• Acw's Avatar

    Anyone Have Continuous Fatigue For Months?

    Asked by Acw on Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Anyone Have Continuous Fatigue For Months?

    I am 10 weeks out of chemo and about 6 weeks out of radiation. I've worked as much as possible through it all and started falling apart about 3 weeks ago. Shaking, crying jags, exhaustion, indescribable fear of something I couldn't identify, feeling I could only do the minimum to care for myself, worrying that I'm not good enough at my job (was offered this new job and got my cancer diagnosis on the same day). I couldn't function. The sweat flashes make me have to stop what I'm doing and wake me up all night. My oncologist tried two meds for the sweats, which did nothing but burst my hope for help. I finally went outside the cancer center and to my psychiatrist, whom I've known for 12 years, because I thought I was losing my mind. She immediately told me these are all still psysiologic symptoms from treatment and that they can last a lot longer than some in the medical community like to say. She put me on a two week leave from work and a new med which seems to take the edge off. Have any of you experienced anything like this??

    20 Answers from the Community

    20 answers
    • cheypeggy's Avatar

      I'm 5 months out of Chemo and 3 months out of radiation. I experience fatigue like you. Last month I had a similar "meltdown" and took a week off work and just laid around the house - slept a lot. I felt much better afterward and returned to work, but I'm still far from my pre-cancer energy level. It's important to take lots of time for yourself, and when you're feeling tired, take the time you need to rest. A new job may make this difficult, but sometimes I take my luinch hour and go home for a nap. Even 45 minutes to an hour in the middle of the day can help a lot. Good luck - I'll be praying for you.

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Yes. I have had several meltdowns like the one you have described, I am taking meds to keep me on an even keel, I am also seeing a therapist who specializes in treating cancer patients - I start out with 12 sessions and now see her for boosters as needed. I can not tell you how much this has helped me deal with the emotional fallout of having cancer and being in treatment.

      over 4 years ago
    • YogaJean's Avatar

      The aftereffects of cancer were worse for me than treatment. All of a sudden I was 'back to another 'new normal'. I actually became a yoga teacher because my journey back to health was very difficult. Look for a restorative class or a Yoga for Cancer Survivors class and go. You can also find free yoga on my sight http://yogabeing.net

      over 4 years ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar

      I've had radiation last October to Dec. for 33 treatments ans taken Arimidex for 5 years.I;ve experienced the fatigue everyone is talking about and had a very bad episode in March and April like I've never experienced before of being very tired mentally,emotionally and phisically that I've never had before.I finally got out of it,but still have the fatigue physically almost daily.I believe many of us are going through this from hearing others on here and elsewhere mentioning it.I also get the sweat flashes.It must be hard for the ones like you to have to work.I don't work ,but have to continue to function in a lot of other ways,because I have no one to do things for me,but with the grace of God I'm okay .I just have to keep on pushing most days.You're not alone in what you're going through.

      over 4 years ago
    • strongdeb's Avatar

      Yes , I had chemo 1/24/2011 to 5/2/2011 and radiation 9/5/11 to 8/16/11. I am scheduled for a DEIP Flap reconstruction on July 5 2013 as my inplant did not turn out very well. I am currently on Tamoxifen and will be for 5 years. Last nov,Dec and Jan of this year I too started falling apart. I also had just recieved a promotion before being diagnosed and worked as much as possible through it all, usually 40 hours a week, as I worked in the same complex I was recieving my care and my job was very good about letting me work around my treatments. Maybe we pushed ourselfs a little too hard and should have put our health care before our jobs and the breakdown was a way for our bodies to tell us we needed to slow down. I am doing much better now, actually feel great. So please remember you are not alone. Our own fears and insecurities can make us feel that we are beyond help, beyond hope. Know that there is no place that far and that God is always with you. Stay strong my fellow survivor things will get better.

