It was during one of my radiation session that I had naively asked my Oncologist if I could participate in the coming marathon. He nonchalantly replied "yes, if you still can"
Yes fatigue sets in pretty quickly during any type of treatments, be it surgery, radiation, hormonal or chemo. I never stood a chance even when taking small steps, one a time.
I was literally tired out most of the time after my 30 plus radiation sessions. Radiation had zapped up my muscle intensity. It took me a full year to regain some strength to jog up the slopes in my neighbourhood. Below are the explanation as to why we fagged out after treatments.
The symptoms are:
- We feel like we have no energy
- We sleep more than usual
- We have difficulty of concentration
- We feel tired after nighttime
- We lack sexual desire
- We are irritable or impatient
- We feel lazy and not interested of our personal hygiene
We understand that those symptoms will lessen overtime once cancer treatment is over.
The Why of Fatigue
Healing for surgery can also drain our reserve energy which translates into fatigue.
Contribution to fatigue
Also cancer cells compete with normal cells for nutrients which can slow down the growth of normal cell.
Coping with fatigue
We can plan short rest period and conserve energy for our important things. We can use light stretching session and exercise to counter fatigue.
Plan our day. We can do the most important thing first and the least important last. Space out activities. We are not doing an iron-man or women here.
Take enough continuous sleep like 8 hours straight. Remember that fatigue is temporary and our energy level will slowly improve as our blood return to normal.
Ask for help with housework, meal and errands. We are not alone and our team will gladly help us. Drink tea, we hydrate ourselves and fight cancer at the same time.