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Posts: 213
Joined: Sep 2012

I am 4 months post treatment, and for the most part doing OK, struggling with nutrition, still no swallow, and fatiged all the time, when do these symptoms start to get better? I am trying to return to work 1/2 days and it just wipes me out, but can't continue with no income. Feel like I am between a rock and a hard place, and getting pretty discouraged. Been quiet the last month or so seemed like there were a lot of people in more need than I on here.


Posts: 365
Joined: Feb 2010


It took me about 5 months. My treatment ended in November and I was lucky enough to retrun to work in March. My employer had a good disability program so i was lucky in that respect. We had no light duty policy so my oncologists all three of them had to sign off that I was able to return to work. I had to start eating solids & gaining weight etc. for them to even think about it. I had numerous complications post treatment that had to be taken care of also. My wife was the one that kept pushing the solids etc. she started me off with scrambled eggs mostly.

Have you had any swallow studies etc? How is the PEG working for you if you have one, mine stopped me from losing more than I did. After my tube was removed carnation instant breakfast & ensure were some of my protein supplements

Dont ever feel that you will be a bother, if you have any questions/concerns that is what this site is for.

Wishes & Prayers on your recovery


D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1577
Joined: Jan 2010

Long time no see. Hang in there, buddy, it does get better with time.  Sometimes not a whole hell of a lot better, and sometimes it takes way too long, but it will get better.

I took 24 weeks off, and now, 2 1/2 years later, I'm wishing I'd been able to take more time.  It might have helped my recovery. Or, not.

Stop by again. We've missed you.  


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4369
Joined: May 2012

Hi Jim,


Tough group of side effects plus work.  If you can work on fixing nutrition and swallowing then fatigue and working will become easier.  If you are using a PEG then plow in the good calories as for swallowing I have read on here what people do to get better.  It is a little out of my league as most of my swallowing problems  were minor having to do with swelling and soreness (during treatments).


Fatigue seems to be right up there with no taste buds (it is shared by most of us).  Other then blood tests to check for the obvious (after treatment) issues like thyroid, getting strength and stamina back just takes time and work.  I find that I do get tired, but if I get started on something and stay at it, I can do it.


Nothing but sleep is easy for me.  I truly feel good, but I am different and I am learning to live with it.  Everyday I am a little bit better.  If I am careful, I can even venture away from my water bottle, but I can’t go without.


Good luck,



Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sep 2009

If I were to guess at four months post, you could be right on the edge of turning around, and starting to see improvement.

But with each of us bringing something different to the table, and all responding differently, it's really hard to answer that as a for sure.

Hang in there, keep taking in as much calories and hydration as you can, and I'm sure good things will happen soon.

Best ~ John

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4678
Joined: Mar 2012

Actually, it probably is getting better, but the degrees are so small....and the time frame seems so long....do not get discouraged yet!  I went back to work at 4 months out because like you I had to.....the exhaustion was horrible.  Little by little, week by week it got a little better....I went back in October, and finally the turn around came in January....the fatigue has pretty much lifted, I have days where I can taste things....and I have enough saliva to lick my lips!! 

I was always able to swallow, tho....and having a feeding tube at work would have been a PITA for sure.....hang in there, it IS going to get better!!


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

Really so good to see you post.  I know you hear it all the time, eadh person is so different ..I wa out of work for 3 months AFTER my last rad and 10 weeks during rads, heck of a time I had with my Erbitux and rad treatments ...but just when I thought I would lose my mind as well as all my personal stuff :)  it was like overnight my energy came back and I was able to start working "lightly" ...but I did notice I still had good and bad days energy wise and some days I was wiped out ....bottom line ...it will get better.


Sorry not a much help ...just sharing my thoughts ..and say hello to your sister, I do pray she is doing well ...


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