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Still Very Fatigued at 5 weeks after radiation

D-Byrd
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2010

Guys I am worried something is wrong because of how fatigued I feel. I sit here on the couch everday and sleep all the time and I feel so tired. I am getting 6 cans a day in the peg and over 10 cups of water a day.

Have any of you felt like this or should I have some concerns about what I am going through? Any replys would be greatly appreciated.

Ed_PortOrange's picture
Ed_PortOrange
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2010

I was overly tired and felt very fatigued from March thru May of this year. Slowly I could feel my stamina returning, but I can honestly say it wasn't until about a month back that I felt about 90% of my old self. It will take time and time does heal.

Hang in there, it will get better.

Best wishes to all!

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1518
Joined: Jan 2010

After about four weeks, you do start to "turn the corner" so to speak, and feel better. A lot of the worst symptoms go away. But, I'm three months out and finally beginning to feel more like the old me again. I'm back at work now, but certainly feeling fatigue at the end of the day, and weekends are spent mostly resting up. Take your time. All will be well eventually.

Deb

SASH's picture
SASH
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2006

Since everyone is different it could be 2 more days or 2 more months. Radiation keeps working even after you have completed treatments. I had about 70% of my stamina after about 3 1/2 months, and not fully probably for 8 months.

You might also want to get your thyroid checked with a TSH blood test. The thyroid deals with lots of functions of the body and the radiation may have done some damage. Just a thought.

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2010

Glenn is 5 weeks out (this past Tuesday) and feels exactly the same.

He has improved in so many ways but is still very fatigued.

He'll get a TSH at his 9/14 appointment but the doctors told him he would feel this way for quite awhile.

MarineE5
Posts: 744
Joined: Dec 2005

D-Byrd,

I agree with what Ed and Deb have mentioned. I was told by my Radiation Oncologist that we may have to deal with the issue of being fatigued for roughly one year. As mentioned before by many, each of us heals and recovers at a different pace. We become anemic as we have trouble swallowing and are limited to what we can eat. Even though we take in the recommended nutrition cans, and try as we may to eat something orally, we aren't able to get that proper nutrition that we did before cancer.

My RO also told me to have my Thyroid levels checked when ever I had blood work done. He said that the Thyroid may change in the future as it might receive some radiation even though they try not to hit it.

This has come true for me just recently. My Thyroid levels have changed, my energy has dropped and I have gained a few pounds since the early spring. I thought by eating less, that would take care of the weight gain, but it didn't. I have just recently started on medicine to adjust my thyroid levels.

One little thing that I did after my treatment, was to set a goal for myself each day. I took a little walk to the corner and came back, I live 2 houses from one end of the block. I then increased my little walk each day. Try to get out and take in some fresh air, a little walk will tire you out and now you have a REASON to be tired and not feel guilty about a cat nap. I would do something like this when I was receiving radiation. I would come home and chop wood for 10-20 minutes and when I was tired, I took a nap, not because of my cancer or radiation, I was tired from my chores. I did not feel guilty about the nap.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

rozaroo
Posts: 667
Joined: Apr 2010

I am six month's post treatment & it took me five month's to feel half way decent! My oncologist mentioned that it takes three years to feel normal again. I do know it all depend's on how much energy I have burned on any given day. I was getting so frustrated &
had a negative attitude for a fair bit. Now I simply go with the flow. Less stressfull that way! We are all so different & it all depend's on how intense treatment was for each of us.

RushFan's picture
RushFan
Posts: 217
Joined: Aug 2010

At five weeks out, I was still wiped out...sleeping 16 hours per day. I did wake up every couple of hours and drank Ensure. At six weeks out I had my first follow up visit with all the docs and was still pretty darned tired, but was starting to climb out of the crater.

At nine weeks I felt good enough to go back to work a few hours a day. At 12 weeks I was back to work full time. (40hrs. I don't work much more than that until fall)

Hang in there, it gets better. I was getting depressed at the time, hoping for change each day. I did better when I measured my improvement by each week instead of daily.

Best to you and all here.
Chuck.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8053
Joined: Sep 2009

Like SASH says, thyroid plays a part in fatigue as well. They should be checking your TSH levels periodically to keep track of thyroid function.

But also, as everyone else also say, it takes everyone a different recovery time.

I'm 14 months out, and still get pretty fatigued at the end of the day after I sit on the couch for a little while. It doesn't bother really during the day while busy and working. But once I'm done for the day, have had dinner, and hit the couch. I'm pretty much done for the rest of the night. I'm lucky to make it an hour or so before my head starts dropping and rolling, LOL.

Best,
John

D-Byrd
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2010

You people are so helpful and ecouraging, I appreciate all the posts you have made it has helped me in so many ways. This beast is consuming our lives and we still mustard up enough courage to come on here and help out if we can. I hope all of you are doing well and I will pray for you each day. Today is a bad day for me and I hope tommorow is better. Best luck to you all and thank you for your time!!!

D-Byrd

John I seen your post on where are you and I am on the east coast in South Carolina near Greenville, a little town called Easley.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8053
Joined: Sep 2009

We have a winner I think.....first and only in SC...

