Although most of my chemo was carried out at the Day Unit and/or at home, rather than as an inpatient, I did find it was almost like an ‘anti climax’ when it came to an end. I think during your course of chemo your goal is constantly to complete the next cycle in tact and can’t wait for it to be completed, but when you actually get to the end you lose a lot of the structure and routine that develops during your treatment.
I found that a lot of people immediately assumed that once my chemo was completed, that I was cured and back to full health! In fact neither are true - CLL is not curable and I actually felt physically worse than before I started my treatment. I don’t want this to alarm anyone or question whether you should go ahead with treatment. I think your body takes such a hammering by the end of chemo that you are really quite tired and quite emotional, and perhaps not prepared for that.
I’m now 3 months post finishing chemo and have returned to work, managing 4 out of 5 days a week. Mentally it has helped to have what I would refer to as ‘distraction therapy’ - something else to focus on other than pills and symptoms! My Ward Manager (I work in a hospital) has been very supportive, but the danger is that others assume that because you’re back to work and look ok, they assume you’re back to full speed. You need to be quite realistic in what you can physically and mentally cope with… and gradually things do improve.
I don’t know what others have experienced, but I feel much more could be done to support patients post chemo and in returning to work.