• How long after chemo is done will the side effects like fatigue and chemo brain last?

    Asked by Julie99 on Friday, April 5, 2013

    How long after chemo is done will the side effects like fatigue and chemo brain last?

    I keep thinking how lucky I have been with limited side effects during chemo. I haven't been sick once and barely felt sick, my blood counts have been either normal or even high, and I haven't had one bone ache from the shot.

    I've had insane fatigue chemo week (great energy the "off" week), lost my hair, gained 20 pounds, and am beyond frustrated when "chemo brain" slows me down mentally.

    Once chemo is done, then 6 weeks of radiation, how long will it take to get back to "normal"?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      Hi Julie, I often say that I wish someone had told me how long the road back from chemo is. I fully expected to jump right back into life after I was finished with chemo, and it doesnt happen that way. I too had extreme fatigue, gained 20 lbs, I also had bone pain and was very sick. You have to be very, very patient through the healing process. I am a very active person, and it takes awhile to build up your stamina again. I often wished I had hired a trainer that could have helped me through the process. I did see a month to month improvement. That being said, it took me 20 months before I felt fullly myself again. However, I think there are things that I will always carry with me, I still tire easily, and my muscles don't always respond the way I would like them to. Good luck, and be patient with yourself! Oh, I also joined weight watchers and lost 37 lbs.!

      over 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I always say that your results may vary, as lots say. But for me, I lost 50# during my treatments, then after it was over I started to feel better right away, but I couldn't do the physical things I used to for several months. My chemo brain is just as bad now as it was then, maybe worse, and it's been 24 years. But I had chemo again a year later, and just had another 25 rounds of radiation, so I'm just pretty screwed up.
      Hope you do better !

      over 5 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      Going on vacation to California (seeking sun) for two weeks immediately after my chemo was done really helped me recover. I was "tender" with myself--napping when I felt like it, taking it easy, but also beginning to exercise a little bit. I got tired very quickly! But I began to think of myself no longer as a "cancer patient" but as the old me. It's now been about 10 weeks since chemo ended and I am going to the gym 5x a week, eating tons of veggies & fruits and have lost 13 lbs, 10 of which was due to the steroids. I am feeling GREAT physically, although I still do get tired sometimes, and of course, I still am BALD with horrid toe and fingernails!

      My mental health is something else! My husband finds he has to tell me things more than once, because I forget them.. also, doing simple math computations in my head can be overwhelming. I never was a genius, but am hoping to regain my former mental abilities. I often wonder if I'm losing some of them anyway because I'm 60? At least my attitude is GREAT and I'm happy to be here!

      over 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      At least one month recovery for each month of Tx....but it can gtake up to a year or two to get back to before Dx......but it does get better bit by bit!!!!

      over 5 years ago
    • StrongSteph's Avatar

      I agree with all the other responses. It definitely takes longer than one wants. I had to learn to relax and go with the flow. It was almost a year until I felt human.

      over 5 years ago

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