      over 4 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      I think we all suffer something similar to what you are experiencing. I am so sorry that yours got worse. The fatigue is normal after chemo and then rads. I was on an anti-depressant prior to starting chemo and I really think that is all that saved me. Since I came off Arimadex (joint pain) and went on Tamoxofin I have had one major meltdown and it was bad. I am just fortunate that my husband puts up with me. I have also been told by a co-worker that I seem to get frustrated easily and sometimes am short with people. I guess this must be my new normal. I am 8 months out of chemo and still need a nap when I get home from work. I plan on talking with my Primary Care Physician when I see him this month to see if we need to change any medication. Take time for yourself--the job will still be there, the housework can wait. Do something to make you feel special--a new outfit, a day at the park, new makeup--anything that will make YOU feel better.
      Hugs coming your way!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • sunne's Avatar

      when i read your question, it actually made me feel better, finished chemo a year ago and radiation 2 months later, i worked through my treatments and i still get tired easily. i have learned to rest when i need to rest, also had a couple meltdowns. mostly i think they were my fault, for trying to function as i did pre treatment. i hope sharing will help and the great responses here will too, good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I had heard that it takes the body up to a year to recover fully from surgery and the anesthesia -- and that it takes 6 months for chemo to completely leave the body -- I have not heard the time element for radiation. But, when you consider all of these experiences combined, it is understandable why we feel the way we do. I am 14 months out of chemo and 11 months out of radiation -- I feel better as time passes but I still get fatigued and will have a "couch day". When I get tired, it affects my strong & positive attitude whereby I get weepy. I seem to have a meltdown a couple of times a month. The sweat flashes are few but intense. To be honest, I still have trouble with facing the fact that I had cancer and that I actually went through the nightmare of treatment. The cancer world is so unreal -- and stirs up so many emotions within us. Be assured, there are a lot of us that are experiencing the same things that you are. I wish you the best!!

      over 4 years ago
    • mcowett's Avatar

      Hi Acw, I have had (and am still having some) similar experiences. What I finally decided to do was find some "corrections" for all those toxins I put in my body. I am trying IV nutritionals. It's a little expensive but seem to help. I suppose you will have to look around your area for the closest doctor who offers it. Another thing that can help boost your weekend immune system - which I think includes our emotional health, and hormone function (ie anxiety, sweats, fatigue) is juicing. Make get a juicer and go for it. I have found that carrot & apple 50/50 with just a little bit of beet is extremely effective. In short; we have to replenish our bodies with some essential vitamins and minerals and vitamin tablets won't really cut the mustard so to say. We need something that our bodies can easily absorb and use. Try starting at a local healthfood store. they can be very helpful. Hang in there kitten. The new you is unfolding, that take lots of energy as well.

      over 4 years ago
    • raven's Avatar

      I have friends that have found that acupuncture helped their night sweats to an amazing degree. I only have hot flashes and it did not seem to make a difference for me, but it may for you. Seems like just stopping the sleep deprivation would have to be a big help.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      Dear Acw what you are describing sounds like panic attacks. I get them whenever I am in a situation where I feel trapped, surgery involving reconstruction on my breasts after a double mastectomy, and traffic problems. All these things cause me to feel the way you do. I still feel hopeless and out of control of my life because of the breast cancer diagnoses and surgeries that followed starting last June. I had and MRI recently because I can have mammograms anymore and I panicked at the thought of being in that machine for 25 minutes and forgot to take my medicine that helps with panic attacks so your not alone with those feelings. I too am seeing a counselor to help me through all of these problems of just dealing with life after cancer. It isn't easy to say the least, but counseling does help. Keep up the counseling sessions, if you can because they really do help mentally and they lessen the amount of time the panic attacks happen and how long they last.

      over 4 years ago
    • Kossmore's Avatar


      Yes, almost from the beginning of treatment the exhaustion set in. Fortunately, I was between jobs because the least physical activity did me in for the entire day. It seems like it took several years to build up physical stamina to be able to do a moderate amout of physical activity. I was down to 15-20 minutes of gardening a day. The psysiological symptoms eased after I started to read books about other peoples' cancer treatments and how it affected them. A live support group also helped. Hope you find relief soon!

