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Topic: energy level after surgery

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Oct 24, 2013 05:50AM

LJDH wrote:

Hi everyone!!

I just had my 55 birthday a few days ago and

a mastectomy in July.  Here is my question.

I still have low energy days.  I am watching my calories, protien, iron, potassium and

still have days where I cant do much, just too tired.  After trying AI's and having severe side effects, I stopped them, so its not that. I am trying to get my exercise level back to where it was before and there are some days I just can't.  On good weeks I

am walking 20 miles, doing some weights, working, running the household, cooking etc.

Anyone know how long it takes to get your full stamina back?

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Oct 25, 2013 04:17AM - edited Oct 25, 2013 04:18AM by Ariom

Hi LJDH! Happy Birthday!

I am older than you, 59 when I had the surgery, but I would have to say that although you are doing everything right, it is still early days!

I was amazed at how quickly I felt I could get back to my normal routine, and walking and light exercise. The reality was, I felt really good most of the time, and then I would "hit the wall!" I'd feel a nap coming on and there was no way I could ignore it! This was fairly common for me, on and off for 6 months or more. I spoke to my surgeon about it and he told me to listen to my body, that it was completely normal.

I don't believe there is any set time for full recuperation, but when you consider what our bodies have been through, and the anesthesia drugs we've had to cope with, it isn't a surprise that we're fatigued at times!

I actually watched a Mx surgery on you tube after my surgery so I could actually get a handle on what had happened to me, it certainly made me understand that my body had been through something brutal, and it would take time to completely heal from that.

I am now 10 months out, and feel fantastic! In fact, I am probably better than before my surgery.

I wish you all the best, but have to say, be kind to yourself, it will get better! Rest if you need to, it is just your body healing!

Dx Mondors Disease (cording) after Umx and "Dog Ear" removed 14 months post UMx .................. The Dx shuffles you like a deck of cards and then deals you a new hand! Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/18/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Oct 25, 2013 04:27AM LJDH wrote:


Thank you for the info! I was thinking that after 2 months I should have more energy than before! I am experiencing exactly what you described.  Yes, I guess when you think about it our bodies have been through a major trauma

and 2-3 months out is not a long time.

Thank you for the encouragement!

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Oct 25, 2013 04:50AM Ariom wrote:

You're very welcome! Take care of you!

Dx Mondors Disease (cording) after Umx and "Dog Ear" removed 14 months post UMx .................. The Dx shuffles you like a deck of cards and then deals you a new hand! Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/18/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Dec 21, 2013 01:06PM VMC83 wrote:

I am 10 days post R mastectomy and exhausted.  I do have some pain and a fussy stomach but the "no energy" is by far my biggest challenge. My drain in out, my incision is healing and no complications do far.  My sister was here first week and my parents are here now - cooking and feeding me- so eating well .  I have gained 3 pounds - not sure if I cut back on calories if that will make me more tired. I am sometimes so tired I cannot sleep, read or even watch TV.  

Dx 12/6/2013, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/10/2013 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2013
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Dec 21, 2013 01:58PM Ariom wrote:

VMC, So sorry that you have to be here, but very glad you've found us. This is a great place for information and support.

I had a right Mx 1 year ago,  and I have to tell you that the fatigue does last some time.

Some people report feeling queasy, and I managed to put on a few pounds too, but that was just replacing the 5 I lost through fear and loathing before my Mx.LOL

You've been through a huge, pretty brutal surgery, with a long anesthesia and it takes time for the body to adjust.

I felt great after my surgery, but I found myself being constantly reminded, by my body, that I had to take it easy. I called it a surgery of weird sensations, and when I overdid it it would start to burn like sunburn, or I would get a sensation that I named "The Claw", it was usually at night and it felt just like a sharp claw was holding my chest and underarm. I could be in a conversation with someone and I would just literally fall asleep. It was like a switch was flicked and I would need to sleep. I have explained it here before as a case of "Oh, I feel a nap coming on!" thud!....... I'd be asleep.

I had begun to eat very nutrient dense foods before my surgery, and was taking pro-biotics so I had good bacteria in my system for the healing process. I continued that, which I believe is still helping me and my immune system.

I also started walking short distances, early on, and drank lots of water to rid my body of the drugs from the surgery. I didn't take any pain killers after the surgery, which I think may have helped. I did the PT exercises religiously 4x a day, the first set every morning in the shower with the hot water to help free up the tightness. I massaged the incision a couple of times a day to ensure no adhesions could take hold.

It is really just a process that we have to get through. I don't really know why we all seem to think we are just going to come out of this and in a couple of weeks we'll be over it and back to where we were before. It is a very common thought here!

All I can say to you, is that it is very early days for you. It will get better, you'll find that you'll be able to do more and you'll feel some energy returning. Try not to push yourself too much.

