getting back to 'normal'

I have just finished chemo and am impatient to get my life back on track. I havent worked since last July but am hoping to start again in April. Does anyone have any tips / remedies to build stamina and get rid of this awful fatigue.

I was asked by my clinic if I would volunteer for a study into stress management for BC patients which involved meditation and yoga sessions. I really enjoyed it and have intermittently kept up with it. I found the meditations they gave us focused my brain and refreshed me; the yoga exercise was mainly gentle stretching/breathing properly. This gentle type of exercise was all I could cope with after Taxotere as I was virtually bedbound for the 4 cycles I had. I was also very breathless due to the lack of activity at the end.

I also found eating a lot of fresh fruit and veg helped my energy levels and I took a fizzy vitamin c tablet every day. I’m lucky in that I live near a very beautiful park which as well as having woodland walks has coastal ones as well. I used to try to just walk a circuit every evening. I went to Center Parcs at the end of my chemo as well and just did loads of walks every day. I also have a stepper and hand weights in the house - need to start using these again as I’m utting weight on!

Thanks for that - someone else had mentioned transcedental meditation helps, I’m going to look into it. I also take high dose Vit C daily.

I suppose after being used to feeling rough for the past few months it is easy to forget what ‘being normal’ really feels like - how long does it take to detox from chemo? My doc wouldnt commit but has suggested maybe 6 to 8 weeks.

It’s all about self-motivation isnt it?
I’m going to set myself a little goal every day to do some form of exercise I live on the edge of open fields - so walking is a good option. My springer spaniel is wagging her tail in anticipation!

I received an invite to the next Healthy Living day organised by Breast Cancer care - just today, and am definitely going to go. Has anyone else been to one?

My onc said most people start to feel better 6 weeks after the last chemo cycle, I would say this is about right. It took me quite a long time to get some energy and concentration back, but I was wiped out with Taxotere and ended up in hospital for 6 days at the end as my immune system was kaput; I also suffered a huge chemo burn to the back of my hand at that point and this had to be investigated. That was last week in June last year, I started feeling really well about end September and my energy and concentration stepped up a gear in October.

I had very severe fatigue on Taxotere to the point I could barely get out of bed and was sleeping 18 hours a day; the joint pain was also horrendous. My onc told me they often find it’s worse for ladies like myself who get 3 cycles of Herceptin along with it, the combination of the two can make the fatigue worse she told me.

From Monday I start retraining and working from home in my OH’s business - my exercise regime has a fallen by the wayside a bit since before Christmas and I have succumbed to the temptations of eating junk in the last couple of weeks (long story, started a new job at the beginning of the year and I had to leave as it wasn’t working out, so mega stress!) We’ve decided we will both factor exercise into the beginning of each day, even if it’s just a walk.

Hi springer, I am going on the healthy living day too (22 Feb) I am at the end of treatment now, after chemo, mastectomy, & ards , now just the tamoxifen to live with. On chemo I took echinacea tablets, they help support your immune syatem & keep way infections etc, it mgh tbe worth taking them while you are getting back to health. If you take them do 2 weeks on , one week off as other wise they lose their potency. I have been signed off work til May so I feel I’ve got a good length of time to get back to health & am grateful for this. Hope you ( & the dog!) are enjoying getting out walking in this lovely weather, I am close to the sea & walking/running on the beach is wonderful
Cheers for now!

Hi Mand

Yes gorgeous walking weather!
dog is going bananas - three walks in three days! I can’t go too far yet, but am trying to go a bit further each day. I feel as though I’ve been in hibernation all winter and this bit of sun has really woken me up!
It has also motivated me to book a holiday for the end of March- to relax and get a bit of a tan before I go back to work. Cant wait!

Did you lose your hair? Am getting impatient for mine to start growing back, just a bit of stubble at the moment.
Your healthy living day is before mine (march 3rd) so you will have to tell me all about it.
Hope you enjoy it

Hi Springer

I’m going to the Dunkenhalgh on 3rd March so hopefully see you there

Take care
Marilyn x

Hi Springer
I didnt lose all my hair as had a cold cap thru chemo. Kept some round edges & fringe, fairly bald on top & sides, needed a wig most of time, wore cap in teh house/ at gym Finished chemo mid sept & it is coming back quite thick now and curly, which is a bit of a shock, its always been dead straight before! To start with I found it a bit hard to deal with, sounds pathetic but I felt like i had someone elses hair, another little bit of me that the cancer had mucked up! But i’m fine with it now… just be prepared for a suprise!! I went in to visit school this week( i’m a teacher) & one of the littlies observed that my hair was curly now and I must have been eating all my crusts!!! Had to struggle to keep a straight face!
Glad to hear you are able to walk a bit more each day… onwards & upwards!!