CSN Login
Members Online: 15

Constant fatigue

Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2010

It's been 9 yrs. for me since I have dealt with radiation and chemo.

However since then, I am so fatigued to this day all I want to do is sleep. I can take a dozen naps and still don't feel refreshed.

Is this normal? Is anyone else going through this? If so, what can I do about it? It's making me crazy!!!

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi BM,

Sorry to hear you have had this terrible fatigue going for so long. I suffered htis pre 'C' and then of course it came back with a vengence after treatment last year.

There is a long list of things that could be the cuase of your fatigue. Rads and Chemo mess up your system quite badly. You could have digestion / absorbtion issues where nutrition is not getting through as it should. It could be related to one or more of your vital organs not running 100% esp Liver and kidneys.

I would ssek professional help. I found Doctors didn't really have a reason or a solution and just scratched their heads. I then sought advice from Naturopaths and that worked for me. There has been some discussion on this board about taking Antioxidants and other supplements along with proper nutrition to get your body working again. You might want to look further into some of the avenues. My recent change in diet and selection or supplements has done wonders for me. getting Cancer was my wake up call.Pls PM me if you want more detail information.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8264
Joined: Sep 2009

Have they ever tested your thyroid or tested it recently....If you had radiation to the head & neck, the thyroid takes a big hit. Usually or at least it's not uncommon to have damage to the point of eventaully needing to take thyroid meds....

Might be something to have checked if they haven't for awhile.


Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2010

Saw my Dr. today and got the results of my bloodwork.

I have Hypothyroidism. So today I will be getting my meds. Will these meds be a life long thing?

For my memory problems, I'm shocked I remembered to tell my dr. about having my thyroid checked! LOL!!!

Thanks again, everyone! <3 <3 <3

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009


I developed hypothyroidism with my pregnancy - docs assured me I'd have to be on meds for life. I was rotten at taking meds, and kept going off of them. The good news is that my TSH levels are normal now - have been for years - no meds (knocking wood - I know many have thyroid issues after treatment).

I do want to warn you to get ready to feel MUCH better. I was amazed at what a difference the meds made at first. Then I guess my levels improved, and I quit noticing a difference when I missed my medication, so I started not taking the meds intentionally. Hindsight - don't go off your meds, no matter how good you feel. Your docs will monitor your levels, and tell you how you're faring.

I, too, suffer from fatigue now - but it's only occasional for me, luckily.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8264
Joined: Sep 2009

Well, good and bad...

At least they seem to have a handle on your fatigue, unfortunately, yes, I think the meds will be a way of life.


MarineE5's picture
Posts: 812
Joined: Dec 2005


I agree with Scam and John. The radaition changes our DNA in the radiated area. Also the radiation causes fatigue. I just recently started on Thyroid medicine as I noticed more fatigue then normal for me. We also can become anemic and require more iron in our daily diet.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

charles55's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: Aug 2010

I agree with the thyroid atrophy that makes you need a synthetic thryroid supplement. But don't forget breathing as a possibility. Oral/throat scarring from radiation forms and reforms over many years, per my ENT. Can anyone around you speak to if you are having sleep apnea (snoring where you stop breathing for a bit)? It can be interrupting your sleep cycles and, at the same time, dropping your O2 saturation down to low levels. Then we run into cardiac and stroke issues long term. I hope you are sharing your problem with your doctor.

Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2010

I was checked for sleep apnea a few years ago and was told I didn't have it. My bf thinks otherwise. My sleep schedule is so messed up-there are times when I get up in the middle of the night and eat a bowl of cereal without remembering doing it LOL! Until I see the cereal bowl on the floor..xD

I will talk to my Dr. when I see him on the 16th of this month. I have to go for my annual wellness check (yippee....)and see if he can test my thyroid and iron levels.

Thanks everyone for your replies-everyone here is so awesome! Woot!

fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

I was extremely fatigued for many years, approx. 10 years. Dr. sent me to be tested for sleep apnea and it showed I had a slight problem. I visited with another ent with sleep apnea and radiation history. He did not feel I had sleep apnea. So I used the machine for 18 months with no change in fatigue. I stopped using the machine.

At 12 years post treatment during a biopsy on voice box they found I had major damage do to radiation in the airway. The installed a trach. The very next day in the hospital when i was more awake I could feel my lungs working much easier. It has helped now for the last 2 plus years.

About 12 months ago, my GP saw my hemoglobin had been up some over the last plus years that he was tracking. This lead to a couple other new doctor appointments to make a long story short. They decided to put me on oxygen while I sleep, it is easy to use. This has made some added difference. I do not take as many naps and naps in evening before going to bed as I had 1 year ago. Not saying this is the answer just sharing what they have done for me.

I am not 14 years post treatment and thankful to be alive.

I personally believe radiation and chemo somehow changes your system that the doctors have no way of knowing or treating. I call it Radmo! It also in my opinion takes away your memory and focus.

I hope you can find a solution that helps you. I pray that some researcher/doctor figures how to help all those with fatigue problems.


dennis318's picture
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

It someone has the cure, please let me know, I have asked all my doctors, we tried Vitamin shots, pills, etc.... I hear the alarm go off after a good nights sleep and don't want to enter the shower, and get dressed, it seems like the toughest job in the world to get this done, getting to work, and it's only 4 hours, my body goes down unless I push it to the limit, it has to have a nap. I have another problem, my body is not retaining weight, i lost 8 lbs of the 18 I gained, the 30 waist low rise jeans are a real trend setter, lol, but for a 52 year old....I had to re adjust my wardrobe to get things to fit..small..was never in my volcabulary, I 've gone threw ensure and malts, plus protein, I am up constantly threw out the night using the bathroom..from once a night to 6-8, i feel this is not normal, I'm drinking water etc, but it goes right back out..Anyone else besides the fatigue, please chime in. thanks Dennis

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2015 © Cancer Survivors Network