• Weakness?

    Asked by Klcbad on Sunday, November 23, 2014


    Have been doing well with chemo. 1st cycle 12 weeks of A/C every 3 weeks. Now on 12 weeks of Taxol... 6 weeks in. Lately extreme weakness and fatigue. I can sleep 20 hrs a day. No strength. Is this possibly a build up of chemo drugs or do you think I need to really push myself and get out. I don't feel as if I can drive and even getting up the stairs is hard. I don't want to become too sedentary though. Should I just take the next 6 weeks and rest and hope it gets better? Starting to get worried. I live alone.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar

      You have to remember that you are putting serious chemicals in your body to fight the cancer. Your body uses sleep as a way to combat some of the drugs. If you are up to it, light exercise is permitted, and good for you. Walking and yoga are two exercises that can help fight the tiredness. Rest when you can, and listen to your body. If driving is too much for you, then take cabs or have someone drive you. I didn't drive for almost 4 months because I was too weak and didn't want to trust myself behind the wheel.
      Good luck to you.

      almost 7 years ago
    • ritafaystageIV's Avatar

      The fatigue and weakness really interfere with life's activities. When you feel like all you want to do is sleep, that is what your body needs. You have a big job fighting cancer. When you get past your treatments your strength will come back. I know it is hard to believe when you feel like that. Some on here say we have to learn to live with the new us. Be patient with yourself. Take the time to rest. If you don't feel like driving and have the option to have someone drive you take it. I am on maintenance chemo now, and have spent the last two days in bed. Remember we are all here to talk too.

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      REST and Take it Easy. You are doing Great.....just cut yourself some slack. Sleep as much as your body takes.....it tells YOU what it needs.....don't question it's wisdom as it knows what it's doing. Good Luck!

      almost 7 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I had the same regimen as you and was anemic (e.g., low hemoglobin count). My iron was also low. My oncologist gave me IV iron and I increased the amount of iron in my diet, though the rise in my levels was probably due mainly to the infusions. My anemia (as registered by blood work) went away after I finished chemo, though I still have residual fatigue, plus I'm currently undergoing radiation.

      I found that exercise, even at reduced intensity, helped combat my fatigue. I use a mini-bike at home, so everything I need is within reach. I also eat a healthy diet with fresh produce and whole foods.

      Tell your oncologist about your fatigue. There may be a way to combat it (IV iron in my case). But mainly it's as Barry says. Cut yourself a lot of slack and let your body rest, because it's working very hard behind the scenes.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Skiez's Avatar

      I could hardly walk a block my last month of chemo. Listen to your body and sleep when you can. I slept multiple days in a week 20 hrs. I am 3 weeks out of chemo and I feel so much better and my strength is coming back. My sleeping pattern is close to normal now.

      Hang in there. Blessings to you.

      almost 7 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      When I was on chemo, I had never known such weakness and fatigue; the flu is put to shame comparatively speaking! Your body says it wants to rest, so you should listen to it. They're pumping toxics through your system that you've never seen the like of before, and it's a huge shock to your body, so take naps when you need them and do gentle exercises when you are up to it. When chemo ends, you will regain your strength, and the fatigue will evaporate too. Listen to your body; it will tell you what it needs. HUGS and God bless!

      almost 7 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      PS Do you have any friends who can take you for walks or even give you a shoulder to lean on as you walk through the house for gentle exercise? I don't blame you for not wanting to be sedentary, but you don't want to force yourself prematurely either. I know I thought I was strong enough to go to church; however, by the time the sermon was halfway through, it was all I could do to stay sitting up, and my pastor's wife noticed this. When the elder said to stand up for closing prayer, I tried to stand up, only to have the pastor's wife gently guide me back into a seated position and tell me to just take it easy. As soon as I got home, I fell into bed for 2 days straight, for I absolutely drained myself. Believe me, my heart goes out for you; it's never easy to battle cancer, but to go through chemo while living alone is a major undertaking under the best of circumstances deserving of a medal! Oh, how I wish there was something out there for cancer patients who live alone. We not only need to consider the physical, but the emotional since cancer has a way of feeling so isolating anyway. I wish I could pop through yoru compute rscreen and give you a great big hug! HUGS and God bless!

      almost 7 years ago
    • lujos' Avatar

      All good advice! Also remember this is a common side affect to the Taxane regime, which sometimes makes it easier to deal with - at least then you know it will go away!

      almost 7 years ago
    • annogden's Avatar

      Crushing fatigue is such a huge part of this regimen, but although it may seem counter-intuitive, it helps to keep moving. Recent research has shown that if you can the fatigue lessens and energy levels improve. Once you are past the the first week or so of the cycle, which for me was always the worst and I had to give into, try gently exercising through walking, or if your hospital offers free classes to BC patients or there's a cancer organization like Gildas Club in your area, try chair yoga or some other form of gentle exercise they may offer, gentle being the operative word. This isn't about pushing yourself, it's about keeping your body moving so you can feel better.

      almost 7 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar

      Don't fight the treatment, it's your best chance for recovery. Do what you have to do to keep yourself well enough to take the treatment. The sooner you finish, the sooner you'll start to recover from the treatment.

      almost 7 years ago
    • rwhdesmoines' Avatar

      Most importantly I think that you need to rest when your body is telling you to. With that said I wanted to tell you that I have been on chemo for metastatic breast cancer for 4 1/2 years on a weekly schedule. The last several months I have been increasingly fatigued. On Thursday I was started on taxotere every 3 weeks. They told me that it was an equivalent dose of a newly diagnosed bc patient. I decided to try some walking again since my bloodwork is not horribly low. For the first three days after my initial taxotere dose I felt exhausted and nauseated when I started walking. By the end of a 30 minute walk I was feeling better. I am going to keep up pushing myself a little to see if it continues to help with my fatigue. If you wanted to you could try and see if some exercise would help your fatigue. I hope that you can start feeling stronger soon.

      almost 7 years ago
    • GLW's Avatar

      Taxol is very draining. By week ten I was pretty beat-up but knew I had only two more weeks before Herceptin alone every three weeks. How is your RBC? If it is low that will cause more fatigue. I just did what my body told me to do....sweet husband got me a cleaning lady that, even though my strength is back, I am keeping!!! This will pass.....it will take a few weeks for your body to adjust once it is over but you will definitely notice a difference in about a month. Good luck.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Paprika's Avatar

      Good advice above. As crazy as it sounds, if you are tired, a little exercise really helps!
      But listen to your body, if it says 'nap'-NAP! Try slow, even a walk to your sidewalk and back is a great place to start. Then increase slowly. I drank lots and lots of water. Remember the chemo is killing off all sorts of cells (nasty cancer cells-I named them all 'Bob') and lots of innocent bystanders. Drinking lots of water helps to flush out toxins. Be kind to yourself!
      Hang in there girl! Lots of us out here support your fight!

      almost 7 years ago
    • sue1037's Avatar

      Try to walk when you can, lots of water and I know drinking water all the time gets old, I use to add a small amount of grape juice so I had a little flavor and naps,,,,, once you are done everyday just gets better for you, praying thus goes by fast for you

      almost 7 years ago
    • marybeth's Avatar

      You are doing well if you made it through the AC without problems. The fatique that hits you with chemo can be pretty extreme. I felt more than tired as the process went on and then, of course, on the other hand, I often couldn't sleep when I desperately wanted to. It takes a while after you are finished with the chemo/radiation to feel your strength returning, but eventually it does seem to come back.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Klcbad's Avatar

      Thank you all! Just reading these answers makes me feel less alone. Thank you!

      almost 7 years ago

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