then a 6 week break, then 20 radiation treatments for Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, left tonsil. His last radiation treatment was about 6 weeks ago. Between the chemo and radiation, he had a PET scan that showed no sign of cancer.
He was feeling pretty good until last week. He always tells me he feels fine, but I could tell he wasn't himself. He finally admitted today that he's concerned about a relapse. He said he has no energy and his legs feel weak and heavy. He also said he feels a little jittery at times and his joints are achy.
Radiation took a toll on him. He lost 26 pounds in a month. He still isn't eating like he used to. His weight is stable, but he's not gaining it back. I think he's feeling overwhelmed about the amount of yard work and house maintenance to be done during the summer months. I need to help more, for sure. I just thought he was doing OK until the last few days.
He has a check up and labwork scheduled for August 6 ( no scans ). I feel like its too soon to have relapse symptoms. Do you think it could related to treatment?

COBRA666's picture
Posts: 2413
Joined: May 2010

I can tell you from experience that chemo will drain your energy level. I had R-CVP and I understand the R-CHOP is a bit more harse. Others on here that went thru R-CHOP can better relate. It is always better to have it checked out whenever something does not feel right. John

vinny59's picture
Posts: 1032
Joined: Nov 2006

My first cancer was head and neck, before I got Lymphoma, I lost 36 pounds, tell him to take it easy, yard work can wait. He needs to get stronger, the radiation treatments plus the chemo really wore me down. I don't feel its a relapse, just treatment related. I still have low energy levels, and I'm out of treatment for two years now! Vinny

Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2012

I think he's been trying too hard to be back to normal, doing too much. Now it's all caught up with him. I really hope that's it. I think we are both on edge since he finished treatment, waiting for the first post treatment check up with the doctor.

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Hey Nikki,

I had R-EPOCH which is basically RCHOP with an extra "vowel" (etopiside) ;).
I also had Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. I still have fatigue 8 months
after completing chemo. As John said, if he really feels "off", he might
want to get it checked out. I suspect it's likely treatment related and
also some of the psychological impact of this as well.

We're all afraid of relapse/recurrence and it's very normal to have these
feelings. Every trip to the oncologist for scans/checkup is always
coupled with anxiety. This is supposed to get better over time.

If he's able, some light/moderate exercise might do him good. Regarding the yard work,
maybe you can get friends/relatives or other to help. Maybe your husband can
do a little bit as well to make him feel more useful and get his mind off
things. I know how paralyzing this experience can be. I'm still putting off
many projects at my house that I'm able to do (well in small chunks anyway).

He is also welcome to join us here. It helps to chat with others who have
walked the same walk.

I hope things get better for you guys and keep us updated.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2012

You make some really good points. We both appreciate it . I do think it's a mixture of treatment side effects, poor nutrition and "thinking too much".
I wish he would log on to this site, but he's not one to share his feelings. I share them for him, ha ha! But seriously, I do fill him in on all the messages, advice and good wishes from everyone and I know it does make him feel better, so thank you for that.
Take care Jim.

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