• It's been almost 2 yrs since I finished my radiation treatment. I'm still so fatigued it's hard to do anything but sit/lay around all day.

    Asked by 2fizz on Saturday, October 27, 2012

    It's been almost 2 yrs since I finished my radiation treatment. I'm still so fatigued it's hard to do anything but sit/lay around all day.

    Has this happened to anyone else or am I just being lazy?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • Harry's Avatar

      I don't think you are being lazy--BUT--I suspect that this problem is feeding on itself. You are going to have to force yourself to start moving and doing things or this is going to get worse.

      First, talk to your cancer doctor and your family doctor to see if there is any medical reason why you feel this way or any medical reason why you can't be more active. Then, if they give the green light, start doing light work/exercise. Maybe a bit of mall-walking? Whatever. You don't have to start out running marathons but you need to force yourself to be active. Build on the exercise as you get used to it.

      2 years is a long time to be inactive. Muscles start to shrink. Your heart isn't as strong. It all feeds on itself. I'm sure this started off with your recovery from radiation, but once activity is stopped it can take a major effort to restart it. You feel lousy today so you don't get active. That means you also feel lousy tomorrow, etc. I don't think this is laziness, you really do feel bad. But, at some point you're going to have to force yourself back into activity.

      almost 8 years ago
    • tnblondee's Avatar

      Have you had your thyroid checked...? My thyroid did not function at all after radiaition, I'm on thyroid medicine now and it seems to be helping. Also, like Harry said you have to get moving even if you don't feel like it. Start out slow and build up your stamina! Good luck and god Bless.

      almost 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The whole fatigue issue is like priming the pump. It will only get worse the longer you are inactive. Start slow, but start now and stay consistent with it. Harry is absolutely right on all points.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Charlieb's Avatar

      You have to push twice as hard after chemo to get active. Have you tried to work with a physical therapist? I had been very active before chemo and my transplant, but I just could even think of exercising after. Worked with a great PT who really motivated me back. It also helped to know a professional was advising me on how much I could push. Sounds like a good PT could answer your question best. I am 5 months out and push everyday, but some days I don't do much and I am ok with that.

      almost 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      The advice about drinking (a glass of) water upon awakening is very good. We get dehydrated very easily and it is a BIG problem. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

      You NEED to get to a gym or start some sort of program which is away from your house. The movement will get you going and getting out of the house will help with residual depression.

      I started exercising about six months after radiation was over. I did not at all feel strong but I knew it was time. My first 'day at the gym' lasted about 5 minutes and included the time changing clothes in a locker room. I struggled to stay on the elliptical walking machine for a full minute. I came back every day and increased my time slowly from one minute to two minutes to a full 45 minutes. Then I reduced my time on that machine and started up with a second machine and so on and so forth. I eventually attended a yoga class and it was like starting over from the beginning all over again.

      After several months I reached a plateau and could not go further and I thought it was far below my 'normal'. I went back to the docs and insisted on more tests of various sorts and found out I had a blood disease. I thought of all the blood which was taken before and during treatment and asked why I was not ever told. The doctors explained that they thought I'd already known. Odd, but that is what happened and what I was eventually told.

      It wasn't for five more years that I eventually and accidentally found the cause of everything. I'd been living in a house with toxic mold hidden behind the walls.

      But my point in telling you all this is to remind you to fight for the control of your own body and to search for other maladies which may not yet be addressed. It also would behoove you to buy a juicer (if you don't already have one) or a Vitamix and relearn, all over again, how to eat for energy and best nutrition. It takes a LOT of energy to digest food so starting the day with fresh fruit/vegetable juice gives you energy while taking a load off your body because the juice (sans the fiber) can be immediately used by your body. It is of vital importance that the juice be fresh and not pre-bottled.

      Bottled juices tend to oxidize (the nutrients turn to sugars) and are usually made from fruit and vegetable matter you would not think to consume (old and molded). The concentrates are even worse in that you've no idea what is done to them or how and how long they are stored.

      You need to start somewhere. Start with something simple. drink the glass of water before you even rise from your bed. Leave it by your nightstand and drink it down before you even rise from your bed.

      Best wishes for you to recover good health.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Tania's Avatar

      Hi 2fizz:

      I am a breast cancer survior of 3 years and my first advice is to let your doctor know but I think it is very normal I felt the same and now is when I am doing so much more around the house and feel better. I personally went through the same thing and it took me this long but please always ask your doctor first. Hope you feel better hugs, Tania, from Miami, Florida.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Onoi11's Avatar

      Harry. Thanks for the reminder to keep moving. I find that after chemo my heart rate is amped up, but if I wait for four days my soul, walking stick and feet are ready to hit the road again.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      I agree with Harry. This journey is a challenge but don't give up the fight.

      almost 8 years ago
    • rosygren's Avatar

      Type your answer here...
      Hi I could identify with the fatigue. I was diagnosed with prostate stage II in 2007 and had the radiation seeds implant. Before treatment I was very active walking my boxer dogs every morning about 2miles. After the walk, I felt good set for my day. After the treatment, I would walk and came back and I needed to take a nap. No energy and fatigued. I was very disappointed. I could not do much. I heard my step mother's voice again when I was in high school saying to my father "You men are all like. You are lazy and want to sleep all the time." I didn't realize that I had carried that thought baggage in my mind all these years. I fought this fatigue at first which didn't help much. I was more tired. Then I became aware that my body was created with innate health. When I got a scratch or a cut on my arm it heals all by itself. Cancer or any other disease throws our bodies out of balance. The healing process restores our bodies, minds, and spirits to a new normal. One way our body heals is by resting. When you get a cold or flu you feel like sleeping more to get well. Our body knows what to do to heal. We need to have a calm, clear mind living in the present moment one day at a time to recover. So I have learned to listen to my body and what it needs in the moment. I am getting back into my routine of walking again. Also I have been studying research medical alerts from the Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins. In one of those medical alerts it was stated that Ginseng tea could help cancer patients having radiation treatments could find some relief from fatigue by using the tea. I went to the health food store. He suggested that Korean Ginseng tea is the best in dealing with fatigue. I can't go into the reasons why this is so, but he had some good information. I have tried it and it seems to help. It comes in a packet no tea bags. 30 packets in a box costs $10. It can be served either hot or ice tea. I use some sweetner and lemon. Great in the morning! Hope this helps. Take care of yourself.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Okiegrandma's Avatar

      You may be suffering from depression, which is common. I had to start on anti depressant.

      almost 8 years ago

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