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CLL Support Association
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Feeling worse after FCR treatment.

Anyone here had FCR treatment? I have post chemo questions. I have a question...post-chemo question. Did you feel mentally different? Some days I feel so down and so blah, it's hard to explain. I don't feel like myself. Like I strain to smile and put so much energy into smiling and it feels fake but I hope it comes off as real. I feel numb, maybe...it's hard to describe. I should feel so excited because my son is having a birthday, going to prom, graduating and joining the Navy but I feel....nothing. I can't describe it...except down, maybe blank. I hate feeling like this and hope it changes soon. I want to feel my normal self again. I wish I could explain it. How did you feel after? And I know it's different for everybody and men and women.Apparently chemo sent me into post menopause...I didn't even go through pre or regular...they said it would level out in 6-12 months...geez! I'm too young for that. I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it. I also now have osteoarthritis and my spine has cervical degenerate disc disease...go figure. I'm aging before my time but they blamed the chemo for speeding it up. But I'm more worried about my mind. Maybe I need to consider more meds to help till I get through it. Oh and nevermind the severe fatigue. I sleep so much. I go to bed by 8 and up by 5 and am exhausted all day. That's everyday. I have to push myself daily. I spend most of my day thinking about when I can go to bed.

16 Replies

Plenty of our members have been through FCR healthunlocked.com/search/f... and what you are experiencing post treatment is not unusual.

Here are two links to pages covering the typical emotional responses to completing treatment - from Mayo Clinic and Dana Farber respectively:



How much support have you had from your medical team?



I have had no support. The doctor says my counts look good and show no anemia. Apparently since I'm "book" good then there is no problem. Thank you for the links and response.


I understand.


I had FCR last summer. I found days 3-7 of my 28-day cycle to be quite difficult, but otherwise was able to function fairly normally - subject to restrictions through fear of infection. However, I did find that on odd occasions I had instances of fuzzy thinking (I called it "chemo brain"). It's a year since I started FCR (6 months since I finished) and I'm fine now. No chemo brain. The only change I've noticed which is still with me, is my skin is dry in places on the face and hands when it never used to be, and I get occasional, small 48-hour spots on the face and neck. That might be forever, I guess.

Keep the faith. We all get our own personal response to the disease and the treatment. FCR seems to have worked for me, despite the small changes.


I will be starting my third FCR cycle on Monday. So far so good except like you days 3-7 are difficult.

I was wondering how long did it take you to fully recover after the sixth cycle and be able to go back to work.


I'm retired, so no work to return to, but I'd guess I would have been fine to return to an office job after day 14. The real limiting factor is your immune system and the ability to fight infection. Once the FCR is finished there's no risk of being unable to complete the treatment, but you still don't want to catch anything. Good luck!


Hi sunflwerchild,

You've survived a major physical 'assault' on your system in chemo with all the accompanying emotions and fears around that. Now that ordeal is over, many cancer survivors are unsure how they should feel and can't always embrace the relief and euphoria expected. Add to the mix your ongoing arthritis and spinal degeneration plus the hormone turmoil created by disturbing the normal menopausal path and it can set the scene for depression.

What you describe are classic signs of clinical depression not the expected post FCR blues or survivorship response. It's a bleak feeling when it's hard to experience joy that you desperately want to feel. I'm untreated but can identify only too well.

I think you need some help with this sunflwer which may mean medication but hopefully combined with a talking therapy. You have the right to have your emotional as well as physical life back on track even though you're still coping with additional health concerns.

Make sure there's no outstanding physical reasons behind the fatigue but this is also a typical symptom of depression.

Wishing you well and hoping you can find some way to let the light shine in again. You've much to look forward to and need help to help you enjoy these life events.

Warm regards,



It has taken months to get to starting to feel "normal". After treatment I would describe how I felt as detached from situations and those I was close to. I did talk to a counsellor about it. But it was the result of going through 6 months trauma really. This is resolving.

My confidence also was at an all time low. Making decisions was hard. Restarting work extremely difficult but I am now trusting my decisions.

Fatigue is difficult. I went to Macmillan Move More classes. (UK). Believe it or not it helped.

I attended a What Next course at my local Maggies centre. I met lots of people she were feeling exactly the same. I read an article will try find a link re psychological responses post chemo. There was a bit about finding the new normal, it will be different to pre chemo. I'm sure we are not the only 2 who are journeying towards this.

You are in my thoughts.



It is very common to have post chemo depression as you have been through a treatment that basically poisons the cancer cells and unfortunately also affects the other blood cells.

Your body has been through a traumatic treatment even if the side effects were mild and you sailed through the treatment.

It took me a couple of months to get back to normal however it is common after treatment for a depression to set in several months after treatment has finished.

You need to stick with it! Talk to family or friends about how you feel and if you feel it's necessary speak to your GP or cancer team they will be well versed in the phenomenon.

You are not alone!

Hope you feel back to normal asap!



Thank you. I am calling my PCP today. I was also thinking it could be depression also.

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You are doing the right thing by contacting your PCP. It might be clinical depression or just the difficulty of wrapping your head around the fact of an incurable cancer, and the strain of having gone through a physically and emotionally draining experience. I had similar feelings of detachment and sadness. In one of our bathrooms is a sign that says "Cherish the Past, Live Today, Dream Tomorrow. During and shortly after treatment, seeing that sign brought tears of sadness. Now it brings a smile to my face. It does get better...it just takes time to heal emotionally as well as physically. My best to you.


Thank you


Hi Sunflwerchild, love your username. You mentioned that treatment threw you into post menopause. Perhaps you might consider hormone replacement therapy.

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I will mention that. Thank you


So sorry your going through this. I completed FCR about a year and half ago and experienced most of what you are going through for about a 6 month period. After that I started feeling a bit better each day and now I'm a completely new person. It will pass, just try to work through the process. Things will ease up for you.

God Bless,



Sunflwerchild, how are you after these 3 months of posting? Hope the depression was resolved and you are feeling much better.

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