• Energy after chemo

    Asked by SandraK on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Energy after chemo

    Just a quickie. I'm almost 8 months out from Carboplatin and Taxotere and almost 5 from radiation. I have 2 more treatments of Herceptin. All of you out there, how long did it take you to recover your energy and feel normal again? I still feel a 'lack of energy' and feel draggy, icky some mornings, and 'get tired easily' and can't do as much as I would have before on the good days. Is this normal or should I be back to like 80 or 90% or more of my earlier self by now?

    23 Answers from the Community

    23 answers
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      It takes time after any treatment to fully recover. I think with cancer, 100% is too much to ask for. As for normal, that takes on a new meaning after cancer. I just do what I can, and I don't worry about what I don't feel like doing. Now, it's my perogative.

      over 6 years ago
    • GillianJ's Avatar
      GillianJ

      I finished chemo earlier this month. I was told it would take about 2 months to get back to 90% and about a year to get back to 100%. I want to feel normal again now, but our bodies have been through a lot and it's gonna take time to get back to normal (our at least our new normal).

      over 6 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      It takes a good year before you are back to normal. And you may find that once in a while, it's still acceptable to need a nap. Your body has gone through a lot, with surgeries, chemo, radiation, etc. and it needs time to heal. I finished my Herceptin in December of last year, after all the other things were completed and it took me well into the summer before I felt to be my old self again. But there were days that I needed more rest than others. Each person heals differently, and you just have to give yourself permission to recover in your own way.

      over 6 years ago
    • SandraK's Avatar
      SandraK

      Never get back to 100%, ie, back to 'before', cam32505? I hope that's not the case, I hate giving in. GillianJ, not sure I'm 90% yet at 8 months, more like 75-80 I think and I was in excellent health before, except for the cancer, and I exercise. This seems confusing. Hope you make a fast recovery. cllinda I await feeling like me again! Hope 'she' shows back up again.

      over 6 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      For me, I felt more like myself once active treatment drew to a close and I healed up from the radiation. Though I still take naps from time to time, I feel I am back to normal. I take a water aerobics class that I love, and I do what I can to stay active. I think each person is different, so just give yourself some time and see how things go once active treatment is over. HUGS and God bless!

      over 6 years ago
    • Vettelvr's Avatar
      Vettelvr

      Hi there, I am 4 years out from diagnosis, and I am still waiting for "Normal". I have been told by other patients that going back to normal will proably not happen, you have to accept a new normal. I get tired a lot easier, and being on Anastrozole causes a lot of joint pain, swelling and stiffness. It is frustrating, but it sure beats the alternative. I may be tired, but I am here and got to welcome a new granddaughter last year. So I will take whatever is given to me, and make the best of it. I guess today, that is what I am most Thankful for, I am still here. Happy Thanksgiving!!

      over 6 years ago
    • Myungclas' Avatar
      Myungclas

      I'm four years out, also, and I have concluded that my old self isn't coming back. I have always been an avid runner, and now it feels like I have bricks tied to my calves when I run. That part never got better. Maybe it's actually a SE of the Tamoxifen and not left over from chemo and radiation? Who knows, but I still get out there and do it. I don't feel like my "old self" but I feel great, and I just have to make an effort to keep moving and to keep enjoying my life. When the sofa calls, and it's often, I try to make the healthiest, happiest choice I can. But, sometimes I grab a book and lay down. Be kind to yourself. You're a survivor...a little fatigue is nothing you can't handle.

      over 6 years ago
    • SandraK's Avatar
      SandraK

      I will be hopeful ChildOfGod4570! I'm exercising and trying to stay active and do the things I love. I intend to be happy about life and enjoy it! VetteIvr, Ouch! Sorry to hear of your joints and Myungclas your calves. I had heard that Tamoxifen had SE. Don't know what they are. How long will you be on Anastrozole VetteIvr? I've heard they are recommending 10 years now for Tamoxifen. VetteIvr and Myungclas thank you for sharing your positive attitudes about life and your situations. I am so glad they have Herceptin and Anastrozole and Tamoxifen to help boost our survival expectations. Life is definitely worth it!

      over 6 years ago
    • Vettelvr's Avatar
      Vettelvr

      I have been on Anastrozole since May 2011, and expect to be on until May 2016. So about a year and a half to go!! Yeah!! All the joint pain is a common side affect, as well as weight gain and fatigue. So I understand I need to go thru this to come out he other side. I try to have as positive an attitude as I can, but believe me, it is not always possible, and I have my moments when I just want to crawl in a hole and have a pity party for one. But it passes, and I go back to "normal" :) You will come out the othe side, and adjust to your new life. Best of luck to you!

