• Post treatment expectations

    Asked by lh25 on Sunday, November 27, 2016

    Post treatment expectations

    I'm thinking other people's. not mine. I finished Chemo in August, Radiation in late October, after surgery in March. I'm finding people think that I should be just fine now. I hear lots of "you look great" which I appreciate, and really I am feeling pretty good. But I do get tired a lot easier then I did and people seem surprised by that. My mom asked if I'd called the doctor to report that. I just figured it was normal and expected, and do have a follow-up this coming Wednesday as it happens.

    Anyone have similar experiences?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar

      Very normal. I remember my husband asking me to go to a baseball game. I just wasn't ready to start all the normal expectations that everyone had for me. I have learned to say "No" when asked to do something I wasn't ready or able to do.
      You may look fine, but you are healing from all the stuff you have gone through.
      This year, I had four surgeries April to August. I'm still healing. And I am getting all this stuff about the holidays and I'm overwhelmed. I have to go at my own pace. (The surgeries were not cancer related).
      Learn the word "no" and use it when you just can't do anymore. Take time for yourself to heal. Nap when you need to. With me, it took a good year before I was really ready to enter life full steam ahead. Give yourself permission to heal. Cancer and it's treatments are not something that you just get over. Your body needs healing time, along with your soul.

      over 3 years ago
    • DeniseD's Avatar

      Fatigue has been the biggest issue for me from the beginning. I have resigned myself to the fact that I need a nap, even if it is a short one.

      over 3 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      This year I also had two major cancer related surgeries ( 2 inch in diameter surgery site hernia and bowel blockage caused by scar tissue). I keep trying to increase my activity. The last surgery was Sept 15. I am still running at about 40%. Also I have pain at the incision site. I reported this to my PCP she said that this was quite normal. She said "You must have patience that is why you are called "patients" I am trying to eat very healthy. I am trying to eat foods high in protein, iron and potassium.

      over 3 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      You might ask your PCP to refer you to a dietitian or your Onc could refer you to a dietitian who specializes in cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • Janetspringer's Avatar

      Your body has been through a lot. It takes time to recover. Don't live by other's expectations. Exercise, a good diet and rest will help. But, listen to your body. When it says enough, take a step back and pamper yourself.

      over 3 years ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar

      Yes, my experience is similar! When I run out of energy, it's like hitting a wall - very little warning. And, I get similar responses - people say I look good, but seem to expect that everything is 'back to normal'. Or, if I agree to volunteer for something, I'll start getting more requests immediately - as if I could do everything that I wanted to. I've learned to say 'no' more often, and just go at my own pace. Sometimes, it takes several 'no's to get someone to understand that I've reached my limit.

      So, I would say that fatigue and getting tired easily is pretty normal - for each of the treatments (surgery, chemo, radiation)!

      over 3 years ago
    • Shoreline's Avatar

      16 months post chemo and radiation, I still "hit the wall" following very little physical activity and unfortunately with great sadness I had to leave my job due to residual treatment issues. My experience may be increased due to lymphedema caused by surgery/treatment, but on my last oncologist visit, the doctor stated that some people never get back to their baseline energy level. My advice, yes, certainly do what you can and please be patient with yourself! Sometimes we are so sensitive to others that we forget to practice self care. This is your body, your life. Best to all.

      over 3 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      The medical community, to date, keeps a big secret which leaves the general public, including new victims, shocked that

      1. Getting rid of cancer is neither a cure nor a restoration

      2. A patient is not left 'well' at the end of treatment

      3. The word cure, in medical lingo, seems to differ from the word in its gereral definition. Although the actual cancer may be gone, symptoms remain or even increase.

      4. Noticing this, the medicos even came up with a new phrase "NED"

      I remember a comment by a then dear friend who said, the first time I was again behind the wheel of a car which she had been using in exchange for her taking me to the radiation center "You drive like an old lady!" and I actually had no idea I was kinda creeping along. She was unable to deal with my deep depression and pain post treatment. Like many, she expected me to bounce back and I simply was unable to meet her expectations.

      over 3 years ago
    • MsMope's Avatar

      It's hard to know what's "normal" after cancer/chemo/radiation. It's not just every part of your body that's been whacked, you've also gone through significant emotional stress.

      Everybody is different. My cancer is endometrial. At one point, I had forgotten there was more to me than cancer and cancer treatment. When I still felt draggy months after treatment ended, I checked in with my primary doctor. I had a brain scan, a neurology consult and some lab tests.

      It turned out I had an essential tremor (neurologist) but also had a dying thyroid (endocrinologist). The endocrinologist also thought I had symptoms of lactose intolerance. An oncology department psychiatrist tuned up my mood end energy by bumping up my dose of vitamin D and adding an anti-depressant. The endocrinologist and psychiatrist work together to monitor lab results and manipulate medications to get the best effect (also affect) for me. I take lactase when I eat dairy.

      Oddly, we gradually increased thyroid hormone to get me into the high normal range. Just when I got there, lab tests showed I'd become hyper-thyroid. Now we're tapering down the thyroid hormone dose. I asked the doctor via email: is my thyroid rebounding? Chemo affects everything!

      Point is, there's more to you than cancer and treatment side-effects. Check in with your primary doctor. Talk about how you feel. Are you sleeping well? Do you have pain that could be better managed? Could physical therapy help? A psych consult? Walking on a treadmill could get you feeling more fit. It helped me.

      Good luck to you. My experience is that it took a long time to feel more normal, though I don't think I'll ever have the energy or endurance I had before cancer. I take into consideration I'll be 65 soon, so I'm definitely allowed to slow down to find joy in every day. It took a long time, but I am now very happy. I smile. I sing. I nap. I do what I want. Life (LIFE) is good!

      over 3 years ago
    • Whitey61's Avatar

      Takes time to get over..fatigue is my lasting side effect, but on a brighter side it is my rock solid excuse for my NAP before dinner every day....lol...go with whatever works.

      over 3 years ago

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