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when will fatigue get better after finishing chemo?

3 REPLIES 3
GIJaneH
Member

Re: when will fatigue get better after finishing chemo?

I remember asking that question of the breast care nurse often.  I had radical mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy 10 years ago.  The fatigue seemed to last along time, but I did havetnemodd day when I'd been motoring and not had to stop.  They increased.  It wasn't linear or stable. The most helpful thing was The Spoon Theory.  Written by Christine someone.  It'll come up  if you Google...  

I'm now back in the forums having newly diagnosed secondaries...x

m123
Member

Re: when will fatigue get better after finishing chemo?

Fatigue really did my head in, but it does get better each week. Are you able to get a bit of exercise each day, even if it's just chair exercises or a walk? It can be hard to manage it but it really does help. 

I had AC and docetaxel so it's different, but my hair started growing back before the end of my last cycle. It's fluffier than it used to be but I'm hoping it'll thicken and get back to its old texture over time.

Jaybro
Member

Re: when will fatigue get better after finishing chemo?

Hi Lauren

You know that annoying answer “How long is a piece of string?” Well, I could phrase it in all sorts of ways but it does boil down to that. You didn’t mention if you are due to have radiotherapy because that too can cause long-term fatigue.

The leaflets and medical staff can only generalise. Maybe it can take up to 9 months. Having been floored by chemo, I found I picked up energy much faster than I expected, possibly because I had to galvanise myself into daily radiotherapy sessions after 5 weeks off. My real fatigue struck maybe two months after I finished radiotherapy and it’s still with me, 20 months on. It’s not daily or all-consuming. It just hits out of the blue or after I’ve been active for long. Sometimes just changing the bed linen wipes me out for the day!

However, that doesn’t mean it will be the same for you. You may be younger, fitter, have started from a healthier baseline. You may have more demands on your time, you may be going back to work. You may find physical exercise gets you through the fatigue. There are lots of ‘you mays.’ However, I’m currently doing Maggie’s Where Now? course online and every one of us (ranging from 30s to 60s) is still experiencing fatigue (and half didn't have chemo!) so fatigue is normal, however long it lasts.

As for the hair, I didn’t cold-cap and, despite the assurance that I would lose all my hair with paclitaxel, I didn’t. It was sparse tho! It started growing within a week or so and I can tell you, the hair that grows is a delight, like stroking a puppy! It doesn’t displace existing hair - you’ll just lose that the way you naturally shed hair over time. It grows at the usual speed but can be a different shade and can be curly. Those things are quite common.

Good luck. Enjoy stroking the top of your head! Jan x

laurensjourney
Member

when will fatigue get better after finishing chemo?

Hey Everyone,

I have just had my last ever chemo TCHP last week and i am over the moon. But i'm really struggling with fatigue everyday, i have gotten over my last round SE but cant shift the fatigue.

I was wondering how long until others started feeling like the fatigue lifted a little? i know it can take up to 9 months to go completely. Just i am getting a bit fed up with myself being in bed all day after doing not a lot, i miss being productive.

also my other question, I cold capped and was able to keep some of my hair but the top is very thin and broken... when did your hair start to come back through and grow again?

thank you so much for any help and advice!

hope you all have speedy recoveries.

Lauren