Thursday, January 13, 2011

If I wasn't so tired, I'd be doing a happy dance!

Well, my post treatment doctor appointment was Tuesday morning and I'm just now blogging about it.  That should tell you something.  Not that the results were bad but that I'm still enduring some intense fatigue.  The good news is that my CT scans from the end of December look good.  No evidence of the masses that were seen in August.  I will see my oncologist in April and if my blood work is good with no increased cancer markers, I won't need repeat scans until the summer.  Personally, I'm hoping for PET Scans.  The prep and procedure is much easier than the CT Scans.  Really, they aren't fooling anyone when they try to create pina colada flavored barium.

A little bit of trivia about Barium.  We learned this week watching "Factory Made" that barium is used in high end bowling balls to help give them the unbalanced roll need for those nifty looking curve balls.  It came as quite a relief to Gary who has tried for years to get the cheap old bowling alley balls to do that.

So now I'm officially a lymphoma survivor.  Right now it feels good but not as good as it will feel when I'm done with all the chemotherapy side effects.  For lymphoma patients that seek out my blog for information, right now the main side effects are fatigue, peripheral neuropathy (which still seems worse in my right hand and right foot), a little chemo brain and hot flashes from the chemo-induced menopause.  I actually think the hot flashes and fatigue go hand in hand because it really is hard to get a good nights sleep.  I know a lot of cancer patients who add Ambien to there medications but right now I'm trying to avoid it. 

I've been researching post treatment recovery and understand that it can take months to fully recover.  My white blood count was a little low and I know that can be causing some of the fatigue.  Right now I'm trying to aid the recovery with exercise, nutrition and daily naps.  I will let you know how that goes and until then thanks again for all the light, love, warm thoughts and prayers.


  1. Hi Danell, Thanks for your comment on my blog and I wanted to stop by and say hi. Congrats on completing treatment! Just remember that recovery can take a while and do what you need to do for yourself to feel better without the pressure of thinking "I should be able to do more by now!" I fell into that trap a lot at the beginning, and it sounds like you are off to a good start with exercise, nutrition and daily naps:) I can't say enough about how much exercise and nutrition have played key roles in my recovery process. I might also recommend at some point some therapy with a counselor. I don't want to say that this will happen to you, but a little while into my post treatment phase I went into a deep depression. In my research into other cancer survivors I read that many people experience this but not a lot of people talk about it. I probably talk about it too much:) But it has been one of the unexpected side-effects of cancer that has been one of the hardest things for me to deal with.
    I will be checking in on your blog and am hoping for continued health and healing for you...and a long journey:)

  2. Danell,
    My oncologist told me it would take a year to recover from cancer treatment, and he was right, so take heart: That terribly draining fatigue will disappear. Isn't it crazy that the "thing" you have no energy to do--exercise--is the thing that will bring you energy!

    My husband, James, died 17 days ago, and I feel like I'm post chemo, with fatigue and not wanting to eat. Grief is exhausting and most mornings I wake to find I feel like I've been beaten up, but I'm going to the gym and trying not to get sucked down the rabbit hole.

    I send prayers and best wishes for you,
    Brenda Coffee

  3. Regarding hot flashes, I went into menopause permantly, you may or may not, depending. Anyway, I used to keep some extra bed pillows in a cold place to swap out at night when I had the hot flashes at night. I didn't mind them too much during the day, but they were awful at night because they kept me from sleeping. Despite what these folks are saying, I think you should be back to about 90% normal or more in a month. You were so active before, you should bounce back pretty well. It is WAY TOO EARLY to be thinking about a feeling normal at this time. Be patient. A couple more weeks will make a world of difference.

  4. Sorry for the spelling errors!

  5. Danell,
    I saw your comment on Debbie's blog and had to stop by when you mentioned you are recovering from chemo. I, too, am going through that phase. It's going a bit more slowly than I would like. Like Brenda said above, my oncologist told me it can take a year to recover, so I know I have to be more patient. Actually, I'm posting about it a bit tomorrow on my blog. Hope you can stop by. I wish for you continued healing and recovery. Good luck.

  6. Hi again,
    Just realized my address didn't work above, so just in case you're interested, it is I look forward to reading more about your journey.