How long did recovery from chemo take you?

My last chemo is supposed to be this Friday, May 22. I'm pretty excited to be almost done, but don't want to have unrealistic expectations about when my body will be slightly normal again...

How long did it take you to get normal energy levels back? How long did it take for your skin to thicken back up and be less vulnerable? How long until you could exercise without your muscles being sore for days and days?

Thank you :) Oh, and I'm on Carbo/Taxol/Avastin (not supposed to know I'm on Avastin but my blood pressure has been very weird).

Also, you all have made this process so much easier for me by helping me with all of my questions, you are wonderful. Thank you so much.

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That is great that you are almost done!

We are all different with recovery, just as we are with tolerance for chemo. My fatigue lasted a couple of months past chemo, but slowly started coming back. Of course, seeing my hair return was the most exciting for me! I don't recall any skin problems, before, during or after. I had some slight neuropathy, but it went away within weeks. My appetite came back big time!

Your body will let you know if you are overdoing it.

Concentrate on feeding your body nutritious food, exercise as you can. And enjoy every single day.

May your dance with NED never end.

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I felt fantastic energywise a month and a half after chemo, but my immune system and stamina didn't catch up for another 5 months. I caught cold after cold and had multiple dental infections so my immune system was still not back for quite sometime. I still have after effects from chemo but feel much better than I expected. My biggest problems are stomach related and they are not sure if it is unrelated to the cancer and I have had periodic flank/side pain since chemo ended which no one knows what is causing it.

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I finished 9 carbo/taxols on April 22 and feel okay but have abdominal tightness, weird bowel habits and some mild pain. But hair is growing back, appetite is more normal without steroid but weight is still higher.

I had my marker done at three weeks and scans,,see MD this Wednesday and have been miserable waiting for scans, crying alot, not sleeping and thinking negative thoughts.

I expected to finish and be overjoyed but feel as scared as when this all started.I think chemo distracted me and now it is like thinking about the future is scary.

But physically I feel better.

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Although we all have been battling the same disease,
I believe that each of us will have a different story
to tell as to how long it took to recover from the
effects of treatment.
I felt "somewhat normal" 6 months after the end
of chemotherapy but didn't get back the stamina
and was somewhat disappointed.
Obviously chemotherapy does some damage to
the good cells as well as the bad.
I am just about to the two year mark of the last chemotherapy treatment and still notice residual
damage that doesn't seem to be getting better.
Chemo brain would be one thing. I have a noticable
problem with memory, I get confused easily, and
still do not have a good concept of time, i.e., what day of the week it is or the date. I have found ways of coping by keeping several calendars to remind me.
I am just starting to feel like I have gotten back some
stamina but it's not like it was before my diagnosis.
I asked my doctor how long it would take before I would feel "normal" thinking that I should after a year and he said it usually takes 2 years for the body to repair itself.
I find that there are some things that will never be the same.
I still get fatigued easily and have had to learn to pace myself.
I certainly don't have the muscle strength that I once had but my weight is not what it was either. I am under 100 lbs.
I have had to learn to be more patient and not get
upset with myself for not being able to do all that I could before I had cancer.
I try to focus on the fact that I am still allowed to walk the earth another day.
I have become a list maker and try to accomplish
the tasks that are on my list. I cross each off as I finish
the task and if I don't get it done, I add it to the next day's list.
I think the best thing that each of us can do is to focus on the what we can accomplish and not to dwell on what we can't.
I was never one to ask for help to do things before my
diagnosis and have had to learn how to ask for
assistance and not feel bad about it.
I smile each morning when I get out of bed and Thank God that he has given me another day.

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Hi and congratulations for making it to the end! What a journey, huh!?

My last treatment was Dec. 12, 2008. I had carbo/taxotere.

I started to have sore muscles and joints during my last treatments-very painful. After taking glutamine powder for two-three months, my muscle issues are almost gone. I still suffer with neuropathy in my fingers and take magnesium, calcium, and glucosamine. Nothing is helping me for that.

I still get fatigued faster than before and I still have "chemo brain". My skin hasn't "recovered" It's now pasty, dry,blotchy and more veins are visible. So, I use a lightly bronze color cover-up to add some glow to my skin. Any little improvement is good!

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I finished chemo sept 08 It took 2 months for my digestive system to return to return to normal.
In Jan I started an exersize program sponsored by my cancer center. It was hard the personal trainers really encouraged me to do more than I thought I could. They all had special training to help cancer survivors. It really helped me get my strength and stamia back. I still have some neuropathy in my feet that I go to an acupucturist for which also helps my energy levels

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I finished chemo sept 08 It took 2 months for my digestive system to return to return to normal.
In Jan I started an exersize program sponsored by my cancer center. It was hard the personal trainers really encouraged me to do more than I thought I could. They all had special training to help cancer survivors. It really helped me get my strength and stamia back. I still have some neuropathy in my feet that I go to an acupucturist for which also helps my energy levels

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Naturally, each person is different, but it takes several months to get back to "normal" after chemo. Some chemos are harder and depending on the severity of your side effects, could take longer. My hair came back after several months. I never had any skin issues with Taxol, Carbo, or Taxotere, but I do now with Doxil.

Congratulations on reaching the finish line. Give it time and you'll be feeling pretty good before you know it.

