How did you do after chemo?

Hi Ladies,

I am due to have my sixth and last FEC on 08 August. I have found it increasingly difficult as I get very breathless on the slightest exertion and seem to have no stamina. I wondered if this was just a side effect of the chemo and if it will get better after the chemo has finished? If so, how long does it take to feel more normal? I used to be so active. I know I am not a young un (58) but up until January I was seemingly fit and well and could walk for miles. I am still bald and I am hoping my hair will start to come back along with my fitness.

Thanks for any info you might have.

Sue xx

Hi There,
There is light at the end of the tunnel - like you the last three FEC I had no energy at all, breathless,aching all over and oh not forgetting fat and bald !!
Finished chemo end March hair now an inch long (grey & white) and energy levels so much better, after chemo every week is an improvement on the last week, and lost over a stone now. However tried to go back to work partime and only lasted three weeks, now feel very emotional not sleeping at night, and cannot run around as I used to, but as everyone tells me this will take time,but honestly I do feel so much better just not quick enough. So hold on in there!

I finished chemo 23rd June and I’m working, taking dog for a walk, growing my hair, have increasing amounts of energy and my brain’s not quite so addled. Apart from feeling a bit more tired than I used to sometimes, I feel like me again. Until I walk past a mirror, the chemo hairdo’s still absolutely dreadful, and I’m still fatter than I was.

Don’t know how long that’s going to last, as I start rads tomorrow. What joy. :expressionless:

Hi Sue

I’m sorry you are finding it all so nasty now. I founbd 4th and 5th chemos knocked me sideways and i needed to rest (leaning on a random garden fence) just coming back from the local shop when i even had enough energy to go there - somedays i couldn’t do it. However, presumably for psychological reasons, i didnt suffer so much with fec 6. Now, 4 days into rads, i’m still much more easily tired than normal but at heart i’m much better than i was when on chemo.

My hair has started to come back now altho i bear a close resemblance to a baby owl ie soft downy white stuff. hang on in there!

Dawn x

Hi 50Something

I’m 63 and had 6 Chemo sessions (FEC x3 & Tax x3) Like you I struggled to do anything. I got very breathless on exertion and like Dawn had to “rest” on any seat or wall available on the way home from the shops. I used to go up the stairs one at a time pulling on the bannister.

My last chemo was on April 30th and I think it took until about the end of June before I realised I wasn’t so breathless any more.

I had six weeks of Rads which has made me tired but not breathless. Like Chocciemuffin the mirror is not my friend- every time I walk past I’m reminded of the treatment. I think for me the worst part is my scrambled brain, seems to take three readings of anything to understand it. As for my spelling, my dictionary has never been so used and I used to pride my self on being a good speller! Pride comes before a fall as the saying goes.

Keep going you will feel better eventually- be kind to yourself.

Hi again,

Thanks for all your comments and you certainly give me hope that things will improve. I intend to try and walk into the village tomorrow and see how far I get before I have to stop. I seem to have a sparse smattering of ‘bum fluff’ on top of my head but it is so white no one can see it!

Thanks again for giving me hope

Sue xx.

I’ve had a mastectomy and finish my chemo at the end of August … have been working from home two out of the three weeks, a few hours a day. I have just informed my employers that I wont be back in September … think I’ll need a month of recovery. But will aim to be office based in October. Am I being unreasonable saying I wont be able to do my normal 12 hour days!! My job is quite pressured and relies on alot of concentration and memory … I’m worried I won’t be able to handle it!

I was 56 when dx and I found it ‘hard’. My hair took a few months before I felt confident enough to go without my wig. Thought my hair would never come back.

I’m now over 3 years post chemo and my hair and my life is back to normal (well almost). The worries do reduce as time goes on. I rarely come on the site now as life is good and I just enjoy EVERYTHING.

Take care.

Hi, I’m another 60+, and found that about 4 weeks after the final chemo things like breathlessness and tiredness began to improve. I started with short daily walks and built up fairly quickly to longer ones. During chemo, the building up didn’t seem to happen, probably because my red blood cells were bumping along at the bottom of the acceptable range. I also had dizzy spells due to low blood pressure, so couldn’t go far on my own much of the time.

I had a slight regression during rads in terms of tiredness, but didn’t get breathless as with chemo.

I’m 50 this sept and would walk anywhere between 5 and 10 miles a day now to the bottom of my short street is exhausting and stairs- so breathless! I finished chemo 3 weeks ago and started rads yesterday so early days for me! And I expect the rads will start the exhaustion off again. I’m even thinking will I ever be fit enough to return to work??? Don’t know, and don’t know mentally if I could cope!

I am 2 years post mastectomy and chemo and it took a few months, but I can honestly say that now I feel just as good, if not better, than I ever did. I am back at work full time, sometimes working 12 hour days, my hair, skin, weight and energy levels are back to normal and life is fabulous at 52!!! Still have the odd moment, but on the whole feel great.
Hang on in there - you will get there but just be patient with yourself. Your body and mind have taken a bashing remember!
Janet xx

Hi Sue

I too have had 5 FEC - 6th and last one due on 19th August YAY! :smiley:

I’m lucky as I’ve not had too many nasty side effects, but the first week after chemo I get very breathless and have heart palpatations, even when I’m sitting watching telly or lying in bed. It’s scary!

Have really fluffy, dogdy looking hair and can’t decide whether to leave it or get it shaved again! Argued I’m gonna have to go through this dodgy stage at some point to get any kind of regrowth back, so may try to persevere with it!

LYnne xx

I’ve been concerned for my breathlesslness, have had tests from my oncologist & my lung is clear & no cardiac issues showed, I’ve had my last chemo 4 weeks ago & still tight chested, bit having read your comment I feel better as you say it took 2 months to feel better, thank you for your comment