after effects of chemotherapy help please

Hello everyone, I had my last chemo on November 10th - 3 FEC and 3 taxotare, its been a long haul and had quite a few standard side effects of the last three, FEC was the easiest of the two regimes as many of you will know. Each time recovery has taken longer and the last three sort of merged into each other. But now nearly 4 weeks on I seemed to have been hit by dreadful joint and muscle pains and aches. When I move around its as if I have walked up 10 flights of stairs! Painkillers help a bit but not much. I expect to feel very tired but this is muscle fatigue/ache like no other. My feet and hands are very sore and stiff, all over I feel swollen up inside although everyone says I don’t look swollen. I had a mastectomy and nodes out and that side of my chest, arm and back feels very sore and swollen although again doesn’t look it. Sooo sorry to go on and on, I feel so desperate having coped pretty well til now. I just don’t know if all this is to be expected, I know it will take time but I feel I am going from bad to worse, don’t know if its better to exercise and its lack of mobility thats done in the muscles or if the chemo itself has done it and i just have to rest!! agh! I start radiotherapy tomorrow and right now am hobbling around and sinking to my knees like a very old, bald hobbit!!! Now I am sounding sorry for myself, sick of everyone saying I have to be easy on myself, I love everyone around me to bits but they just don’t always get it!! any thoughts or experiences will be very much appreciated lots of love to you all xxxx

No advice, as I’ve yet to start my chemo (same regime as you), but bumping this up in the hopes that someone else can offer you some comfort.

Hugs from me in the meantime xxxxx

Hello to an old bald hobbit, I know exactly how you feel. I had my last chemo (6 x TAC) on 14th Oct and muscle pain since then has been really bad, I moan about my ‘sore body’ all the time. Also my fingers have started tingling and going numb since chemo finished and like you I feel swollen - ankles, wrists, hands, etc. I have to get out of bed/ off the settee very gingerly beacause everything hurts to start with, it’s like I have to warm up. I finished radiotherapy last Friday which went well except sometimes I was slow getting off the bed because I was so sore and stiff. I saw my oncologist briefly before the end of radiotherapy but have a proper appointment just before Christmas. He seemed to think all these symptoms would gradually improve over time and were fairly normal. There has certainly been no improvement since I first noticed them (which was after I did some ‘proper’ housework since about 3rd chemo - it’s put me off housework again!), now to top it all I’VE GOT A COLD!!

Hope this helps, I only signed up when I read your message because it sounds so similar to my own experience, good luck from an old bald hobbit xxx

Hi, sorry to hear the you are feeling so cr*p. I had 6 x tax 2 years ago, finished early November 08. I remember about a fortnight later nearly passing out in a shop on the High Street - I’d gone into work the day befoe and completely overdid it i think. I think that it can take a while before you start feeling more yourself, but I think you should mention it when you go to your first rads appointment. They’ll want to ask you all sorts of questions anyway I should think, so just tell it like it is! I don’t know whether exercise or rest is best. Sometimes I did feel better for forcing myself to go for a walk, sometimes all I wanted to do was rest. Most leaflets on chemo tell you to try and exercise a bit, and I think I agree that it did help. but don’t overdo it. You may be encouraged to know that when I did start to feel better, I improved a lot quite quickly, and the rads were no problem after the tax.

Just take it easy and do what your body tells you!

good luck

love Mo x

So sorry to hear you still feel so poorly.I had 4xfec and 4xtaxotere in 2006/7 and found thet the se’s of tax were cumulative and went on getting worse for quite a while after the last one.I ended up in a wheelchair going to the first few rads as my legs were so weak.But it does get better and though the improvement is slow it is steady and you have the relief of knowing its over.It was a good 3 months before I felt much better and 3 years before I could honestly begin to feel completely normal again [apart from some pn in toes and no eyebrows!!]
good Luck

Hi ladies,
I finished my chemo on 16th Nov, 3EC and 3Tax, I had a WLE, SND and then a full node clearance. I wasn’t too bad on the EC - minimal side effects, the first Tax knocked me off my feet and it was downhill after that. I too hoped that almost 3 weeks after my last Tax I would be feeling more human again - am part way there, think my taste buds are on their way back but the fatigue is killing me! The tiredness isnt so bad, I can have a nap whenever I feel like it, but as you ladies say its the feeling of swelling/soreness/tingling in my hands and feet and the mucle ache I can’t cope with and not sure what to do about it … Woodlandmanor YOU ARE NOT ALONE !!
I can not walk upstairs without having to sit on the bed for 10 mins before I come down again. I feel like I am moaning all the time about my aches (no real pain so have stayed away from pain killers), I am 47 years old but feel like I am 97 years old. I can not walk the 200 yards from the bus stop to my house and it is so not like me I am getting so frustrated - I know this treatment takes a while to recover from, but its really getting me down now.
I have my rads planning a week on monday and hope I can walk from the carpark to the hospital department.
Woodlandmanor, good luck with your rads tomorrow, hope all goes well.

Lots of love to all you wonderful ladies
Tracey xxxxxxxx

Hi everone

I am nearly 9 weeks since my last chemo, I had 6 TAC, and it has only been over the last couple of weeks where I have started to feel better in myself. I no longer get out of breath when I take the dog for a walk and don’t need to rest after climbing the stairs and I have two flights of stairs to contend with when I go to the loo, I used to crawl up them after chemo! I sometimes get muscle pains in my legs in a morning but they soon go. I went to a xmas do on Friday night and danced most of the night, I was dreading the next day thinking I would be sooo stiff but I was okay. I still get the tingling in my fingers but it is a lot better. Make sure you wear gloves in this cold weather though as you will be in agony.

The fatigue is awful though, I started my rads 3 weeks after chemo. My appt used to be around lunchtime and I used to go back to bed ( aft taking the kids to school) before my appt and also when I got home again. How bad is that! The good thing is I no longer have a sleep during the day so I must be getting better.

I don’t know how some ladies manage to go back to work during the rads because I couldn 't have done it.

Hang in there ladies, it does get easier.

Take care. Amanda xx

Thank you for all your replies, I am feeling so much better knowing all i am going through is pretty normal, well our sort of normal! I spoke to the chemo nurse at the hospital today and she said it was all very typical but that no one is the same as we well know.

My radiotherapy went well today and i did manage to walk from the car park to the dept!! Onwards and upwards love to you all xxx