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Recovery expectations?


Re: Recovery expectations?

Hi lizandsarah


Thanks for posting.


It sounds like you are having a difficult time trying to move forward. Many people are surprised at how emotional they feel when their treatment finishes and they no longer have routine appointments. Adapting to life after treatment can be difficult and often the need for information and support continues.


The recovery time will be different for each individual so it’s difficult to put a timeline on this. It’s reassuring to hear your pain has been investigated and nothing was found. However, if your GP or treatment team cannot control your pain, you may benefit from going to a specialist pain clinic. You can ask your GP to refer you.  


Experiencing fatigue after receiving treatment for breast cancer is very common.  Many people find that they start to get their energy levels back as time passes after treatment, but for some fatigue can continue.


Other factors may also contribute to fatigue, such as: the emotional impact of a breast cancer diagnosis; altered sleep patterns; reduced activity and poor diet.


There are things you can try to help manage fatigue which are discussed in the previous links. You may want to keep a diary to record when you feel at your most tired. This will help you to plan activities you enjoy in the times when you have more energy. Eating a healthy well balanced diet is also important. The following tips for better sleep may also be helpful.


If you have not done so already, do discuss how you are feeling with your breast care nurse (if you have one) or GP. There are a few situations where fatigue may be due to other conditions such as anaemia or thyroid problems so it’s important these are ruled out.


We often hear from women that fatigue can have a real impact on their day to day life. It can be difficult to describe fatigue and other people may not always understand how you are feeling. They may assume that after treatment, you are back to normal and don’t understand the difference between tiredness and fatigue or be aware that it can continue after treatment has finished.


Dr Peter Harvey a Consultant Clinical Psychologist wrote about how people can feel after treatment has finished. Although the article is many years old and not specific to breast cancer the emotional issues discussed remain relevant. You can read this through the following link  After the treatment has finished - Then what?


You may be interested in our resources that are particularly for those who have come to the end of their main intensive treatment. These are known as our Moving forward services and include our Moving Forward book and Moving Forward course although we have taken the difficult decision to suspend all of our face-to-face services until the end of June 2020, following the latest government guidance regarding the coronavirus.


BECCA is our free app for people with breast cancer and provides strategies and tips to help you move forward after breast cancer treatment.


It can sometimes help to share your experiences with others who may have been through something similar. Our Someone Like Me service can arrange for one of our volunteers to talk to you by email or telephone. Our volunteers have had a personal experience of breast cancer and are trained to provide support.


Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.


The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Now Nurse


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This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread.



Recovery expectations?

I was diagnosed with stage 2b in Dec 18. With high grade dcis also. 

3 WLE, axillary clearance, chemo and rads for treatment.

Developed lymphoedema from rads

Went back to work and have recently had bilateral salpingo oopherectomy as I didn't want to have Zolodex for years. 

Having zoldromic acid infusions and in anastrazole. 


Have been discharged by everyone! 


Five momths on from intensive  treatment finishing I don't feel any further forwards. I have constant fatigue, bone pain around my pelvis (has been investigated and nothing found) and ongoing shoulder problems.

I'm also in long term antibiotics for an underlying lymphoedema cellulitis, has been like this for 5 months before I was started on antibiotics recently


How long should I expect recovery to take? I have a hospital job which is physically and emotionally, demanding working night shifts, cannot change to days. 


I just feel so concerned I'm not bouncing back at all physically