Still not feeling great 8 months post chemo

Hi everyone; i’m eight months post chemo - had highest dose they could give me and epirubicin was one of the drugs; i thought i was feeling better but i still wake up in the mornings feeling crap - today even felt a bit nauseus - seem to still have no energy to exercise much (try to jog, but not getting very far) - family seem to think i should be recovering better than i seem to be - is this normal?

Don’t feel like anyone understands how long it’s taking me to recover. (and i’ve changed to a healthier diet/taking chinese herbs and supplements, but still slow going);. Also worried about my heart - it hasn’t felt right since the chemo. i had heart palpitations at the time but doctors said they were nothing to worry about.

also, all mammograms and ultrasounds are clear,but i swear i can feel lumps in my right breast. i don’t really want to know though.

Hi Cinderella (great name).
I too am eight months post chemo. I finished in March this year and had 20 sessions of Radio after that. Some days I wake up and feel on top of the world. I have two young boys (3 and 2) and really convince myself that I will be one of the ‘lucky’ ones that sees the next 20 years. However, 8/10 days I don’t feel like that at all.

I am constantly exhausted and never feel like I’ve slept properly. I also have quite sore scar tissue from my lupectomy and my right arm is heavy. I worry constantly about every ache and pain. Currently I have a bad back. I am always hurting somewhere. I do think that I notice these pains more though - I tend to find them and wonder what kind of secondaries they could be, instead of getting on with it like ‘normal’ people.

Maybe we will learn to deal with these pains and the emotional side effects of them. Maybe eight months isn’t long enough to recover from the mental and physical scars.

Sending warm thoughts to you x

Hi both

I had FEC four years ago - the oncologist warned me that it could take up to two years before I felt nearly normal. And she was more or less right - it was certainly over a year. The stress, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, one after the other all take a toll on us that no-one can appreciate unless they’ve been through it themselves. (I think she even mentioned 6 months for all traces of the chemotherapy drugs to disappear from my system).

So… early days yet, I reckon. Be nice to yourselves, don’t expect miracles, things should slowly improve, along with your energy levels and state of mind.

Tigerjo - I would advise getting your ‘heavy arm’ checked out, just in case it’s lymphoedema.

X

S

Hi,

8 months is NOWHERE near long enough to recover !!!

I had high dose chemo for 5 months, finishing last Dec, then a mastectomy & removal of all lymph glands on that side & then 15 doses of radiotherapy finishing in March. I was ok through all of that & was under the illusion that after about 3 months recovery I could go back to work. Then it all hit me & with the hormone therapy when I tried to go back part time doing beginners stuff, I went to pieces & had to go off sick again in Sept. You try to get things back to ‘normal’ - or at least that’s what I now realise I tried to do - far too early. Fortunately I rang my bcn & she has been an absolute angel, as have the other consultants etc. It’s taken a few months but I’ve admitted & agreed with the medics that I’ve expected too much too soon. I’m being signed off for another 3 months next week.

I know it won’t be much consolation but my nurse tried to get me on an acupuncture study treating fatigue following chemo for up to 5 years after the treatment has finished as it is a recognised problem (it’s being run by Christies). Sadly I got allocated the control group with no treatment so just have to put up with the tiredness…Until you’ve had it, it’s difficult to understand what it’s like & friends & relatives can’t appreciate how draining it is - not like normal tiredness where a good sleep will sort it. Doing one thing a day is about my limit & I’m only 43 with no kids but often feel about 93 !!!

For sickness I used the Seabands for travel sickness & never suffered - check them out. Worth every penny of the 7.99 from Superdrug !!

Don’t beat yourself up about it & in due course you will accept that it will all take time. I feel better now I’ve accepted it.

Liz

I finished Taxotere in June 2007 and had FEC/rads before this. I also had Herceptin until May of this year. I feel really well, but I still get good days and bad with regard to energy levels and tiredness. I find every 6 weeks or so I am sometimes tired enough to need a morning or day in bed just napping on and off. My oncologist told me that whilst patients start feeling a bit better 6 weeks post chemo, it can take about 2 years to be back to normal.

My OH has gone off to Spain to see a friend for the weekend and I’m glad I haven’t gone as I’m not sure I could keep up with the late nights. Our friend is in Madrid and people there go out for dinner at 10pm or later!