Will I ever be fit again?

I finished chemo (carboplatin only) back in February following a total hysterectomy for stage 1a occa in September last year.

I've been doing more walking with the spring weather and managed over 20 miles during the course of last week. I also did my first workout at home using my step last week - just half an hour and not all on the step, obviously.

This morning I had another go and struggled to do even half an hour. Needed a few stops to get my breath back. But I'm lucky to be as well as I am and hope that I'll achieve a moderate level of fitness (and lose some weight!) in due course.

My first post-chemo review is due next month. CA125 was down to 10 at end of chemo having been at 1200 pre surgery so hope that continues.

All the best to everyone else out there. This is a great resource.

Linda

14 Replies

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  • Sounds good, Linda!

    I found it took about 2 yrs to get over the chemo (carboplatin only too). I remained anaemic for a long time - so I became breathless very easily - still do to a certain extent, and my GP says one is unlikely to get back to full pre-cancer fitness. However, I play tennis 3 times a week, walk lots and run a big garden and horses, so I'm happy!

    Best wishes for a continuing recovery.

    Isadora.

  • That sounds pretty good to me!

  • You are making great strides! Well done. You have to take things slowly at first though, as the tiredness from your op and chemo will have lingered around for a while yet.

    If it helps any of you out there : I found swimming was great after my op. I now do walking twice a week, tai chi (beautifully relaxing and good for balance and bone density) twice a week and go to the gym when I can! It's all about not getting bored for me.

    I enjoy tai chi best .... some lovely people go to my classes. If you look on Taoist Tai Chi Association of Great Britain, you can find a class if there's one near you. I find it helps me to concentrate solely on movement and the sequences and I cannot think about anything else when I'm doing it. It's so relaxing and invigorating.

    Good Luck

    Love Wendy xx

  • I am amazed and full of admiration! I know I have to take my age and the fact that I was stGe 3C at diagnosis but I am bemoaning the fact that I have not got back to my original level of fitness. Can't even swim until the stoma is more predictable! Well done Linda!

    Margaret

  • Hi Linda

    I would certainly agree with the other ladies that it sounds as if you are doing really really well , bearing in mind the fact that you only finished your chemo in February.

    I had a TAH/BSO in January 2010 for a 16cm borderline tumour, a non-invasive form of OVCA. I didn't need chemo or radiotherapy, but did have a second major procedure 5 months later and like many people have ongoing neuropathic pain which is under control with low dose amitriptyline. I was always super fit and now two years on I am doing more or less what I was able to do before the operation.I do feel that I'm still improving and so will you. I swim 3 times a week and try to go for a long walk on the other days. It's a question of getting balance right between physically recovering and improving you fitness.

    It took me 6 months minimum probably to get over the second operation , we all underestimate how long recovery takes.

    Good luck with the first review , you will get used to these visits too.

    Take care

    Charlie xxx

  • Dear Linda

    You are doing very well but it is still very early days so do not expect too much of yourself at this stage. The summer will soon be here and without doubt the better weather is energising.

    Surgery and chemotherapy take a lot out of both the mind and body so in answer to your question, you have to allow for this period of readjustment and gradually move to what many women describe as the "new normal". By this I mean that we all enter into the 5 year programme of check-ups and blood tests and although this is very necessary, it also acts as a constant reminder of the OVCA experience.

    After finishing chemotherapy, I think that taking a holiday or at least a long weekend away can do much to help to turn the page. After the treadmill of treatment, a complete change of scene and having some relaxation can work wonders.

    Best wishes

    Isabelle

  • Thanks so much for all the comments. It's really helpful to hear about other people's experiences. I like the sound of Tai Chi, Wendy.

    Re holidays, Had a lovely few days in Mayo and Connemara week before last when the weather was good. More trips in mind but no firm plans yet.

