• my husband just finished his first week of radiation and is exhausted all the time. is that normal?

    Asked by mpboko on Sunday, August 26, 2012

    my husband just finished his first week of radiation and is exhausted all the time. is that normal?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Fatigue is common with cancer and treatments. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/fatigue/Patient/page1/AllPages

      My dad has not had radiation, but has been tired in general throughout his cancers.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Moonflay's Avatar

      I swear by the Carnation instant breakfast drink every morning with a banana or oatmeal and lots and lots of protein through out the day. I eat peanut butter and honey on whole wheat or snack on bananas and peanut butter as a pick me up during the day. :)

      I hope his energy increases and he feels better soon.


      almost 9 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I had radiation 24 years ago,I took it like it was nothing, they told me how tough it would be, all the side effects you hear about. I had very little of it. Fast forward to 4 years ago,I'm going through my 3rd round with cancer and radiation is the treatment again. It kicked my butt! After 2 weeks I was feeling it, getting droopy, mouth getting dry already, after 4 weeks I was getting serious black burns on my neck. It was much harder this time. I asked if it was the same radiation, they said yes, just more directed. Maybe because I was 48 this time. Ha!

      Best of luck to the Husband!

      almost 9 years ago
    • trsmith0104's Avatar

      I am afraid of radiation. I start in a couple of weeks. I will be facing 33 days of radiation. My first time with cancer. The whole thing is a mess.....

      almost 9 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      Yes, it's normal. After radiation, I would usually come home and lay down if not sleep. Radiation as well as chemo tend to knock down your blood counts. The doc said I was mildly anemic due to my low red blood cell counts so I was given iron to supplement. Iron however, is known to cause constipation. So I had to change my diet around to fight against the constipation.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Jayne's Avatar

      Yes, and when you add in all the emotional trauma and worry, it can compound the feeling of exhaustion too. I would encourage him to listen to his body, if he's tired, sleep. But try to encourage him to do some mild exercise too during the time of day when he's feeling best. That really will help balance the down time and help with his lack of energy.. Just getting outside and taking a walk helps. Don't be afraid to raise the issue to the doctor as well.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Not sure about radiation, but I do know chemo leaves you tired. I would think it would be the same with radiation.... it is damaging the body to kill the cancer and the body is working hard to heal... That's what my oncologist told me.

      almost 9 years ago
    • ev814's Avatar

      YES, it is normal. Talk to a Certified Nutritionist about "nutritionally dense" foods that will help support his biology and be certain to know what his blood type is, because certain blood types do better on certain foods.

      almost 9 years ago
    • whoami's Avatar

      Yes radiation will exhaust you. My husband had chemo and later had radiation and the radiation made him extremely tired, more so than the chemo did. When you are tired rest and make sure to drink plenty of liquids. Best of luck with everything.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Fusionera's Avatar

      Yes - not uncommon at all, although I found in my radiation experience that the fatigue was cumulative. I started feeling it after the first 3 weeks of treatment. Everyone is different and if he is still recovering from surgery that may escalate his fatigue.

      almost 9 years ago
    • mpboko's Avatar

      Thank you everyone. The Dr says that exercise will help with the fatigue. Yesterday we went to eat and had to walk a few blocks by the time we got home it took 10 min and he was asleep on the couch. That was after sleeping 11 hours the night before. We are only 2 weeks into radiation.

      almost 9 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      I had 33 rounds of radiation after chemo, so rads was nothing compared to that, but radiation is killing cells. The body has to use energy to grow new cells! I think a little exercise is a great idea. Then he can rest after as needed. Too much laying around will cause him to feel week. It is also important to have him eat a healthy diet and get plenty of fluids. After this is all over, he will slowly start to feel better. I assume they will be checking his blood work too as he goes through this. Best of luck!

      almost 9 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      It is normal to be exhausted during radiation treatment. Just having to go for the procedure each day is tiring. I rested when I needed to and did very light exercising when I felt up to it. Please be sure to get lots of protein and plenty of fluids.

      almost 9 years ago
    • mpboko's Avatar

      Thank you everyone. Right now he takes about a 2.5 hr nap after we get home from treatment and then he is in bed by 11. So its not to bad. I look at it as getting him ready for when he starts interferon in 3 weeks,

      almost 9 years ago
    • Terri's Avatar

      I would say definitely normal. Radiation in Melanoma involves more of the immune system, I understand. It blasts the tumor, and then your medication recognizes it as bad and your meds (like Yervoy) work better. That is what my oncologist told me. apparently, Yervoy and radiation are great together as a result.

      almost 9 years ago
    • RNTracyOCN's Avatar

      Fatigue is the number one side effect for radiation and chemotherapy. The body has a lot of "muck" as I term it to clean up and dispose of. The radiation is busting up all that bad stuff and it has to go somewhere. The body has to clean it up, repair, heal, and dispose of. Drink lots of fluids to flush your system and rest, knowing your body is doing a lot of work on the inside.

      almost 9 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar

      Yes it is. He is not on Inter feron they are doing radiation? I was on inter feron for a year the first month it was everyday and then I was taking 3 shots a week for 11 months. They had me on sleeping aids and depression medication. It's a tough road but it will get better. I just reach 4 years after being diagnosed with Stage IIIB melanoma had two surgeries and treatment. There is light at the end of the tunnel but comes later.

      Good Luck,


      about 8 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 8 years ago

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