      over 6 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      I just finished Taxotere and Carboplatin, Herceptrin until July 2015 and starting radiation next week. My RN told me it would take 6 months for my white and red blood cells to get back to normal. Having said that, I am 3 weeks from the last infusion and feel pretty darn good. I have HERS2 positive breast cancer so won't have to be on hormone supressors after I am done. From the answers above that seems like the reason people are still feeling not back to normal.

      over 6 years ago
    • Peggie's Avatar
      Peggie

      I think we have to define a new 'normal'... I was very anxious to bounce back after chemo (taxotere cytoxan x 6) ended and was dismayed when I had, in many ways, a deepening of the effects post-chemo - eyelashes fell out, energy levels were low, walking up stairs became mini- marathons, lymphedema, bloating, taste buds all awry, etc. It was one step forwards, two steps back at first, then it evened out and then I had more good days than tough days and slowly, I stopped rating my daily progress and work up around 3 months post-chemo feeling 'normal' - which really meant not feeling like chemo patient. I am now 5.5 months post-chemo and feel pretty much great. Only side effects are lymphedema in one arm and some numbness in my toes. I started Femara 2 months after chemo, tolerating it well. You''ll get there, SandraK, believe it.

      over 6 years ago
    • Donnie's Avatar
      Donnie

      I am 10 months past chemo and 7 months past radiation and I feel much better. I already had fibromyalgia and fatigue and nueropathy when I begun my treatments. My fibro has improved since my treatments and I have more energy. Go figure. I have Triple Negative Breast Cancer . I keeping active,because I can now do things I was having a hard time doing.My side affect was gaining weight from my chemo infusions. I go to the exercise center three times a week and walk my dog three times a day. Eat healthy. I pace myself and enjoy life .

      over 6 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      This is not typical, I think.

      Finished chemo last week in May 2013.

      Finished radiation first week in September 2013.

      June 2014 pneumonia, severe dehydration, borderline sepsis. (cleansing? - see next one)

      Mid-August 2014 - the switch flipped and I had as much or more energy as before treatment!

      For several years before diagnosis, T-Day and C-Day were too much for me and I dreaded all the work. Today I had soooo much energy ... and it was FUN to do the food prep! Didn't even mind cleaning the house, fixing up the guest room, etc. I think I was sick for a long time and didn't know it.

      So - maybe - 1.25 years after chemo and/or 11 months after radiation.

      over 6 years ago
    • MelanieIIB's Avatar
      MelanieIIB

      Again, everyone is different. All sorts of things probably contribute to how a person feels. Age, other health problems, treatments, food you eat, etc. I am 55, stage IIB, HER2 positive, ER and PR positive. I also battle with lymphedema which in itself is exhausting because I cannot use my dominant arm as much as I used to. I finished Taxotere and Carboplatin in April 2013, radiation in July 2013, and Herceptin Dec. 2013. Ever since my cancer diagnosis and treatments I have some weeks when I have a lot of energy and some weeks when I feel fatigued. Right now I am in a cycle of fatigue again and also experiencing some nausea off and on. I had fat grafting surgery almost 4 weeks ago to enlarge the radiated breast because it was smaller than the other one after my bi-lateral, delayed diep flap. Ever since the fat grafting surgery, I have been fatigued. I had a reaction to anesthesia this time which I had not had after any of my other surgeries beginning with the first one in Nov. 2012. I also got a cold soon after the surgery that lasted 2 1/2 weeks. It wouldn't hurt for you to mention it to your oncologist to see what he/she says.

      over 6 years ago
    • LindaAnnie's Avatar
      LindaAnnie

      I'm almost 7 months out from chemo and 4 months from radiation. Normal?? What is that? I don't think I can (or should) compare myself now to my old, pre-cancer, younger-me normal. While my energy is coming back, it's still not where I want it. So I've set a target that I think is reasonable and reachable.

      over 6 years ago
    • PinkPickle's Avatar
      PinkPickle

      Remember, you are still on Herceptin. They tell you the side effects are minimal, but it still drags down your energy. I'm 4.5 years out from my diagnosis and have some pretty permanent side effects but I have to say I started feeling much more energetic about 3 months after it was all done. It takes time and patience, and an adjustment somewhere along that curve when you wake up one morning and just smile....
      Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!

