Fatigue after cancer treatment
Fatigue is very different to ‘normal’ tiredness. It doesn’t always go away with rest and sleep.
- Having had chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Lack of sleep
- Poor diet
- Low red blood cell count (anaemia)
- Simple chores such as showering or preparing food seem overwhelming.
- You feel as if you have no energy and could spend whole days in bed.
- You have trouble thinking, speaking or making decisions.
- You feel breathless after only light activity.
- You have trouble getting to sleep (insomnia).
- You lose your sex drive.
- You feel sad, frustrated or upset.
What medical help is available for fatigue?
Knowing the cause of your fatigue and treating the problem can help to improve your symptoms.
How can I cope better with fatigue?
- Set small manageable goals
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, such as getting a friend to collect your children from school or run errands
- Plan ahead
- Rest before you get too tired
- Try not to rush – allow plenty of time to get around or to appointments
- Sit down to do tasks whenever possible, such as when ironing, shaving or preparing food
- Say no to things that you really don’t feel like doing and try not to please others
- Sit down while talking on the mobile phone
- Don’t do the shopping during busy times
- If you have children, plan your play time with them and try to play sitting down
- Try to take time out to relax and do things you enjoy
- Do some relaxation exercises both for your mind and your body
- Do some light exercises, such as walking
- Share your concerns with family or friends or attend a support group
Exercise is good for fatigue