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Immune system

Hi, I was diagnosed with Stage 3B Cancer in June of 2007.  I had a mastectomy with 2 rounds of chemo before the surgery and then 2 more after of that type.  Then I had 12 more rounds of a different type.  I finished my last treatment in February of 2008.  Still, now I seem to 'catch' everything.  I work in a mental hospital so while there isn't illness around there are lots of people.  My work was really great while I was going through chemo.  Now two years later I sometimes feel as though they are losing patience with me.  While I don't have 'chemo fog' exactly I do forget things easier and I get sick all the time.  If it weren't for FMLA I wouldn't be working.  Sometimes I get depressed with the situation here at work and I think that will make me get even sicker!  I am tired all the time, and since cancer I have had lots of other health issues.  I am diabetic now, I have had kidney stones and gall bladder surgeries.  I had 7 surgeries in 18 months.  Can the chemo still affect my immune system?  
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492898 tn?1222243598
Kim, we have a lot in common. I was also diagnosed in June of 07, had stage 3b, and the same kind of treatment. Also have Diabetes. One thing that just comes to my mind is that you may want to a have a simple tumor marker repeat test at this time, to see if it's still OK? Kat
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739091 tn?1300666027
Hi Kim!

We are all in the same boat it sounds like!

Here's what I found for all of us: Side effects experienced from chemotherapy are mostly short-lived. Once the body replaces the healthy cells that were lost, symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue and hair loss subside. Long-term effects can occur if chemotherapy damages a major organ like the reproductive organs, heart and lungs. When this happens, it may take anywhere from months to years before side effects stop. A person's overall health prior to receiving treatment may determine how quickly he/she recovers from chemotherapy...... blah blah blah... BUT!!!   A lot of what you're mentioning is happening to us too! We all have chemo in common and I don't know your age but we also have menopause in common, which is a wicked combination! Most of the people I know who've gone through chemo tend to pick up every bug that goes around, and then some, including me. I've had some weird things too! I think that the combination of cancer's effect on our bodies along with chemo .... stir that pot and add a HUGE dose of menopause and you're not the person you were before, for sure!

As for forgetting things you can learn coping mechanisms. I send myself emails, leave myself voice messages and encourage those I work with to gently remind me if need be. They have no idea what you've been through and what you're going through now. And, they don't care (sounds harsh but results seem to matter more in some circumstances). In my job I have a certain order that I do things in and have all those pages open in different tabs on my computer and I go from tab to tab to tab until I get to the last one. Then I know I'm done. Just a suggestion that maybe you can customize to fit your job.

Best wishes for continued cancer free health.
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Avatar universal
I was dx with 3C in August 2009. Now I am dealing with soem of the chemo effects from Taxotere and carboplatin. I had implants in my eyes for the dry eye, blood in the urine,lymphedema and rectal fisure to mention other things that could use treatment. I finished chemo in Novemember and my counts are still down. Radiation caused some as they cooked my sternum and ribs. Some day I might have 3/4 of my energy back.
Work is challaging.
The low counts does affect the immune system. It gets old following all the don't get any germs. I also work in health care. I have been know to holler at people for not covering thier mouth. I carry around some hand gel and use it even after touching a door knob, turn facet off with paper towel, etc. Family knows to be careful around me. I felt bad for my 6 year old nephew that got hollered at for caughing on me. Hang in there, we are still alive.
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