      over 6 years ago
    • SandraK's Avatar
      SandraK

      PinkPickle, my WBC goes down .2 - .3 with each treatment. They've decided I'm one of the few it effects my WBC. I wonder if that's part of it. I haven't asked since they say it 'isn't supposed to effect you' and I'm so nearly done. :D I'm looking forward to that smile. And I'm glad to hear you're nearing your 5 year mark! Congratulations! :) MelanieIIB it seems there is so much that can happen that lingers for us to deal with afterward. I'm sorry to you're having trouble with the lymphedema. I'm not sure I could go through any kind of reconstruction, scary sounding. LindaAnnie, I tend to WANT, lol and have to get over that miopic view. How do you decide what is reasonable?

      over 6 years ago
    • TinaLeigh's Avatar
      TinaLeigh

      I am a year out from chemo and radiation. But have had 3 surgeries and other illness happen this year. I am still waiting to feel normal again! I don't know if feeling normal will ever be the same for me but I know some people do. So tired of hearing it but I hear it all the time that everyone is different so it's hard to say when you will feel back to normal and have energy back. I want my energy back but it's just not there. Hope it comes back for you. Hang in there that's all we can do. xoxox

      over 6 years ago
    • SandraK's Avatar
      SandraK

      I hope you get yours back too. Maybe if you're done with the surgeries and fun illnesses it's just around the corner for you.

      over 6 years ago
    • MelanieIIB's Avatar
      MelanieIIB

      SandraK, it took me a while to decide on reconstruction. Before my first mastectomy I consulted with a plastic surgeon who did implants. For me personally, I just wasn't comfortable with the whole idea of the expanders and implants and then the fact that the implants would need to be exchanged again 10-15 years later. After really thinking about it and reading about it I didn't really want implants. 6 months later when I was consulting with my breast surgeon about my second mastectomy, he told me about a reconstruction procedure he had just observed and it was the diep flap. This was a new procedure in our area. I was fearful of the diep flap and I just didn't know if I wanted to go through all that. I also could not ascertain how badly I wanted reconstruction. Although not thrilled about the way I looked flat chested, I had come to accept it although I wore prostheses whenever in public. I talked to many patients who had the diep flap done, from my plastic surgeon and other plastic surgeons. I also talked with the Nurse Care Navigator at the hospital where I had most of my surgeries. She sees a lot of results and hears a lot about different surgeons. She gave me an unbiased opinion about the plastic surgeon my breast surgeon had mentioned. He had rave reviews from everyone I talked with from patients to those who work in the health field. I even asked at my oncologist office and was told they saw less infections with his patients and they had a very high opinion of him. Another thing that is important when looking for a surgeon who does diep flaps is that he/she be fellowship trained and that they do this surgery often. Another thing I like about my plastic surgeon is that this is all he does.....reconstruction for breast cancer patients. Also I like that he is not worried about getting every dime out of you that he can. He accepts Medicaid patients and people who's insurance may not pay as high as others. I know I went off topic here but just thought I would share since you mentioned about not knowing if you could do reconstruction. So, if you ever want to talk more about it, let me know and if you want to take a trip to Ft. Worth to have it done, I'll introduce you to my surgeon :)

      over 6 years ago
    • Lorijoy812's Avatar
      Lorijoy812

      I did 4 rounds of Adriamycin & Cytoxin & 12 rounds of Taxol followed by 33 radiation treatments from February 2013 through October 2013. I am on Tamoxifen for 10 years. Final reconstruction was January 2014. Over a year after treatments, my blood counts are all still low and I am tired all the time. I can't do what I did before and I require a lot of sleep. Before this I was a lousy sleeper, always waking up in the night. Now I sleep 8 straight to make it through the work week and can sleep as many as 11 hours if time allows. Usually mid afternoon I can feel myself starting to crash.

      over 6 years ago
    • SandraK's Avatar
      SandraK

      Sounds a bit rough Lorijoy812, but sounds like you're hanging in there and got it figured out what you need to do for yourself.

      over 6 years ago
    • SandraK's Avatar
      SandraK

      Sorry I didn't answer this earlier MelanieIIB. My surgery was a lumpectomy, but it didn't stop me from thinking about mastectomies and reconstruction issues. We never know what's in our future and what may come about. I just really don't know what I would do if I ever have to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences and your encouragement. I will remember if it comes back and it might. My sister had 2 bouts of breast cancer, about 15? years apart, different the 2nd time and had mastectomy both times.

      over 6 years ago

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