    Go well, everyone:-)

    Linda

  • Hi Linda,

    I've just finished chemo so was really pleased to hear you are doing so well, as my activity levels and energy have decreased so much over the last 3.

    I enjoy country walks, and got my husband a walkers sat nav for his birthday. I'm hoping to be able to walk far enough over the summer to need to use it. At the moment I can usually still see the car from the point I can get to, making a sat nav a bit unneccessary!

    Warmest wishes

    Sue

    x

  • Thanks Sue. Good luck with the walking... And the satnav.

    Linda

  • Dear Linda,

    You seem to have done really well to get yourself back to a decent level of pre-op fitness so quickly. I wonder whether other people have developed odd disassociated symptoms AFTER chemotherapy. I seem to have done and wonder whether it's linked to the treatment or just a coincidence.

    I've enjoy robust good health thoughout my life though I'm not keen on sport in the way of gym or jogging. I enjoy long walks with my dog, some swimming, cycling as a means of transport, and keeping out in the fresh air. I also eat well and find plenty to laugh about.

    I kept well throughout 6 cycles of carbo-platin and it was a boost not to have to worry about losing my hair, By the last two sessions I noticed I was getting tired - I put it down to an injection of Piriton administered along with the chemotherapy as I'd developed an allergic rash on the fourth dose.

    It was only after the treatment had stopped did I really notice any symptoms. Teenage spots even though I never had them as a teenager, a constant blocked nose, itching all over and ridges on my scalp.

    Five months on and I've developed painful cysts on my eyelids. The Opthalmologist observed quite rightly that this is a weak spot but he suggested that my immune system is now not so good so I'll be more prone to this type of infection and I have a prescription for two months' worth of antibiotics. We've got a eye care package so fingers crossed this might prevent infections in future.

    Added to all this, there's some discussion recently as to whether I may have developed diabetes and I have some tests looming to check this out. All in all I feel as though I'm out of balance. Easter was generally devoted to 'sleeping it off' and I feel a bit of a wreck just at the moment. Perhaps going back to work 3 days a week with all the stress involved in that was too ambitious?

    Has anyone else had a similar experience? I know my maladies are minuscule compared to many people, but if there's any advice out there as to how to get myself back into order I'd be really pleased to hear from you.

    love Annie xxx

  • Hi Annie,

    'Transfer factor plus' is the most powerful way to boost and maintain your immune system. It's not cheap, but when you are back in shape you can lower the dose to 2 caps a day (from the rec. 3) so that a 90 cap pot lasts 45 days rather than 30.

    transferfactor4life.co.uk/

    Also, a low stress, low sugar, low fat varied diet with plenty of fruit and veg, and exercise will also help. You are already doing these things.

    Carboplatin hugely undermines the immune system, despite not producing the obvious signs like hair loss in most of us - and it takes a couple of years to recover as much as you are going to (according to my onc).

    Very best wishes,

    Isadora.

  • Hi Annie. I didn't have those allergy problems with my carboplatin... Though I can certainly relate to the tiredness. Maybe someone else in the community will be able to chip in. Hope the diabetes tests are clear. That's something you certainly don't need!

    All the best

    Linda

  • Thanks for your post Tweetingasme because I've been asking myself exactly the same question. I finished chemo last October I've been battling to get back into running but I find that I'm a lot slower than I used to be and its taking me ages to progress. I was just wondering if this was anything to do with the cancer because before I got diagnosed I was conscious that in my running I was slowing down but how can you go to you GP and say I think there is something wrong with me because I'm running slower?

  • Hi. I suspect it still is the aftermath of chemo. I'm no expert but people say it takes a long time to leave your system. After 4 or 5 'full on' days - not all exercise but very busy - I found this morning that I had to go back to bed straight after breakfast and just rest for a while. Haven't done that for ages but I it's a clear signal that I've been overdoing it. Problem is, you don't know it at the time! Hey ho.

    Anyway, good luck with your own recovery but don't set the fences too high.

    Linda

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