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I was very active before cancer. my last chemo was Jan o8 but had 2 hernia repairs after ( Feb 08 and April 08 with full abdominal incision with mesh each time. This slowed me down on exercise. I have had a very slow hard time getting my endurance back. just walking two miles is almost impossible. I keep trying. I have trouble sleeping.
Before I played golf, rode my own motor cyle every day, walked or rane, worked on remodeling the house, gardened, etc. was very busy. I guess part of it is that my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in June 08 just after I was released from my last surgery as able to return to work ( I am 66 yr old). I had to again take off to care for him. He is doing better but he is in operable and we are taking it a day at a time so I retired last month to enjoy our good days. I don't think we ever really get over the effects of chemo. We just work around them and adjust.

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Hi there. I finished my last chemo on February 2nd, 2009. I was really tired for about a month - but managed to walk almost every day. My appetite improved quickly, though I started craving sugar a lot (!) My skin broke out a lot after about a month - I thought maybe toxins coming out (?). It isn't so bad now. My neuropathy went away within a month. My muscles and joints still ache a bit.....but mostly when I wake up - first walking around - then during the day it goes away. I also underwent radiation treatments from March 16t - April recovering from that too. But ran 5 km today! Woohoo. It does come back........everyone is different......but I noticed improvements quickly after the first month or 6 weeks or so........from chemo anyway.

As was mentioned above - even though I was thrilled to be done treatment.......there was a part of me, is a part of me - that worries now that no chemicals are in there fighting for me.....but trying my best to eat right and exercise and keep my immune system strong - that is what we do have some control over.........

Congratulations on finishing chemo!!! Wooohoooo!!!!

Take care,


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Congrats!!! I'm 11 weeks post chemo right now. I kept telling myself to be patient. Emotionally, the first 6 weeks were more of a roller coaster than the whole treatment. I was at my most pessimistic I had been - singing the post chemo blues. But physically, I started to feel a little better about 4 to 6 weeks out. I had run throughout chemo, but noticed that I was no longer having to stop quite so often. I played tennis a few times - kept tripping the first time out, but gradually felt that I could keep up in a game. The last 4 weeks have been pretty marked improvement. I'm still running slowly, but the mileage is going up. I'm not so exhausted - taking naps only every second or third day. I'm back to about 8 hours of sleep a night instead of 9 or 10. Maybe it's like Samson - as the hair started to show, it brought strength with it! Good luck!!!!!!!

Hugs... Maggie

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loversmn,,you made me chuckle talking about getting a bit of a glow to your skin.

Here we are, battling this hideous thing, and there is still room to appreciate a nice glow, good make up and good hair.

I like it!!

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Congrats on being done, I am dancing for you. I was on the same combo my first round, muscle and joint pain along with chemo brain were my longest side effects, I worked thru chemo so I had no time to nap so stamina was there during the day but the minute I got home it was right to my chair. Then went on Doxil and besdies the color change of my skin and nueropathy I felt darn good, it didn't work and my cancer was coming back. Good luck to you in the future, all will be well, give it time, and hoping you a life long remission. Hugs. P.S. Chemo brain is still a problem, have to write everything down or I will forget.

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Wow, you are all awesome! The variety of recovery times is pretty amazing, but I guess we're all different ages and each body is different, plus all of the many other variables...

Yeah, I'm only 32 (will be next month anyway) so I often find myself feeling angry about all of the physical junk and not being able to do all of the things I used to... SO, I'm trying to remind myself that most of this stuff is going to go away at some point, and then focus on what I am still able to do and be thankful for that.

I am VERY thankful to have my eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair starting back already! I love how God loves to meet us in these details and how he delights to give us these little blessings.

I am kind of concerned about how I'll react emotionally/psychologically after I finish chemo but I have to remind myself to not worry about it unless I need to at some point....

Thank you all SO MUCH!!!!

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My lightly bronze cover-up obviously didn't work and so much for going out without my wig. My graying hair must make me look old and beat because the lady at the supermarket asked me if I wanted the senior discount!
I have been so self conscious without my wig and just when I start to venture out, comments like this(i've had three) destroy me!

Luann: I do this too.
I have become a list maker and try to accomplish
the tasks that are on my list. I cross each off as I finish
the task and if not, add it to the next day's list.

Each morning/night I Thank God that he has given me another day.

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Oh,,senior discount offer? That is so mean!

My hair was coming in snow white and every time I looked in the mirror I felt horrid.Have dyed my hair since age 35.

So I got the stubble dyed and have it done for roots every six weeks. It is still like a baby's hair and for some reason it is sort of red rather than ash but it beats the grey. I still haven't ventured without a hat because the front for some reason is growing in much slower.

My granddaughters love it,,they say I look cute and need a little bow on top.

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I've heard some women say the texture will change and be unmanagable if it's dyed too soon. Others say wait a year. I'm ready to get rid of my new "natural" color and go back to the color of my choice!

I could use my "senior discount" and get 10% off of some hair dye!!

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I had no fatigue durning my first time , so I cant say, I was right as rain as id like to say....probally 6 weeks after chemo, that I felt " better than great".
This time Im going on my 3rd round and its the same no fatigue....
Im happy for you Yea! your almost done,.....I wish you much good health....

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Yeah - the hair is definitely a different color. My neighbor saw me the other day and said "Oh - I didn't know you had dyed your hair so much before" - and I only had highlights! It's the Sean Connery look now - dark coming in underneath, but very silvery on top. I had on a black and white leopard print sweater on the other day, and I realized I match!

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