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Regaining Energy and Strength after Bendamustine and Rituxan

abcma
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2006

My friend has completed Benamustine and Rituxan treatments.  He wondered how long it would take for him to regain his previous energy level and strength

Thanks!

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2013

I'm glad your friend has completed his treatment. I think we all wonder how long it will take to regain, or hope for, our previous energy level and strength.

Here is a link from the National Cancer Institute on the subject of Survivorship. I hope you will both find it helpful.

Cheers,

Rocquie

 

abcma
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2006

Rocqui... Thank you for your response.  I will foreward the link.

abcma

OO7's picture
OO7
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2014

but I think it's different for each individual.  I struggled with fatigue for months and I only did Rituxin.  Prior to my diagnosis, I was very physically fit.  I'm one year out of treatment and not there yet.  In some ways I see improvement but I'm still missing my core.  My inner crazy strength which before now I didn't know was so crazy but I would take 50% of it right about now....

I'm active but weak, fast but winded.  Then there are the ugly bouts of fatigue from time to time.

I wish I could give you more but I'm certain your friends journey will be on his terms.

All my Best

abcma
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2006

OO7....Many thanks for your comments.  He seems to be experiencing something similar.  He has energy, but not as much as before.  He will start maintenance wth Rituxan in March. 

 i wish you the very best!

abcma

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

abcma,

OO7 is certainly correct: no two cases are the same.  Recovery varies dramatically based on a multitude of things, but probably most important are:

(1) age of the patient;

(2) stage of the disease at diagnosis {how widespread in the body};

(3) which medications they received;

(4) dosing received {usually determined by weight of the patient};

(5) how long they received treatment {how many "cycles" of the drugs were given; #5 if obviously related to #4}; and

(6) general health before cancer.

One seventh factor relates to side-effects while on chemo. Side-effects vary dramatically, for no obvious reasons. A few are almost universal, like severe weakness. But one person will get, say, neuropathy, whereas another on the same drugs will not. Doctors cannot usually explain this or predict it beforehand.

So, there is no one answer to who will suffer for what or for how long. In general, a younger person, who was at a lower stage of disease, and who took fewer drugs, for a shorter period of time, will do better.  An older person, very sick, with a harsh set of combination meds (say, for instance EPOCH, Hyper-CAD, R-ICE, or many other lovely coctails) is a lot more likely to be walloped.  I read periodically here where this or that person did two months of this or that, and that they are 25, and run a branch of Gold's Gym, and in two weeks are about to go run a marathon in Greece (I amde all of this up; I am giving an extreme hypothetical example).  I am delighted for them. Hell, I wish I WAS them. But the average case is not like that.

Fatigue can easily take a year to clear. Chemo Fog can take a year or more, and in some cases never completely goes away. I myself have serious neuropathy six years after ending the drugs I took, and most likely will have it for life.   In older patients who have been through harsh treatment, full-energy probably never completely returns.

There are few "averages," except that for most people, things get better gradually, over time. Good nutrition and being as active as possible can only help. And watch for DEPRESSION also. ANY cancer experience can be profoundly traumatic to anyone. Do not underestimate emotional factors. I hope his recovery is fast and complete.

Bless you for caring for him and asking,

 

max

abcma
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2006

Max..Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.  I assumed that it was an indiviual thing, but I asked because he (like everyone else!) would like to regain his energy and stamina.   He was diagnosed with MCL and completed 5 session of Bendamustin and Rituxan.  He was in complete remission after 3, but his oncologist felt that he should have two more treatments.  He was in good health and good physical shape, but he is in the "older" catagory.  Starting in March, he will have maintenance treatment with Rituxan.  

 

Again, I appreciate your helpful and comprehensive reply.  I also appreciate your comments on the Mantle Cell ACOR list serve. Thanks!

abcma

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

His "B&R" therapy is a common one.  It is usually wise to go ahead and finish all scheduled cycles as he did, to lessen the possibility of relapse.  Many here are on rituxan maintenance, and will possibly share experiences.

 If for no other reason, rituxan is more pleasant than most drugs simply because it does not cause hair loss !  One of the things I least liked on chemo was that classic "chemo look"  (no hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes).

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