How Long

Hi all,

Does anybody know how long it takes once Chemo is finished for it to be out of your system.

I will be having my last FEC in 10 days time and wanted to know how long it would be before your body goes back to feeling normal. I have heard that it can a couple of months.

Love to us all

Hi Susie - i had FEC and did not too badly on it at all. I would say that i recovered pretty quickly. the filthy taste left my mouth about two/three weeks after, then no more problems.
the hair on head didnt start growing for another six weeks tho i sprouted some on the upper lip pretty damn soon after!
hope its out your system soon too, take care, biddy

Taxotere side effects can last ages but I think the actual drugs are out inside 3wks.

I was told it is six months before the cytotoxic drugs are fully out of the system. It seems about right from what I remember of recovery after chemo [FEC and Vinolrebine]

I had my last chemo in Jan and rads finished at the end of Feb. I have only started to feel “normal” over the last 2 months. My hair finally started to grow properly in may and the nasty taste/dry mouth went away a couple of months ago. I still get pretty tired but apart from that, things are now abck on track.


Hi - I finished FEC chemo Sept 06 and it must have been a couple of months before nasty taste in mouth went - in fact began to wonder if it would ever go - but it did. Still get tired even now and concentration levels are not what they used to be, but in general feel OK. Hair was about half an inch all over by Christmas - also came back curly - love it! Hope you begin to feel better soon. Love and hugs, Jean x

I finished my FEC chemo on the 26th of June this year, and have to say (I don’t know if it is physcological!) but I feel as if I have loads more energy.
I do get tired if I do too much, but I do have blood clots on my lungs too so I have put it down to that.

I am busy planning a family gathering to thank them for being there for myself, my hubby and 2 kids.
I am also trying to fit in as many little breaks as we had to cancel 2 holidays.

I seemed ok about 4 days after my last session, and I feel (almost) raring to go!!! and get back on with my life.

I keep looking every day though for the hair to start sprouting, but it will come.
My breast care nurse couldn’t get over how well I have looked, and I can honestly say I haven’t felt ill throughout this ordeal ,Yeah maybe a few days after chemo, but not ILL.

Good luck and hope you are feeling more like your old self soon

Take care

I hate to sound pessimistic but I was listening to a radio prog. (BBC Oxford) last week and the lady speaking had had BC recently. She had reviewed a book by Dr Rob Buckman about cancer and in it he apparently mentions that chemo takes 3 years to leave the system. And I must say this doesn’t really surprise me. I finished mine 2 years ago this spring and still don’t feel I am back to ‘normal’! It could just be middle age but I’ll never know I guess. Anyway I am waiting for spring 2008 to feel fine again.

Basically, don’t expect to feel yourself again for a long time after cancer and chemo treatment.

Further on this subject, I emailed Dr Buckman in Toronto and he replied thus!

Thanks - I’m not sure where that 3 year figure came from!
The chemo leaves the body usually within a few days and the effects depend on which drug we’re talking about and which organ of the body. In the common chemotherapy regimens, six months is a fair statement - but some effects (such as learning difficulties in kids and ‘chemo brain’ in adults) may last for longer.
I really hppe the book helps and I’m hoping the encyclopedia of the cancers that I’ve written (What You Really Need To KnowAbout Cancer) will b published in the UK in the fall.
As you say “not feeling right” can go on for two or three years and it’s probable that this is due to the effect of the chemo on the central nervous system.

This last sentence is very interesting.


Although i lost my hair on my head during chemo it was about 6 months later that my eyelashes and some of my eyebrows fell out, they were fine until then, it was quite a shock as i thought id got away with it. my nails on my toes were also weak and the two big toenails had caught on something and had them ripped off, not nice i tell ya.

take care all


Hi SueBee

Thanks for the information from Dr Buckman. I also wondered just how long treatments took to leave your system.

I thought it must take some time, as you say the lst sentence is very interesting.
Thanks again for the info.

Love and take care

Re: the central nervous system

I met a lady recently who had numbness of the feet as a result of a particular type of chemotherapy - she finished treatment 4 years ago and the numbness may never go away completely.

I would think that this nerve damage (Peripheral Neeuropathy) is what Dr Buckman (British) alludes to. I can remember him on TV here years ago with Miriam Stoppard but I cannot remember the programme name. This dates me …


Numbness - yes me too. I was on 4xAC then 4x taxotere and developed numbness on the soles of my feet. Finished tax 6 months ago and still have numbness in right foot (left is only marginally affected for some reason and I wondered it it was something to do with the tumor being on the right side too! Although strangely it was almost gone before rads then came back and has never left. Asked Onc about a connection but she said no but it still seems strange to me.

I have numbness in fingertips and toes and weakness in legs.Onc says it is the taxotere[last one May 10th]and legs should be ok in 6mnths but numbness could last years though should go eventually.