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Fatigue

docsunshine
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2002

I am a 4 year survivor of breasst cancer. I had a problem this last fall with a seroma from the reconstruction but otherwise only had surgery and chemo. now I am suffering from an overwhelming fatigue that no amount of rest seems to help. My new oncologist tells me that in about 30% of cancer survivors who have had ANY kind of chemo this occurrs and they as a medical group have failed to recognize it until lately. Is anyone else suffering from fatigue that isn't anemia related???

scorpio
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2002

Hey Doc:
I had a partial mastectomy last June but no chemo. However, in the last month or so I too have been soo fatigued that I went to my oncologist for answers. He took blood test after blood test and all the tests came out normal (WHEW). But I still have no answers for my fatigue. I thought back to my surgery and recovery and realized that I hadn't taken any time off since then. Just a day here and a day there. I took the next two weeks off and although I do feel better I'm still somewhat fatigued. Don't know whats happening unless I just need a longer rest (smile). Remember the surgery and chemo takes a lot out of you -- maybe you too just need R & R.

docsunshine
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2002

I found some great Journal articles. There was a clinical study done regarding fatigue and cancer. The theory being that when you are diagnosed with cancer there is some componeent of depression. They thought if they gave you an anti-depressent and the depression lifted so would the fatigue. However, it failed becaues altho some who were depressed were better the greater majority still had non anemia fatigue. Teh conclusion is that for wahtever the reason cancer causes in 30% of people cancer realted fatigue that no amoutn of rest seems to abate. i do need R & R that's for sure going to take 10 days in May but this has been awful. I get a burst of energy and I'm off and running but then I collapse in fatigue for two or three days yet again.

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

>>I get a burst of energy and I'm off and running but then I collapse in fatigue for two or three days yet again.<<

I'm finding this same pattern. It started a few weeks after the radiation was done - had just begun tamoxifen. I have a couple of good days and I get a lot done - and then I can hardly move for the next two days. I don't have time to stay in bed all day but I feel like it. Since I have the good days - and I recognize when I feel energetic - I know it is not laziness.

The only thing that gets me moving on the tired days is necessity.

Best wishes,
Jean

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi doc
Yes I have suffered this problems off and on since my diagnosis. I have to ask if pain is part of the problem? If one is in pain all the time fatigue often the end result. I also wonder if your fatigue could be sleep related. I found that even though I slept long hours I still was tired all day long. I soon started taking amitryptoline to help me reach rem sleep something I aparently wasn't reaching. Amazing how this pill worked so quickly for me and also relieved some of the pain I was feeling. I soon found that I had other side affects from treatments that was also adding to all the pain I had. It had been two years that I had my pain controlled when all of a sudden I found myself back there a mess with new pains to work on. I am still getting worked on and only hope they can find something wrong and be able to help me. I wrote a speech that can be found in the gallery section Living well With Cancer and wonder if reading it might help you along the way.
Be good to yourself, often times we are hardest on ourselves. Your friend sounds like she is a wonderful human being and you are fortunate she was willing to be there when your husband could not.
Tara 24242

scorpio
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2002

Hey Doc:

Since I last spoke with you my oncologist has taken me off of Tamoxifen for 30 days to see if that is whats causing my fatigue. He says he has patients on the drug who have suffered extreme fatigue as I have. I'm hoping this is the answer because having zero energy and having to struggle on is a drag. Keep the faith and hopefully we'll both have some good news soon.

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