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Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Nov 6, 2019 12:05 pm

Fatigue is the most common symptom for people with cancer and the most common side effect of cancer treatment. It is a general lack of energy, tiredness or exhaustion. It is different from the tiredness a person usually feels at the end of the day.

Did you experience fatigue? If so, at what point was it the most challenging?
What helped you manage your fatigue?

 
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Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by princessmaura on Nov 6, 2019 12:30 pm

yes, I experienced fatigue...it took me awhile to recuperate after my cancer treatments but I think that a good nutritious diet helped me with my fatigue and once I was nourished I found that I could start dancing and exercising...

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Wendy Tea on Nov 6, 2019 12:30 pm

Wow! Great topic Lacey_adminCCS‍ !

Fatigue has so many aspects and so many causes. Yes, I experienced fatigue. I experienced it pre-diagnosis (my body was fighting something), then after diagnosis but pre-surgery (my mind was spinning a 1000 miles a minute), then after surgery (my body was healing), then when I thought I should be up and about, I wasn't. That was when we checked my ferritin-iron levels and found them extremely low. Just when I was starting to feel better, I again experienced more fatigue. This time it was from depression which was a direct result of my trial drug Letrozole.

Today I am 6 months out from my date of surgery, I have more energy, more positivity, and I am a happy camper.

My main comment is, if you experience fatigue, rest, but also look for an underlying cause because if you find the cause, you can deal with it and your fatigue can be managed.
Cheers!
Wendy Tea

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Nan1 on Nov 6, 2019 12:34 pm

I just had my first chemo round on Monday so I am really new to this.  I am trying to follow the advice on listening to my body.  Day one I was exhausted.  My treatment ended at 3 pm and by 6 pm I fell asleep in my rocker recliner...woke up at 8 and was in bed at 8:45 until 6:30 the following morning.  Day 2 I had a more energy..went for a walk..raked some leaves..went for grastofil teach and even went in to work to have cake with a friend who is retiring.  This was an easy thing to do as the fvcc is in the same building as the hospital I work at.
Day 3 started off a bit rough but I had some breakfast..took my meds and am starting to feel a bit more alive.  I think I may have done a bit too much yesterday.  It is a learning curve but I just have to learn to take it slow which is going to be a tough one for me because I like to stay busy!!

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Mammabear on Nov 6, 2019 12:38 pm

Fatigue is my most frustrating side effect. Walk up the stairs and need to sit down. Walk around the block and need to stop on the hill. I am a person who worked out 5 days/week. So what's a girl to do? Listen to your body. Rest when you need to. My mornings are best so I do 10-20 minutes of yoga stretching (nothing intense, just focus on breathing and a little joint/muscle stretch to wake up. I use a web site www.doyogawithme.com and pick something short, beginner, morning stretch in their search engine.). I choose one chore to do for the day and try to get through it in the morning and don't beat myself up if I don't get it done. And I walk 20-30 minutes. The pace is not fast. and if I need to stop I do but I get fresh air. I nap/rest for at least an hour in the afternoon. After the nap and morning I usually just sit around in the afternoon. Read my book, play piano. Any outing needs to be short (grocery shopping or errands - ONE store only). I find that when the fatigue hits I can feel it coming and it is like walking into a wall. I am currently on weekly chemo but had last week off so am finding myself with more energy this week but I still hit the wall every afternoon. This too shall pass....

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Elsie13 on Nov 6, 2019 12:44 pm

Once I got past chemo #4, around day 5 after chemo, I experienced the worst fatigue of my life. It almost felt like, if the house was burning down, I would have to stay in the house anyway as I was so thoroughly drained. After chemo 5 is was worse!  My last chemo, #6, was April 13th, 2017, and that's the day my Scottish brother arrived in Toronto. So April 17th, he visits us in Montreal. So we went to Morgan ArboretumSainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, near Montreal, as my brother is an avid birdwatcher. We went by car, so if anything terrible happened to me, we could get in the car and leave. (There's a silly joke, make like a tree and leave?)
Anyway it was cold and quite windy, and I wasn't especially tired - kept walking to avoid freezing? - So then we were lost in the woods.  The snow and ice had recently melted, and instead of being on a trail, we were in a large 6" deep pond. Anyway, we found our way back and had lunch at an Italian restaurant with a big fireplace. So I'm thinking, when there's Adrenalin involved, your fatigue will hold off for a while? 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Rob0009 on Nov 6, 2019 12:50 pm

Yes i am experiencing fatigue mostly I combat it with exercise or walking, but sometimes after chemotherapy i cant do anything but give in to it and just rest 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by law on Nov 6, 2019 12:52 pm

Fatigue comes and goes with me. For the past 3 months I felt pretty well rested...but the past few weeks I could sleep all day...and still feel fatigued.
It seems to come with the recovery territory.

