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How Long does it take to feel better after finishing Chemo ?

Guest Tim'sKathy

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Guest Tim'sKathy

Tim had 6 Carbo/Taxol Treatments (every 21 days). In the beginning he would bounce back great, but with each treatment, he found the effects lasted longer and made him more tired. He had his last treatment on 5/29 and they gave him a month off...he had CT scans this Tuesday and we go Monday to Dr. E to get the results and find out what is next.

I am just concerned as he is 3 weeks out from his last treatment and I thought he would have his energy back, but he is still wiped out...fine in the morning but then is fatigued by the afternoon. He is coughing a little...dry hack, but this has happened toward the end of each treatment cycle, so I am not too concerned. I think it' from the tumor shrinking...

He got good news on the scans after the 4th treatment...still no spread and the tumor was shrinking and the lung had completely re-expanded, so I have no reason to believe that this news won't be good too.

Just curious what everyone's experience was after finishing chemo...

Thanks !


Husband Tim, 54, dxd 12/03 with NSCLC Stage IIIB (?) with malignant pleural effusion= Talc pleurodecis 1/03- 80% successful (now 100% with expansion of lung). 6 x Carbo/Taxol completed..scans after 4 treatment showed no spread, shrinkage of tumor in lung and remaining portion of lung re-expanded...have appt 6/23 to see what's next

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Guest pepperpike

Hi Kathy,

I've had several rounds of chemo now and recovery for me must be slow. I'm almost 2 months out and still don't have total energy. I've had 2 infections requiring antibiotics since chemo. Now this is not bad news. Just give it time. The fact that the lung is back to normal size is FANTASTIC!!!! Tim has alot to be happy about. Use the time well to rest. How often do we get down time in this life? Make sure Tim eats well, does not expose himself to unecessary risks without protection and rests often. I wear a protective mask on my mouth in airports now. I didn't and realized that in my compromised condition I'll pick up whatever is out there. Another bit of advice from my Doctor is don't fight the pain. Being gallant and fighting off the pain uses energy that could be used for healing and fighting tumors. Take the pain meds. I resisted that, fearful of addiction, however, my doctor says that he has never seen a lung cancer patient with an addiction problem.

I wish you both well and my prayers go out to you. God Bless.

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thats a great questin. I have wondered the same thing.

From what our onc. told us. Chemo is cumulative and every new treatment seems to boost the last treatment. On top of that chemo kills the good cells too and even though they regenerate quickly, there are still billions of cells being killed by the chemo.

It pure poison thats going into their systems to kill horrible fast growing cancer cells. The treatment has got to be more toxic than the diesease to wipe it out unfortunatley. Chemo also stays in your system for a while, depending on how fast your metabolism is.

From what I have read it can take months to be back to your pre-cancer self for some and not as long for others. I think that if the patient is able to regain weight and maintain the weight it helps them bounce back better than those who loose so much weight. I mean they need the muscle tone and energy from food to recover right.

I think protein foods can help some with weight and muscle tone. I know moms legs are like pencils now after chemo and it makes her feel just awful.

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Guest DaveG

I too have been going through the same chemo regimen. Actually I am feeling pretty good. I have also had chemo put off for a week because of a low white cell count. This will put me back one week on my whole treatment process, but I don't feel as if that cuts my chances for success. I have had my problems with chemo, but it has usually been 5-7 days after the treatment and I end up being down for at least 2 days. I have, otherwise, tried to continue my habits as best as I am able in the meantime.

We are in this together and we come here for inspiration and support and hope. I read all these other posts and get so inspired by what is written. I read about Tim and get inspired as well. Throughout this board, so much courage is continually displayed.

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When I did my chemo years back, it took me a good year to get back to what I would call the NORM???!!! I always felt like my head was full of fog for so long after my chemo. But having talked to others, I learned it wasn't uncommon. I had 4 session of chemo, (3 days on, three weeks off) I recieved Cisplatin & VP16. It does take time my dear and 5 weeks isn't very long!! :wink: Remember chemo is a very POWERFUL medicine! It's going to take time my dear. All sounds normal to me in what Tim is going through. Fatigue is part of this and the chemo can really ZAP people for a long time after many treatments.

You need to talk to other members who have COMPLETED there chemo treatments to get the full picture. Such as Don/Lucie, Judy B, Donna G, etc..... I would suggest not comparing someone who is just starting there chemo treatments, because it's not the same! That should give you a better idea to how long and what to look for. Good luck on the CT scan.

I'll be looking for your message in the GOOD NEWS FORUM after you get the results. :)

Warm and Gentle Hugs to You and Tim,

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