Hi Kathy. This is the second time you've had to go through this? That's completely unfair and I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this again. I would say that if you had surgery only three weeks ago you are still recuperating physically from that. In addition, because you've been through this once already, that probably adds to the fatigue. Try to eat well, drink lots of water and make yourself do one "activity" per day. That could be walking around the block or doing a load of laundry. Some days it was all I could do to get out of bed so I would count taking a shower as my "activity" for the day. Do your best to hang in there but don't beat yourself up if you just want to rest. I wish you well my friend.
Serous Type Questions
Asked by Kathy on Sunday, October 14, 2012
I had surgery 3 weeks ago and should begin chemo in about 1-1/2 weeks. I'm so tired. This is my second time. Any suggestions on how to keep your strength up?
8 Answers from the Community
Hi Kathy - Kathy fatigue is part of treatment. It takes the body a min of 6-8 weeks to recuperate from surgery. Chemo and Radiation just adds to the load. Several things I am doing to help me manage 1. Get up and dressed every morning. - 2. Light exercise - 10-30 min walks, easy Pilates or Yoga most days. 3. Rest and nap as much as my body tells me 4. Mange my appointments so that I don't over do it, this is way easier to say then do many times 5. Eat small clean meals and snacks - by which I mean, keep processed foods, junk foods, foods high in salt and sugar to a minimum - your body needs the best nutrition possible. 6. I find that light massage and energy work (Reki, etc) very beneficial to my emotional and physical healing.
Here is my take on fatigue. Kathy, I am holding good thoughts for you. Hang in there.
You have not and probably will not get the answer to your question as no one knows exactly how you feel. Only you know how you feel. I have been looking for an answer for eleven years with four occurrences of NHL and have found that I had to figure it out each time for myself.
It is up to you to make assessments of your condition while at home by trying to ease slowly into the activities.
If you have not been doing any activity then you have to start! I tried staying in my recliner until I got better only to find out that made things worse. You have to build up your stamina and endurance slowly with light activity. They always say walking is enough. Naturally if your activities require heavy physical activity then you have to slowly work up to the level that is required.
I had a desk job but still required rest periods doing the day and was allowed to do that. Everybody is different; there was one gal that ran on the beach everyday while in treatment. Another man was doing chemo and radiation on the same day. He continued working packing and moving equipment where he works to a new location.
I talked with my nurse advocate this week and she said in her twenty-six years every person in treatment asked your question, “When will the fatigue go away?”
I have had to evaluate my prescribed medicines as they can give side effects that give symptoms the same as the cancer treatment. I found it is better to “feel” the effect of my restless lag syndrome than to take the medicine to relive the disorder.
My doctor did give me permission to discontinue prescribed medicine. This meds stole my mornings with dizziness. You might talk to your doctor about your meds.
This week I went to a massage therapist for the first time. I found I had knots on my back and on both sides of my neck. I felt them each time they were rubbed. They were being worked out. The knots are waste build up (lactic acid) in the muscles.
I did not know the cause of my tension headaches. They are now resolved because of the massage. It did not fix everything but did help.
This is the type of thing I have had to do to figure out what can be fixed or to search for “work arounds”on issues that cannot be fixed now but may resolve themselves in time. Or it may be something I have to add to my “new normal.”
Not fair at all.
I used gentle exercises, some that I did in bed before beginning the day and after a nap. Our Cancer center makes referrals to a local wellness center for an exercise program.
Other things I did:
Be good to yourself. You already have learned you don't have to do it all. Make a list of the jobs that someone could do for you... just one task off the list helps.
Find one or two blessings a day. This lightenend my spirits and then my fatigue.
Massage is great too as others have posted.