If I can lay down for a nap, it helps a bit, or, since I am retired, I have more free time so I can be lazy, nap, read, and just wait for the spell to pass. It lasts for an indeterminate time so I just accept it. 
I know resting is a luxury which I do appreciate, although my social life is often reduced when I go thru bouts of fatigue.
law

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by MyrlaneB on Nov 6, 2019 12:56 pm

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2017.  I did experience "fatigue" throughout my journey with cancer.  This symptom was prevalent after my chemo treatments.  As time progressed, this symptom improved.  Exercise, walking outside or at a gym as much as possible and trying to maintain a positive attitude worked for me. MyrlaneB

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Marcell on Nov 6, 2019 1:07 pm

My wife passed away in October 2016 from Vulvar cancer. I have since been suffering PTSD, complicated grief, anxiety and depression. I have recently been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. My PSA is 28, a Gleason score of 9 and my grade is 4. I have chosen quality of life over extended life.
my fatigue is overwhelming me. I can lay on the bed for just one minute with my doggy and it sets in hard. I’m almost dizzy and off-balance to stand up. I went from only sleeping maybe three or four hours a night, to now sleeping all night and probably five or six more hours during the day between a couple naps, and I are always having to push myself to get things done with no energy at all.I don’t know if it’s my depression or the cancer. I do find that sometimes I can fight through it and keeping it from becoming too strong, though sometimes it is so overwhelming I have no choice but to sleep.

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by JustJan on Nov 6, 2019 1:11 pm

This is a tough one. For me two different primary cancers diagnosed, two surgeries, 16 rounds of radiation, just finished 6 rounds of chemo plus all the appointments since January I have attended. Some days I wonder how I’m still standing lol. Rest for me has been the best medicine for the fatigue. Fortunately I am retired and can rest when I need to. I also learned that for the week following chemo to not leave the house. There were always 2 to 3 days at the end of my chemo week where just making toast would cause me to be short of breath and have to sit down. It improved over the three days. Again I would  just rest and let my husband take care of me. I am planning on starting a light exercise program to try and get my strength and stamina back in another couple of weeks. 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Mystiquewolf on Nov 6, 2019 1:19 pm

Yes unfortunately fatigue is something that comes and goes with me. Some days are really good and some not so good. Can feel like I am full of energy at the beginning of the day and two hours later I am tired. I don't appreciate the sneak attach fatigue that I get sometimes. I will be going along with my day and then WHAM all of a sudden I have totally run out of gas and need to just sit down and rest and do nothing. Its a little hard to do that when you are out and about doing things. I do exercise and try to eat my protein each day. Biggest thing is to just keep moving on.
Take care
Mistiquewolf

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Amores on Nov 6, 2019 2:03 pm

Lacey_adminCCS‍  thanks for the tag Lacey.  Ok I'm the odd one here I experienced fatigue (extreme) and intolerance to cold a long time before my diagnosis of malt lymphoma lung in September. Since then I'm sending anxiety has enhanced it and almost everything is s chore.  I've decided to choose watch and wait over rituxan until b sympthoms hit.

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Chichimus on Nov 6, 2019 2:05 pm

I was in hospital for 5 1/2 weeks. Then in out patient for 8 months.
When i first got out I could barely make it up a flight of stairs. My first outside  expedition I made it half a block. Took me a month before I felt 'sturdy' enough to drive.
It has certainly improved but at 7 months out of treatment  there are definite days when the batteries just run out. Frustrating at times but try to not let it get to me as that would make it worse. Some is physical and some mental. 
All I can really offer in way of advice is to keep trooping along. Don't let it get you down on one hand and don't use it as an excuse on the other - as attractive as that may be at times :) You know yourself.
 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Hadrian on Nov 6, 2019 2:33 pm

I was diagnosed about 5 years ago. I was not extremely active but I was in good shape due to exercise.
After diagnosis I stopped any exercise since I was quite disappointed with the news.
After the initial dizzying shock I decided to learn about the condition and new research in the field so I took some after-work courses for months.
Since I recovered my compass, I never had major problems or fatigue. Of course c is hanging in my mind constantly but does not unbalance me for now.  I guess the fact that I'm doing something to fight it keeps me motivated and out of depression.
Of course I have some minor issues. They could or could not be related and do not affect significantly the quality of life.


