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All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After → Topic: When did you get your energy back after finishing chemo?

Topic: When did you get your energy back after finishing chemo?

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After — Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Dec 29, 2010 02:29PM

Letlet wrote:

Hello,

I am in the middle of chemo (AC/TH) regimen and will be "done" in February. I was just curious for those who went through this, when did you get your energy back. I guess I don't mean the feeling good the next week after tx but your energy level before you started chemo.

Thanks a lot!

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Posts 1 - 12 (12 total)

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Dec 29, 2010 03:14PM CoolBreeze wrote:

I finished chemo March 31st, and Herceptin December 2nd.

I started feeling better almost immediately - within two weeks.  However, I didn't get my full energy back for a while. It's a process where you gradually get better and better.  9 months past my last chemo, I would say that now I probably have it back 90%.  I can finally stay up late, and shop without getting tired, etc.  My reds are still a little low but not enough to cause problems.  I still have the urge to take an afternoon nap but then I did before i got sick too.  I think my residual effects are probably from tamoxifen rather than chemo.  Hot flashes every 30 minutes 24/7 are a bit wearing and they frequently wake me up.  The the joint ache are tiring too.  I've developed a new side effect that I don't know what causes it - I have suddenly developed acid reflux.  Three times I've awakened in the middle of the night with acid washing up my throat, burning it. It feels like I'm throwing up but I'm not, and it burns and makes me cough for hours.  Weird.  Next time I see my onc I'll ask him but I'm taking prilosec.

Other than that, I'm pretty much back to normal.  Next step is to get into an exercise program and build my strength back up.  I have to do PT for a shoulder problem so that might help get me moving.  :)

I think you'll be surprised how much better you feel as soon as chemo is done, and it only goes up from there.  I had a great Christmas and cooked a fabulous appetizer party for my family - first time I'd had the energy to do that in two years.  :)

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV

Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Dec 29, 2010 03:15PM Fearless_One wrote:

I would say within a few weeks....but I started rads after, so it's hard to say.    But it did not take me long.

lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants

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Dec 29, 2010 04:10PM Letlet wrote:

Thanks CoolBreeze. Do you think it's because you were done with the Herceptin that you got your energy back?

Fearless, was rads slightly better energy-wise for you? I know many ladies say that but wanted to know your experience.

Dx 8/27/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 6/23 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 29, 2010 04:24PM CoolBreeze wrote:

No, herceptin didn't really affect my energy levels.  I am talking about from the time I finished chemo, March 31.  I only finished herceptin 3 weeks ago but am pretty much recovered.

I think a lot of it has to do with how healthy you were before.  I'm 52 now but had no other problems and I have always recovered quickly from anything that happens.  Chemo was no different.  I felt better very quickly and each week, I got better and better.  

My chemo brain is much better too.  When i first went back to work, duriing chemo, I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on.  I couldn't remember the names of my coworkers, how to do the smallest things, entire conversations that happened.  I had to take notes on every single thing.  That got better and better.  Now the only problem I have is short-term memory loss - if somebody hands me something I'll put it down and forget where I put it.  And, I have trouble retrieving information quick - I can't come up with an answer to a trivia question in time to win a game, for example, even though I know the answer.  But, as far as physical energy goes, I am pretty much whole again.

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV

Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Dec 29, 2010 06:25PM ruthbru wrote:

I remained active through the whole thing; but I'd say to really feel 100% took a whole year post treatment. (Compared to chemo, I felt GREAT during rads!). Best of Luck! Ruth

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche

Dx 2/2007, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 30, 2010 01:47PM KittyDog wrote:

I am still waiting.  lol  Everybody is different. I was very sick during chemo and even spent 4 days in the hospital.  My MX was after chemo followed by 34 rounds of radiation.  Then I also had a hysterectomy and and ooph.  I do feel better and can now shop three stores in a row.  I rarely take naps now and when I do it usually is because I have overdone several days in a row and my body just says  no more. 

I wish you wellness during you chemo!

4 rounds of AC, 3 rounds of Taxol, UMX 3-29-10, 34 rounds of radiation.finished 7-2-10, ooph & hysterectomy 10-25-10, tamoxifen, femara now on to arimidex, Lymphedema arm, trunk, legs and now my neck...grrr

Dx 11/24/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 30, 2010 08:33PM 208sandy wrote:

It took me almost a year to recover after chemo and rads - I had to give up the AI's - I tried Femera and Arimidex and was very sick on both of them - I am 65 and was healthy my whole life (rarely even got the flu or a cold) - I ended up with some heart problems from the Taxotere but they have mostly subsided - I do have A-fib but the doctors tell me that everyone gets it as they get older (love THAT generalization) - anyway suggest that diet and exercise are the best ways to build stamina - I do the very low carb thing (it works for me but maybe not for everyone) and I walk every single day and I actually love it - now if I could just find a job.....

 Sandy

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Jan 1, 2011 02:21PM Letlet wrote:

I just finished Lance Armstrong's book...it seems like it took him a year as well to feel like his normal self. *sigh* 

I just want my life back...

Dx 8/27/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 6/23 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 1, 2011 02:26PM Omaz wrote:

Letlet - I just finished Lance's book today!  Great read, who would have thought he was such an insightful man.
Dx 6/21/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 1, 2011 05:37PM aimster1123 wrote:

I'm 3.5 years out from my first dx (in the midst of tx for the 2nd one) so just thought I'd give the long-view perspective.  I definitely felt better on rads than chemo, although more tired.  For about a year after chemo I needed almost daily naps (which I could do, because I was a SAHM with a 3-year-old).  At a year I started to think that I was feeling "normal" again.  But it was really at 2 years past chemo that I said, "A-HA!  THIS is normal!"  So in my experience, you'll feel better all the time, and then in hindsight you'll realize at some point that you're "back".

 HTH,

 Amy 

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Jan 1, 2011 06:15PM jenn3 wrote:

I finished chemo 12/18/2009 and radiation 3/2010- I can remember starting to feel better within weeks and of course telling everyone I was feeling better, which I was.  However, here I am a little over a year later looking back and realize it's a slow process.  I remember a few years ago when my daughter ended up in a wheelchair due to an illness - the dr told us that for every one day she was in the wheelchair was 3 days of recovery - the dr was right and I imagine we should look at it along those lines.  If we had chemo 4 months, give ourselves 12 months to recover.    I know it's frustrating, but remember all that your body has been through and take it slow. 

Jenn - June 2009 IDC-TN, Stage III, 02/2011 Stage IV mets to the lungs & spine / Laugh until your belly hurts, then laugh some more...........

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Jan 26, 2011 05:19PM Emme wrote:

I am so happy to stumble accross this thread.  I keep asking my onc how come I am feeling so tired.  I finished my first round of chemo in feb2010 and then had  AC DD X4 ending in June. I begain herceptin in July. I am tired and trying to find a new normal. I guess we all need to be patient with ourselves and allow the time it takes. I am really trying to be kind to myself and allow for the healing.  The emotional aspect of being diagnosed, going thru the treatments, surgeries and reconstruction  is exhausting in itself. I know the fatigue will pass with time.

EM

Taxol wkly x 5 & Lapatanib daily X 6 wks Jan 2010; Bilat mast. with TE 3/10; AC x4 DD; H X 7 months. 11/201 Exchange, 4/1/2011 hysterectomy, Arimidex daily x 5yrs.

Dx 11/18/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+