There are so many subjects here that you can find and get involved in. Everyone here is very helpful and open. Don't be afraid to ask questions, we have all been where you are  now!

Take care!

Dx Mondors Disease (cording) after Umx and "Dog Ear" removed 14 months post UMx .................. The Dx shuffles you like a deck of cards and then deals you a new hand! Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/18/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Dec 21, 2013 02:09PM georgie1112 wrote:

LJDH

It is so individual. I had a BMX in October and am frustrated I am not back to normal as this time I didn't need radiation. Surgery can take a lot out of us. I think doctors minimize the impact of the surgery as I was told I could go back to my normal activities at 2 weeks.... Well I'm not able to do everything yet, mostly because some of my work is very taxing.  

It's great you can walk 20 miles a week! Keep up taking good care of yourself, eating healthy, resting, etc.

Georgie Dx 9/2006, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 9/2006, DCIS Surgery 9/25/2006 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 5/2013, LCIS Surgery 5/1/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 10/14/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Breast Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Dec 21, 2013 02:11PM georgie1112 wrote:

oops... wasn't quite finished. I can be a computer klutz. Anyway, hopefully we both will regain our energy! Take care.

Georgie Dx 9/2006, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 9/2006, DCIS Surgery 9/25/2006 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 5/2013, LCIS Surgery 5/1/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 10/14/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Breast Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Dec 21, 2013 02:20PM georgie1112 wrote:

VMC,

Ten days is so new.  My sleep was also disrupted after surgery. When I get a good night's rest, it makes a huge difference. My naturopath suggested melatonin and magnesium b4 bed and it has helped. It takes a while for the body to metabolize all the anesthesia chemicals.

Georgie Dx 9/2006, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 9/2006, DCIS Surgery 9/25/2006 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 5/2013, LCIS Surgery 5/1/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 10/14/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Breast Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Dec 22, 2013 07:27AM VMC83 wrote:

Thank you all for your responses.  Smile It means more coming from all of you who have experienced this before me.  I have been hesitant to participate in some blogs and discussion boards as I wanted to be as positive about this as possible.  There are so many who have worse cancers than me.  This web site and the Discussion Boards are a good match for me. I still do not know about chemo or radiation as I have yet to see Oncologist (12/31).  I know that can also cause fatigue.  I was told I could return to work in 3-4 weeks.  Not sure about going back full time - I have an hour drive each way.  I am so tired now.  I appreciate your candor and that you have shared your experiences with me. Thank you again.

Dx 12/6/2013, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/10/2013 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2013
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Dec 22, 2013 07:31AM VMC83 wrote:

Oh - forgot - Ariom - your description of burning and "the Claw" is exactly what I feel after supper each night!  It is gone in the morning after a nights sleep.  Thanks for sharing.

Dx 12/6/2013, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/10/2013 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2013
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Dec 22, 2013 01:15PM Ariom wrote:

VMC you're welcome! It helps to know it is all "Normal", and not a concern.

I meant to mention the other very strange sensation that happens when you drink something very cold or very hot. It feels like there is a waterfall effect inside your chest, and you can feel the track the liquid takes, all the way down.

We are yet to find what causes that sensation, my Surgeon just stared and blinked at me, saying that he hadn't heard of that before, but it is reported on here, often. I just wanted too warn you, if it happens to you! 

Take care!

Dx Mondors Disease (cording) after Umx and "Dog Ear" removed 14 months post UMx .................. The Dx shuffles you like a deck of cards and then deals you a new hand! Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/18/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Dec 23, 2013 10:02AM VMC83 wrote:

I also have the same "waterfall" sensation when I drink liquids!  LOL.Nerdy

Dx 12/6/2013, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/10/2013 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2013
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Dec 23, 2013 10:06AM VMC83 wrote:

Ariom - How long do you get that sensation. Does it ever go away?  Just wondered. 

Dx 12/6/2013, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/10/2013 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2013
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Dec 23, 2013 01:40PM Ariom wrote:

VMC,  I am so glad you asked!LOL

Yes, like so many other sensations that come with this surgery, it does dissipate, after some months. I had the same surgery as you and am a "Right Uni".

I can actually still feel it, slightly, after a year, but only if I really concentrate on it, when I have something icy cold to drink.

I am not sure how many of these weird sensations actually completely disappear, or how much just becomes part of us, that we don't focus on any more.

I am glad you feel comfortable here now. Everyone is very supportive and everyone's experience is valid so please come here often if you want support, advice, or you just want to vent.

I wish you all the very best, take care and Merry Christmas!

Dx Mondors Disease (cording) after Umx and "Dog Ear" removed 14 months post UMx .................. The Dx shuffles you like a deck of cards and then deals you a new hand! Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/18/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right

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