All the best,
Adrian

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by TT53 on Nov 6, 2019 3:46 pm

Since my diagnosis this June with breast cancer, I must say I have been really good.  Not much fatigue only after surgeries.
I had two lumpectomies and I only had a hard time the day after the surgery and then I was able to bounce back.  Since my mastectomy, I was down for about 3 days, just laying around and resting whenever I felt tired.  On my fourth day I started my little walks outside.  Didn't make it very far, but fresh air was wonderful.  After a week I was able to return to my daily 40 min. walks.  But I listen to my body and if I get tired,  I rest.  I do not feel guilty about taking the time for me.  I think that is important to put yourself first, which is a new trend for me. I am learning in my old age.  LOL

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Marsh on Nov 6, 2019 4:32 pm

I breezed through Chemo. Only slightly fatigued for a day after each chemo. 6 weeks of radiation and no fatigue at all until 1 week after completion. Then I would be fine until about 3 pm. Then I crashed. I would sit down and nod off for an hour. After that I was good to go. But it happened each day for about 3 weeks, then I got my energy back. I feel great now! Just came in after raking and bagging leaves from the lawn. Exercise and staying active helps!
 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Missk on Nov 6, 2019 4:41 pm

Yes, Fatigue.  I had it pre-treatment, during treatment, and now during recovery after treatment.  I knew I was getting slower physically, but only realized how bad I was trying to walk a half flight of stairs at the oncology unit.  I was quite "winded", which I found shocking as my usual self enjoys exercise for fun.  

Now in the " recovery" phase I am still not my usual self.  Long walks wind me, short runs are slow and it's still early bedtimes.  I take all of this in stride though.  If feeling dejected about my progress I think of that day on the stairs or when I returned to work six months ago and could only work half-days.  I am just happy to be making a little progress each day.

Karen:)

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Warriorprincess on Nov 6, 2019 4:52 pm

I am 3 years with no evedince of disease,  happy dance. Fatigue was very real for me, I found exercise (love my pole walking) and a good diet helped me incredibly.  I focused on my wellness and not the disease.  This helped me to push past it. I have been working full time since 2018 , staying strong. 
Compassion has no limit , kindness has no enemy

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Javier on Nov 6, 2019 5:02 pm

I have prostate cancer and I wrote a post about fatigue. This is:

Cancer and fatigue

Do you know what the main problem that a cancer patient has is? It is fatigue. The exact cause is unknown. There are many reasons for this cancer fatigue, but doctors do not know how to treat it.
The normal fatigue that we have some days is different from the fatigue of cancer. This normal fatigue usually goes away very soon. Cancer fatigue can take months or years. In my case, it has continued after finishing my treatments. This cancer fatigue frustrates you and affects how you live each day. Some days are worse than others. And it appears at any time of your day. If it is severe, you cannot go back to work as you planned. You have to look for solutions like working part time.
Among the main causes of cancer fatigue we have are cancer itself, treatments against cancer, anemia, nutrition problems, emotional distress, sleep problems, lack of physical activity, and some others. Due to these many reasons, it may not be possible to know the exact cause of fatigue. It is recommended to get treatment for medical problems that may be adding to your cancer fatigue. Try it.
To help you with fatigue, I will give advice that I have read on online sites and pamphlets on fatigue. These online sites are from hospitals known as Sunnybrook, Mayo and Cleveland clinics, and the American Cancer Society. In addition to this information, I have included my own experience with fatigue. These are:
- Walking is a good exercise to help with fatigue. I practice it with excellent results. If you can go to a gym, it will help you too. I try to go to my gym three times a week.
- If you have ten things to do one day, reduce them to 2 or 3 and leave the others for another day. You will feel better for what you achieved, and the fatigue will be less. These activity reductions will help you conserve energy in your day. Good advice and I try to follow it every day. Ask your family members to help you with tasks that are heavy for you.
- Have a plan to rest at some times during your day. The recommended rest is 20 to 30 minutes. I apply this advice every time I feel tired. After my short nap, I feel better with energy to do any important task. Although experts say that fatigue does not go away with a nap, my experience and the experiences of some friends with cancer are different. A nap helps.
- Go to sleep when you're sleepy not before. Sleep about 8 hours each day, but no more than that. When I go sleepily to bed, it takes me 5 minutes to fall asleep. Practice and you will see.
- What you eat is very important. Get a cancer dietitian, and she will help you with the best food for you. Mainly your food must have grains, meat, milk, fruits, and vegetables. The amounts depend on each person.
- It is advisable to drink 8 cups of liquid per day. For me, this is difficult since I suffer from incontinence due to my surgery to the prostate. I do the best I can.
- Participate in a support group about fatigue. These groups are very useful. I have participated in some of them. The different experiences of the members give you a better perspective of your problem.
A lot of advice. If you can practice one by one in your daily life, you could improve your fatigue. Saying "improve" is important because fatigue sometimes takes years to go as experts say. Once again I ask you to share your experiences with these tips. By doing this, you are helping other people in similar situations. I hope you feel better. I'm better with my fatigue, but sometimes I need a nap to recover. If I take it, I'm fine. You try it.