      over 4 years ago
    • Pdale's Avatar

      Yes indeed but I got a different answer when I saw a psychiatrist. I was put on 2 psych meds for a mood disorder caused by the chemo. Apparently the chemo drugs can have a very adverse effect on a part of the brain called the hippocampus that won't get better without the psych meds. Unfortunately, there isn't much help for the sudden onset of menopause because you can no longer take hormones unless u had a triple negative tumor. Lorazepam on rare occasions when the fear hits you does wonders for anxiety

      over 4 years ago
    • gsbasset's Avatar

      I was emotionally fragile for about 6 months after Chemo/radiation. Cried over the silliest of things. Was told by my oncologist and primary care physician that this was a normal side effect. I am now more or less back to normal and it is 10 months since treatment. Still have the night sweats. You are not losing your mind....... this is not listed in any of the side effect lists and it is a normal part of the side effects for some people. Yes, it took my primary care physician to work this out with me and SHE was very helpful. While I am still dealing with fatigue, I can do more each week. It takes a lot of time and energy for the body to fully heal from the bombardment of treatment insults. Sleep when you need to and look for the positive - it does get better!

      over 4 years ago
    • mamakas' Avatar

      Hi, I experienced severe panic disorder after my first mastectomy. I couldnt eat or sleep and was extremely afraid of i don't know what. It was horrible and I wanted to die because I couldnt seem to get better. Was in the hospital several times and they just said it was anxiety.. I was too afraid to take the meds they gave me.. It felt like they were making me worse.. I finally was brave and got the right medication and forced myself to stick with it for my kids.. Thank God they worked and Im doing much better now. I hope you find what works for you. My prayers are with you. kim

      over 4 years ago
    • CAL's Avatar

      Not that severe but I definitely am not back to the energy level and mental functioning I was at prechemo/radiation. (I am 5 months post chemo and 12 weeks post rad. and on Arimedex since the first of April. My hot flashes are more common than when I was actually going through menopause 7 years ago and I do have trouble sleeping, but my oncologist has me on a boatload of nutritional supplements and melatonin which helps with all of those problems. The worry is always there but most days I don't dwell on it. I have always had a tendency to have some ups and downs of mild depression, so I sort of expected this. Walking every day especially outside and trying to balance my tendency to overdo and do volunteer activities on top of my work hours and being with family and friends and with staying home and having time alone and to rest when need be is not easy but I am learning.

      over 4 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      I just wanted to let you know that your question helped inspire an article on the site about battling fatigue after chemotherapy. Perhaps you will enjoy reading it. Please comment below the article if you have any other suggestions for WhatNexters!


      Best of luck!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Imotn's Avatar

      5 mo away from 3 year anniversary since last treatment ....and still get fatigued around 6 pm everyday.

      almost 4 years ago
    • smishik's Avatar

      I had a lumpectomy and 37 sessions of radiation. I was done on Dec. 7 2012 and I still get fatigued. I haven't established any routine or anything but it seems to come randomly. I am a widow so there is no one to help me out when I really need someone. My kids are grown and they don't seem to understand. They get upset with me if I get emotional or upset easily and they don't understand it is most likely from the cancer.

      almost 4 years ago
    • mariet615's Avatar

      I was 6 months out from my last treatment and surgery when I was hit with fatigue and insomnia. I, too, went to a psychiatrist for help. His first goal was to get me sleeping. When the regular sleep medications did not put me to sleep, he suggested that I get a sleep study. I had one, but it was declared invalid because I slept less than 2 hours. I'm having that redone next week. I also took Adderal to help with the fatigue. It helps; just watch for irritability, because its part of the 'energy' that comes. I've learned over the past 2 years that I've had this fatigue that there's one more component most oncologists aren't aware of, and that is to have an endocrinologist check you out. I found out recently that I have adrenal fatigue syndrome--caused by the stress from the cancer and treatments. There's no cure for this, but low dose steroids can help the symptoms (like the Adderal, there are side effects).
      If you are near a university medical center, see if you can find a PCP to coordinate your care, and guide you to the appropriate specialists. There are many causes to fatigue that may not be related to your cancer, but be age or other related. It takes the right team of specialists to diagnose and treat you.
      God be with you and bless you with answers and a cure for your problem.

      almost 4 years ago

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