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How do you start to build yourself back after a year of chemo..When will I feel alive again??
Sep 8, 2001

I completed my second round of chemotherapy this week. My Gallium scan was totally negative. I did get extensive lung toxicity from my chemotherapy, with that my oncologist said no more. I'm on Prednisone till whenever; no has told for how long.How do you start to get your life back after being so sick for so long. I did chemotherapy for just under one year. I'm still very fatigued. Should i start talking Vitamins,when should i go back to the gym? How long is it to start to feel alive again? Sad thing in Medicine is that most Primary Care Physicans don't want to spend the time with you, on how to build your life back after such a devastating illness. beat the odds because i was given less than 50/50 chance of making it. You seem like a caring and compassionate Physican. What do you tell your patients? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dezube

You ask an insightful question; What is life like after the cancer battle is over, and the battle to regain your life has just begun. First, this next stage in life is not an easy one. Well-meaning friends and family often expect patients to snap-back instantly into good health and can often be very impatient when this doesn't occur. Indeed my rule of thumb is that for every month of treatment, it can take a month to recover. In time, you will reclaim your energy and your life back. You may find your support network change in this stage of your recovery. My advice to you is to go slowly and understand that the future will probably be a bright one for you, though it may take a while to get there. I would definitely urge you to go back to the gym; that will help the stamina. Often patients will ease back into work (if their job situation permits); they may start working a few hours per day or changing their job to allow them to work from their home. Dating may be slow also given the many effect of the chemotherapy on your body. Try to stay optimistic. Seek support from wherever you can get it (mental health workers, social workers, fellow patients, and so on). It is not uncommon to feel abandoned as doctors lose interest in you, friends/family become impatient, and you start questioning your ownself. Just realize that recovery from cancer is no less challanging that going through the cancer treatments. Your concerns are VERY valid. My best wishes to you during this period. BD.


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