  

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Picasso’s mannequin on Nov 6, 2019 5:08 pm

My fatigue is a little better, in that I can now open the fridge and walk up some stairs.

Horrible, goes on for months, but it eases.

Good luck everyone. I had bad side effects and now I’m thinking of moving somewhere with more cancer treatment and support for triple neg breast cancer.

My side effectcts were apparently worse than usual, so don’t go by me. But I was wondering if there were any place in Canada that does immunotherapy and does it work?!




 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by SpeedyStill on Nov 6, 2019 8:18 pm

Fatigue and Cancer go together. Now the type and degree is unique to the person.
When I was first diagnosed with Cancer in 2009 I was described by the Oncologist this way " G------ C------- is a young 62 year old gentleman with an excellent performing status". Written February 26, 2010 the day of my second cycle of Chemotherapy.
I experienced a lot of fatigue during and after the 6 chemotherapy treatments. Even in good health it took me 6 months and I was still not right. 
What helped me with fatigue
Good support from my family
Spending time with my granddaughter playing all sorts of games with her even dolls. We would dress them in different cloths and then put them in bed for a little sleep. Which lasted all of 5 minutes a short night. Then we would dress them up and feed them breakfast. It was now time for a stroll to the grocery store. Now if your mind is so taken up by being a good parent to your doll you had little time for fatigue. I say that my granddaughter saved me from the Cancer.
When I was going through the treatments and I was pale and completly hairless she would come up to me and say "I love you Bumpy" What better gift than that to a person in shock. Bumpy is the name my grandchildren any other children call me.
What is your passion. Some of mine are:
Music
Swimming 
Dancing
Watching a good movie
Fatigue is real and our body can speaks to us. The secret is listening to our body and not from anyone else.
When are we most down or depressed. When our body is tired.
Defence is twofold either doing something we love or resting our body so we can enjoy doing what we love.
This is a bit of a mish mach of info but my defense as always "Chemo Brain "
Have a good night everyone it is 9 PM here and time for bed.
Early to bed early to rise makes Jack healthy, wealthy and wise. I don't think that's about me. No money, feel a bit sick and pretty dense at times.
SpeedyStill 
 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Nov 6, 2019 8:24 pm

Wow Lacey_adminCCS‍  touched a nerve there, didn't you.

Fatigue can be extremely dangerous. Some else mentioned thinking about underlying causes whether the cause is low iron or depression or something else. Fatigue is common to all cancers and to all treatments so we (and our oncologists) take for granted that it is going to happen. Looking beyond it though is important.

More importantly though fatigue can sap our will to live. I was writing about this yesterday in another thread. When we are low in energy it becomes a struggle to do the things that we live for. And it becomes a tight spiral.

So to keep it at bay we exercise - even when we don't feel like it. We eat well with variety and moderation. And we try and get enough good sleep using meditation as necessary.

Stay well my friends.

Angus



 

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Aries on Nov 6, 2019 8:52 pm

I don't really suffer from fatigue; I only have 1 day after chemo that I feel it and was told this is when I am coming off the drugs; this day I spend vegging out on the couch and napping whenever I need too. However if I have plans, I can get through the day. After 15 cycles of chemo, I have noticed I am starting to get a little more tired on chemo days but overall I usually feel pretty good. I get out for 45 minute walks most days during "chemo week" and the rest of my 12 day rest period is usually normal.

Re: Let's Discuss...Fatigue

Posted by Peanut on Nov 6, 2019 10:48 pm

I’ve just finished round 3 of chemo.  The first round I didn’t really have fatigue expect briefly (10 seconds if that) after climbing the stairs.  I was physically active right up to my diagnosis so not sure if that helps or not.  Now that I’m going through treatment I make even more of an effort to stay physically active.  I do a stretching video everyday that lasts for 12 minutes.  I walk almost everyday with a couple of days of 4 km walks including chemo day and the day after.  Cycle 2 I was sleepy for about 72 hrs but my body didn’t feel fatigued.  So far I’m sleepy today but that is because I woke up at 4 am and couldn’t go back to sleep.  It was probably the Dexamethasone I’m on as I forgot to take something for sleep last night.  My oncology nurse said every workshop she goes to they state exercise is key to cutting fatigue.  I read one study that said regular exercise cuts fatigue by 50-60%.  I feel better when I stretch and exercise.  My last 4 cycles change and the side effects become sore joints so I’m hoping it won’t be so bad as to keep me from getting out.

Peanut