The fatigue is real. I know that I’m only a few months out of chemo and surgery and still somewhat in the “recovery” stage, but the level of fatigue some days is overwhelming. Almost every other cancer survivor that I talk to has the same issue. And it’s different than anything I’ve ever felt before.
Some days are really great. I have energy and even extra energy to take the kids hiking and accomplish a lot. But at other times, fatigue hits and totally takes over my day and my life. I had a great week last week, but I woke up this Monday completely wiped out. As a mom, and a strong minded woman, I’m usually hell bent on pushing through things. But this fatigue, I am unable to push through. I have to rest. And rest a lot more than I’d care to. On those days, I’m usually pretty irritable as well. Fatigue has a way of doing that to you and it is beyond frustrating.
Of all the women I’ve talked with, we are all experiencing similar fatigue. For some it gets better, but for others it lingers. And can linger for years. I don’t know where I’ll fall on the spectrum, but I know this. For one day this week, the fatigue was almost crippling and sent me to bed for most of the day. And for the last few days, I feel like I’ve been recovering from it. It interferes with life and keeps me from doing things that I want to. And if I choose to push through it, I almost immediately regret it, as it only makes me more tired.
So much like the post linked below, I’m working on honoring my body when I need to. Resting when I need to and doing my best to remove unnecessary stress from my life. It will mean saying no to things and canceling plans from time to time. But I think this is part of life that we have to come to terms with post-cancer treatment.
To all those cancer survivors out there, I hear you and I feel it too. Not sure what will help with fatigue, if anything. A good diet and moderate exercise are a start, but not a cure. Please know you are not alone. Know there are many of us struggling with the same. As the saying goes, I’m hoping for the best (that my energy levels will return), but preparing for the worst. In relation to fatigue, mentally preparing myself and finding acceptance for the days and/or weeks where I am wiped completely out.
As I talked with a sweet friend yesterday about fatigue post cancer treatment, I happened to find this post. And it helps to know you aren’t alone in this. I don’t want the fatigue to last, but if it does, it helps to know that it is normal to be unbelievably tired in the post cancer world we are navigating through. Please read Barbara Tako’s post on curetoday.com about Cancer Fatigue: Tired of Being Tired.
*Thank you Dominique Attaway for the beautiful photos. http://www.dominiqueattaway.com/