Exhaustion weeks after chemo : Hi guys this is... - My Ovacome

My Ovacome

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Exhaustion weeks after chemo

Dancing6060 profile image

Hi guys this is the 1st time I have posted my mum was diagnosed in 2020 with stage 4 she's had 6 rounds of chemo and then the big op then only managed another 4 chemos after that she's had her scan and the oncologist is happy he can't see any more cancer but the scan still showed scarring etc from the op her CA125 was 3000 in Dec and is now 190 so again good news the question I wanted to ask was how long does the effects of chemo last her final one was about 6-7 weeks ago and she's still so tired in fact exhausted it takes her to have a shower and put her clothes on she suffers terribly with anxiety and don't know if this is causing the exhaustion as well just wondered if anyone else had felt like this weeks after chemo?

17 Replies

Your Mum has done so well! Phew! I had the same interval debulking and chemo follow up and it is very full on. As a cycle is 21 days, you have to remember that she is only 3 weeks past her final cycle. Give her a chance to get her strength back but maybe get her oncologist just to check for anaemia etc.

You are right to think about her mental health too. I found that although family and friends wanted to celebrate the end of chemo…I felt bereft and curiously down once it was finished. Her team have a duty to care for her well-being, you could remind them to ask about it. xx

Dancing6060 profile image
Dancing6060 in reply to Lyndy

Thank you for replying her magnesium levels were non existent so that's why the chemo stopped she is seeing the oncologist on Thursday as next step is maintenance tablets so hopefully she can speak to him I think she feels that's the end now do I just get left for it to come back if you know what I mean so difficult the cancer also runs in our family so I'm due to get my ovaries and tubes removed in the next four months I'm only 42 so I think that's on her mind as well but I will so what I have to.

Lyndy profile image
Lyndy in reply to Dancing6060

It’s a lot to deal with! Many cancer patients struggling as active treatment ends, so she isn’t alone! Would she come on this forum herself? She might find it comforting to know that others understand x

Dancing6060 profile image
Dancing6060 in reply to Lyndy

Hiya she's still in shock to be honest so she's not really up for talking about it but thank you for suggesting.

Dubai18 profile image
Dubai18 in reply to Dancing6060

Hi, As all the ladies have already mentioned, chemo can take alot out of you as well as the surgery. She just needs to give herself time for her body to heal and rest as much as possible. But don't worry she will get back to her normal self.....she is on the right track. Make sure you talk to her oncologist and he knows what's happening..... Jas x

Hi, your mum has done so well fatigue definitely takes time to go. Great you’ve checked vitamins and mineral levels. Take supplements and take it easy mental health is so important so know that it will get better. Having your surgery will have an effect too, best thing would be to talk about it so feelings are out in the open.

Good luck with everything xxx

Dancing6060 profile image
Dancing6060 in reply to Yoda4u

Thank you so much for replying just worrying she is still so exhausted but I know it will take time I can see she is slowly getting better but it's telling her that!

This is early days! It can take months if not a year to fully adjust to the effects of the chemo etc on the body. Just take each day as it comes and continue to support her in any way possible. I'm a year on from only 4 rounds of chemo, but have lost my strength and stamina in all areas; I doubt I will ever get it back. Rest, rest, and more rest, small nutritious meals, plus a little bit of fresh air, will hopefully help in the next few months. Take care.

Thank you for replying hopefully she is turning a corner now

OvacomeSupport profile image

Hi Dancing6060

Thank you for your post. I’m sorry to hear your mum is experiencing exhaustion following chemotherapy. I can see you’ve had lots of informative and supportive replies from the forum community, so just wanted to share our information booklet on managing fatigue which I hope will be helpful. This looks at the causes of fatigue, how long fatigue can last, and some strategies to help ease feelings of exhaustion: ovacome.org.uk/fatigue

If your mum feels able to mention this to her medical team, they will be able to provide personalised information and advice to support her.

We’re here to support anyone affected by ovarian cancer, including family and friends. If you would like to speak to a member of our support team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can speak to us directly through this forum, on our support line on 0800 008 7054 or 07503 682311, or by email at support@ovacome.org.uk. All our services are available Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm.

Best wishes


Ovacome support

Thank you

Hiya and thank you for being there for your Mum.

The exhaustion really does take some time to ease, her body has been thoroughly attacked from the cancer, the surgery and the chemo. Now is the time for her to rest up and recharge her batteries, it’s still really early days, slow and steady steps and she will get there, don’t set the expectations too high and there will be less disappointments and frustrations. Might be worth checking her bloods are all ok though and maybe see if she needs some supplements to help? Vitamin B12 was and still is my saviour.

I felt as if I’d been cast adrift a wee bit once the whole rigmarole of treatments, surgery and incessant schlepping to numerous medical appointments came to an end and I found it difficult to come to terms with my new found freedom and also a little scared because nobody was ‘looking after’ me anymore. Your mum is possibly feeling a little lost at the moment too, I believe we suffer from a type of PTSD after the experiences we’ve been through with this awful disease. Sometimes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can really help, it shows us how to look at things from a different perspective and how we can deal with them and how best to move forwards.

This whole experience is one we never truly forget but, in time, as we hopefully heal both physically and mentally, we can learn to embrace it and move forwards. I hope in time you all are able to look back on the whole episode and look at the world through new eyes. Post cancer I find the colours of the world are so much brighter and no longer take them for granted.

Big hugs and love to you all, take care and stay safe ❤️Xx Jane

Dancing6060 profile image
Dancing6060 in reply to Cropcrop

Thank you for your lovely reply

Hi. Sorry to hear your mum is feeling so tired but she has done well so far. I had terrible fatigue after my previous chemo which I feel in the main was due to seriously depleted magnesium caused by the carboplatin. It did takes some months to get back to anywhere near normal. I still get occasional bouts of fatigue now but generally things are greatly improved. I hope your mum is receiving treatment for her magnesium levels. Magnesium is very important for several bodily functions. Mine are checked regularly and I have IV magnesium infusions when needed and take magnesium sachets every day - it helps, especially as I am now back on chemo again.

When I finished chemo after my surgery, I did feel a strange disconnection. It was so strange after all the attention and care not to see or speak to anyone after all the care and attention. Fortunately, I had a very good CNS who I talked to about this and she explained this can often happen and was offered the option of counselling if needed it. I didn't really, just knowing why I felt this way helped. Eventually I moved on and concentrated on getting my life back on track. I hope your mum's energy levels get back on track soon. Meanwhile it might be a good idea to have a word with your CNS to see if you can speak to your oncologist about your concerns. 🤗. Take care. Jackie x.

Dancing6060 profile image
Dancing6060 in reply to Mumsie13

Thank you for replying it's so reassuring there are other people who have experienced this as well today she managed a walk with the dogs and an ice cream so definite progress

What a wonderful daughter your mum has to try to help her manage. It really is difficult with this disease as rest and sleep are sometimes hard to achieve as your imagination starts getting the best of you. It took me over 8 months to finally even acknowledge that I needed to find out more about my disease. We all have been through it. I have lost a couple of friends who couldn't handle this .........they figured ok you went through surgery, chemo you are all good! It is quite a journey that she is going through and will get there with your help and strength. Make sure she is eating well and small meals and if she needs to nap and rest by all means encourage her before you know it she will gain the confidence and strength to fight on! knowledge is power and your support and your family's and friends understanding is huge!!! Big hugs and bless you for coming here and helping her! Debbie in San Diego

Thank you so much for your lovely comment

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