Here's the link, it's better to look at in Google Earth, but this still gives you a good idea of the spread.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Tampa,+Hillsborough,+Florida&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=108290908437938654290.0004899d469e1599afb49

Best,
John

team stevens
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2010

I'm 6 weeks out & have days when I have tons of energy then days when I barely make it from the bed to the sofa. But when I have those great days, I don't take it for granted.This site has been an awsome motivator, just seeing that it's not just me feeling this stuff helps. wish i knew about this place months ago. you'll do great, just stay positive.

ps, we've heard of Easley..my wife & i are in Beaufort

D-Byrd
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2010

I have been trying to take early walks to the mail box which is over 400 feet out from the house. I can get 2 laps in plus a walk to the garden and then I am spent. I was hopinf for some of my taste to come back by now but nothing yet for me.

It seems like the treatment is worse than the disease, but I am thankful for everyday that I can get up and see the sunrise and my family and folks like you trying to make it. I hope you are doing well and have a speedy recovery. God bless all of you!!!

D-Byrd

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8053
Joined: Sep 2009

I spent a few months across the bay from you....the guys in little green uniforms running around and yelling a lot.... Parris Island.

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

Fatigue is very slow in recover. I believe in listening to your body and if your tired rest. Rest will help with the healing. It took me 20-30 months until I felt I was somewhat recovered. Not sure how others feel on CSN but many of those in our local support group for H&NC all say we really never recover to were we were before treatment. It will however be far better than it is now.

I was told 14 years ago the radiation continues to be active for 9-12 weeks after last treatment and that is what continues to take you down. Now i have heard it is somewhere 6-9 weeks. I am certain you will feel some better in the comming weeks.

Two steps back and one step forward now and shortly you will be stepping baby steps forward every day.

John

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 2009

You say you were told this 14 years ago. Am I to infer from this that you're 14 years out from treatment?
If so, that's pretty doggone inspiring. Heck, if I make it 14 years from now I'll be tickled pink -- not to mention 70 years old. By then I'll be whacking young whippersnappers with my cane and saying things like "by cracky."

--Jim in Delaware

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 700
Joined: Jan 2010

By Cracky (I term I am now going to try to throw into EVERY possible conversation) 4 months was the magic number for me. It was a very noticeable improvement in ability to eat real food (to a degree) with a resultant increased energy..It is frustrating..
Thinking of you,
STacey

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I finished my treatment at the end of September '09, just in time for the cold weather and snow ;-( I was fatigued all winter and slept a lot. The nurse where I received the radiation told me to get outside and get some sun for at least 15 minutes per day. She also told me to try to get some type of mild exercise each day to regain my strength.

On days when it was sunny and not too cold I would try to walk for at least 15 minutes, some days I could do this..other days I couldn't. Finally in March '10 I was able to walk for at least a half hour each day and continued to lengthen my walks until I was able to walk 4 miles per day. LOL - unfortunately it's been a very hot and humid summer here in New Hampshire and I have not been able to continue my daily walks because of this (I have emphysema and lung cancer along with the laryngeal cancer) Since I have had to put my walks on hold I find that I am more tired and sleep much more than I was when I was walking. Fortunately it is almost fall here and I am hoping I will be able to start my daily walks soon and regain some of the muscles I lost during treatment.

I think that once you are able to eat more food and start a mild exercise routine you will start to fell some of your strength come back. As everyone has said...don't measure it by the day but weekly or monthly. You will soon feel your old self coming back ;-)

Try to be patient...it will get better.

My best to you,
Glenna

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

Yes, I am going to be 15 years come early January. I am 53 now. If you believe you can make it to 70 plus then you will make it. God Bless.

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

My dad is not yet 3 monthes out and he is still pretty tired. He tries to get a good walk in every day. It has been hot in Virgina this summer and he has been getting his exercise by going to the store every other day. It is a good 20-30 walk through the whole store.
His doctor told him that it would take 6 monthes to a year to get his energy back.

Hang in there, it will get better.

Kathy

johnlax38's picture
johnlax38
Posts: 136
Joined: Aug 2010

D-Byrd,

I'm still fatigued to all heck. I love to sleep, I never use to sleep now I feel like taking naps around 2 and 5. It's a weird feeling like I was out doing yard work and it just hits me. I am able to take short 15min walks at my own pace, but I limit my self greatly to what I do. I live in a town home and carrying laundry from the basement to the third floor is a challenge for me still. I can do it but it takes a lot out of me. I am almost two months out of rad treatment. Keep yourself well fed and your strength will build up slow. I wish I could press the easy button and have the energy I use to.

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 519
Joined: Feb 2010

I finished radiation March 30th of this year and I am still regaining strength. It all takes time and never happens as fast as we want it to. Tomorrow will be better than today. They told me recovery takes a year. I am just getting all my taste back. Matter of fact it is only about a month (beginning of August) since getting my taste for coffee back. Maybe thats why I am getting over the tired feeling.

Give it time

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