Life after chemo and radiotherapy

Hi, I have now finished all of my treatment just over a week ago and I’m finding it really hard to do certain tasks light carrying shopping bags as my arms ache so much, or my shoulders ache if I try to wipe down tile’s basically everything aches badly after I do anything, is this normal or is there something I can do to ease the joints, some advice would be great please. Thanks


Hi @Alic I am not medically trained but just think what you and your body have been through with the chemo and radiotherapy and that is not just medically, it is emotionally, physically and practically and perhaps it will take you quite a while to build yourself up and replenish your batteries.
However my philosophy is to always check symptoms out with my medical team, and follow their advice.
Be ever so kind to yourself and perhaps ask for and accept help.
Please let us know what your team says


I echo what Erica has said.

I believe the impact of chemo on our bodies is still being looked at as many more people live with cancer and the long term affects of it.

Our bodies go through a big reset with chemo and it’s going to take time to build your strength up.
It takes a little bit of time do as much as you can each day and even have a rest day and be kind to your body it works really hard and I think we tend to overlook that thought and expect it to be as it was before.

Little and often :slight_smile:


Hi @Alic,
I hope you are doing okay today? For context can i ask what treatment you have just completed?
As others have previously highlighted- despite treatment being finished, your body is still likely going through a lot and recovery to get back to simpler everyday tasks may take a little longer than anticipated.
We do know that both chemotherapy and radiotherapy can continue to work on our bodies even after we have finished regimes. Often those who have just completed radiotherapy are not aware that side effects can somewhat worsen before things settle again.

You may also find your days are not consistent and you will have stronger less symptomatic days but also days where you feel you need to lie down to what your body is telling you.

The good news is- this will improve. Your body is sending signals that is needs time & quite possibly a little more rest.

We appreciate how frustrating that can be when you have been unwell for some time and just want to get back up & fully running but do try & take things slower on the days where you are struggling.

I would advise that if your joint pain and movement becomes worse and or you are not feeling relief to raise this with your treatment team to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.

Please do know that should you prefer to talk things through, our support service team are only a call or email away- Blood cancer information and support by phone and email | Blood Cancer UK.

Take Care, Lauran


Hi @Alic
This is such a common question.
I think we all feel your pain (literally) I didn’t experience radiotherapy- although it was in my initial treatment plan it was never proceeded with.
I know that for so many of us the common response is generally gentle and regular movement.
I took up yoga at the start of my treatment and it is my absolute saviour. It is like oil to a rusty engine. There is a real balancing act though if I do too much I’m stiff and too little I’m also stiff. Cold really plays havoc so I find keeping warm helps me too.
I did manage to fracture two bones in my first year post treatment and was started immediately on calcium and other specialist treatments as scans identified I had developed osteoporosis. So any exercise that strengthens muscles and supports the joints is good for me.
Lush do a delicious massage bar aptly called - “joint” I use this regularly.
Take care

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