Ask an Expert: View a Question

Ask an Expert is a free question-and-answer service about breast cancer and breast health that is available on weekends. If you'd like to ask a question or comment, please visit us again on Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, please search the existing topics using the search tool at the top of the page. It's quite possible that one of our many existing topics already addresses your question.

If you would like a consultation with a breast specialist at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center, call 443-997-8282. It is possible to get an appointment for a second opinion within a few days of contacting us.

We hope you find the information helpful!.

ForumQuestionsAsk a Question
Family Support
Questions about breast cancer & family support.
160 Ask a Question

AskedPublicly Submitted Question
8/31/2013Weak and Fatigued. What to expect?

My mom was very recently diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on August 5th. She had her first round of Chemo Tuesday the 28th. She is on 1 day biweekly infusions of Adrianycin and Cytoxan for 4 sessions, then Taxotere every 3 weeks for 4-6 treatments. Yesterday she was tired, but today she said she has never felt so tired/sleepy/weak in her entire live. She never led a very active life before, she worked at a early learning center teaching kindergarteners writing skills, then she would come home and relax the rest of the day.

She is getting Adriamycin and Cytoxan 1 day a week biweekly for 4 infusions, then Taxotere every 3 weeks for 4-6 infusions.... Is she going to be this weak and tired through this whole process or just a few days after each infusion? Obviously I can take it away, but I know she would like to know, to at least know what to expect. So far she just has the fatigue and constipation. She's not been sick to her stomach and she is eating okay, not as much as she normally eats, but she is obese so that not necessarily a bad thing I don't think. I would like to get her on a soy free Protein powder in hopes of giving her more energy, maybe talk her into getting a shot of B12 to help too.

Thank you for taking the time to read.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
8/31/2013unusual to have the degree of fatigue described. getting her up and walking is important. it also combats fatigue (research has proven that.) Given the age group she teaches and is exposed to, she likely won't be able to work during chemo because she will be at higher risk of infections and children are little germ machines. proteins drinks and food are wise. B12 also in pill form so don't worry about getting a shot. try to keep her to some degree active during the day, walking a few times each day.

Please note: This service is not intended to provide primary medical advice concerning specific medical care or treatment. Ask an Expert is a free service operated by health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. Due to the volume of questions and their complexity, there are times when medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists or oncology nurses are consulted for their input. These individuals volunteer their time for this service and will respond as soon as they are able. Please do not post or send the same question to us in multiple locations or categories.

The contents of this portion of the website cannot be used as a substitute for a consultation with your doctor or other healthcare provider. It also may not represent the opinions of other Johns Hopkins professionals. It is a free service performed on volunteer time and intended to provide feedback to questions posted by consumers however should not be used as a directive or instructions to now follow. Seeing your own medical provider is always important in getting your needs and questions addressed. In the majority of cases, a clinical examination, review of pathology slides and xrays, along with other medical information is needed to truly provide a consultative service. If you wish to receive a formal consultation with our physicians please call 443-997-8282 for surgical appointments and 410-955-8964 for medical or radiation oncology appts. For breast imaging, call 410-955-4100.


© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System, All rights reserved.