Tell me about your energy level after radiation/chemo

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RE: Tell me about your energy level after radiation/chemo

by Rougette on Wed Apr 13, 2011 06:57 PM

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My throat cancer took a year for all treatment to develop plans and be implemented...I had nine weeks of Chemo (3 big guns) and then a month off and a seven week..... five times a week 168 shots of photons with an every Monday Chemo IV....seven week +++ visit to HELL....first two.... not bad and the last five Nightmarish....couldn't eat, talk, swallow or sleep, felt like I was drowning in mucous....and then when that regimen was over the next ten days of residuals from Radiation were the worst (apres treatment)....I lost 58 pounds during treatment and could not screw in a lightbulb....I had my surgery a couple of months after Rad was over and then full recovery....I was playing Hockey again in my mens league by January (surgery was in July) eating again and gaining back weight (too bad all of it came back )....It took about a year to feel almost normal and I'd say a year and a half before I felt like my old self....I have hearing loss in my left ear....some fibroid issues in my neck from Rad and surgery and neuropathy in both feet....but I am alive and playing in a Mens twenty and over hockey league twice a week (I'm 58) doing all my yard work and chores and building and teaching in an inner city high school full time...It gets better and better for me each day....I thank God....my wife.... and my doctors....and I bless every minute I have ! Hope this helps!

RE: Tell me about your energy level after radiation/chemo

by VeteranR on Tue Aug 18, 2015 02:17 PM

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Thank you for this thread, I keep telling my husband that his body went through a war zone with chemo and radiation.  I remind him that pre-treatment he had low energy levels and slept a lot [COPD and depression].  He feels that now that he is 'cured' ~ two months out, that he should be better than back to normal.

Checking his thryoid levels is something I will bring up today when we meet with the chemo oncologist for a follow up.

We have been dealing with issues like low blood pressure, diahrrea, fuzzy head feeling, and just recently a change in his vision.

Lots of things to be dealt with and any gloomy day he feels rather hopeless.

RE: Tell me about your energy level after radiation/chemo

by murf100 on Tue Aug 18, 2015 08:04 PM

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I will be 4 years out from treatment next week. The fatigue does get better, but very, very slowly. In my case it was severe for about 6 months. I was able to go back to work a few months after therapy, but would crash as soon as I got home, and would sleep till the next morning. After about a year I felt back to a reasonable level of energy. Improvement since then has been very gradual and mild (I do have to keep in mind I'm 4 years older, so there is some effect of the aging process). I never got back to the energy level I had before cancer, but I feel pretty good. I was 56 when diagnosed with cancer, and felt 46 in terms of energy. I'm 60 now, and fell like a healty 60 in terms of energy level.

Hang in there. It does get better.

RE: Tell me about your energy level after radiation/chemo

by jalind on Wed Aug 19, 2015 03:03 AM

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One thing to keep monitoring for many years after head/neck rads is blood TSH. The pituitary produces TSH to regulate thyroid T3 and T4 production. In other words, the pituitary controls thyroid T3/T4 output. A high TSH level means the body's pituitary is kicking the daylights out of the thyroid to to do its thing (make T3 and T4) and isn't seeing sufficient results. Radiation induced hypothyroidism is one of the most common late effects from head/neck radiation and the thyroid need not have been in the radiation field proper. It is so sensitive to rads that scatter from the typical fractionated rad plan is enough to do it in. It's not an immediate effect, but typically arises 3-8 years later, and sometimes well after that. Classic symptoms of hypothyroidism are chronic fatigue and inexplicable weight gain that cannot be shed no matter how much physical activity is increased or calorie intake is reduced short of absolute starvation. The bottom line is lifetime monitoring of TSH. My ENT surgeon characterized my hypothyroidism as "it's good for another 30 pounds of weight whether you want it or not and you can't get rid of it." Treating it . . . which will get the weight back down and eliminate the chronic fatigue caused by it . . . is with a Levothyroxine pill (synthetic T4) daily . . . once the exact proper dose is determined . . . and that must be monitored for changes, if needed. If your TSH hasn't been routinely monitored after rad treatment, start having it checked. Once a year in the annual checkup blood panel should work.

John

RE: Tell me about your energy level after radiation/chemo

by Atoms on Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:15 AM

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For as many nuclear weapons as we have, Americans are not well informed about radiation. It saps your energy and that weakness will continue for a long time, couple of years. We're being treated with radiation sufficient to kill if it were not fractionated, divided into doses that can be tolerated. You just have to have faith that improvement will come and will gradually feel stronger and less fatigued. In the meantime, each a super diet and rest all you need. My return to work after 7 months away started with 2 hours only, then four, then six, then full time.

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