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What kind of after-care and after-effects when in remission?


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My future FIL has NSCLC, Stage IV. He had his 5th out 6 chemo treatments yesterday and the doctor told him he was on his way to being in remission based on the results of the last CT scan.

I'm just curious as to what happens as far as follow-up once the chemo treatments are over and he is officially in remission (assuming this doctor's predictions are true of course). He is not a candidate for radiation or surgery, so that's not something we have to deal with. When the chemo is over, that's it, at least for now.

How often will he be required to go for follow-up tests? Will it take long for his energy to bounce back and his hair to return?

I know it's probably different for everyone, but I am totally clueless, so even a general idea would be helpful. Thanks!

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Hi Starlight,

As you said, everyone is different. However, just from what I've heard from others, I would guess he would be scheduled for follow=up scans every 3 months.

Different doctors may have treatment options during the remission period. Some prefer just to let the body heal and keep watch. Other doctors may have a maintenance program such as taking Iressa to block reoccurances. You may want to talk to your FIL's onc and find out what options are available and planned.

As far as recovery, that is very much dependant on the person. Usually the hair starts to regrow within a couple of weeks from the time chemo stops. My aunt had a good head of fuzz three weeks after her last chemo. My husband just lost his hair, and is still doing treatment, so I can't say from his experience.

Energy is hard to determine. My husband is still undergoing chemo, but between treatments, he starts to get more energy after about two weeks off. If your FIL is really fatigued, it may take longer to rebuild his strength and energy.

I am wishing you the best and will be praying for you, your family, and FIL.


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