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Should I be so tired already?

cph1127's picture
cph1127
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi everyone. My question today is: Should I be so tired already? I started chemo on Monday and Radiation on Tuesday of this week.

I get up at 4:30 each morning and drive 35 miles to work. I have my tx at 1:00 in the afternoon and I have to drive 40 miles round trip for that. Get back to work and then drive back home again.

I was so tired this morning that I drifted on the road which scared the heck out of me. Also this morning I have no appetite at all.

I was not expecting these side effects until 2 or 3 weeks into treatment. I had also planned on working as long as I could but I am concerned about driving.

Thanks dear friends for your advice.

Cindy

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Cindy,

I don't think it is unusual for you to be tired already. You are being pumped with poison and going to radiation at the same time. This is pretty normal. On top of it all you are working. I would be extremely surprised if you weren't tired. I did not work during treatments and I know that I was exhausted right away. I was tired before I started because I had a lot of pain. It will get tougher as the treatments go on. You can do this and you will be surprised at how fast you start to heal after you are done. Hang in there and keep us posted.

Nancy

cph1127's picture
cph1127
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Nancy,

I know what you mean. I have been taking pain meds for about 2 months now and they are going to have to increase the dosage soon. I have learned not to let it get out of control but it does contribute to the "tired factor".

I just needed to know that I was not being a cry baby since I just started this. I will work as long as I think I can and then I will take family leave.

27:28 Hours of chemo left and then I should be free of it for a month. :) hurray It really has not been to bad. I have it very easy compared to others.

Thanks and have a great day!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1272
Joined: May 2009

Hello, I didn't work at all throught tx, and yes the chemo will make you tired. You are certainly not a cry baby. I did lose 25 lbs during tx because the chemo made my appeitite go away. Of course, unfortunatley, I gained it all back. I was about 40 lbs overweight when I started tx. I was able to use fmla also. Please take care of yourself and I wish you could rest when you needed to. Now after the chemo is taken off, probably in a few days you'll get some energy back and your appetite will return some. The effects of the radiation is cumulative and your right by the 3rd week that will be making you tired. I know I was so happy to get the pump off. I wish you well, and keep us posted. Lori

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

Thanksgiving week 2010 I began my first week of treatment and remember trying to stay as normal as possible. I walked 13 or more blocks from my hotel to a salon with my pump in a shoulder purse to get my hair cut and on the way back I had to sit down and rest on the steps of hotel! I was so surprised. On another day that week I went to a local mall to do some Christmas shopping and became exhausted within 20 minutes just walking around Dillard's.

Thankfully, I didn't have to take prescription pain meds until the fifth week of treatment. But being tired was an on-going side effect through treatment and for few weeks following.

Rest. Listen to your body. I tried to get in some kind of physical activity, usually in the mornings right before my 8:00am radiation treatments because I felt SOOOO good in the mornings. By lunch I was pooped. :)

You're going to have great days and then you are going to have cry-baby days. Expect them and embrace them and know it's just part of the journey. We're here for you.

Blessings abound!

Angela

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Another thing to remember is that you're under a LOT of stress. First the diagnosis, then the treatment prep, now the treatment itself - heck, just the knowledge that it's cancer, that ALONE - ALL of this will cause stress, and that can make you tired too. Just reading about the traveling you're doing is making me tired :)

If I hadn't been so close to my treatment center and had someone who drove me back and forth, I would have definitely stopped working and concentrated strictly on what's going on in my body and in my mind. As is was, I cut back after four weeks.

Take care of YOU.

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

Not only are you having treatments but you have just completed the most emotional "roller coaster ride" in your life dealing with the tests, meeting with doctors and coping with the Big "C" news and working. I remember well what it was like and I did not work. It was all I could do is get up and be at my appointment by 10 A.M. each day for radiation for the 6 weeks and chemo. Remember it will get much better in a few months.

Hope this helps.

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

I drank a bottle of ENSURE each morning. It has a lot of vitamins and minerals in it. It does not taste bad. I also ate toasted cheese sandwiches, dill pickles, and ice cream. That was about it but I handled all this food fine. No nausea.

cph1127's picture
cph1127
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

Yesterday was my worse day so far. I had really bad cramping and got sick on top of it but mother nature finally had her way and I rested and today I feel alot better.

I have always loved my coffee in the morning but can't do it now. I switched to a smoothie this morning and I am getting it down slowly.

I have gone over the edge though. I am driving to work this morning and looked in the rear view mirror and noticed that I do not have my makeup on. Not even my lipstick. So I think to myself, Oh well it is what it is. It is amazing how things change.

Get the pump off today........YEA

Love my earthbound angels for talking to me and being there for me. Have a great day! :)

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3114
Joined: Jan 2010

I know you will be so glad to get rid of that thing! Fatigue was a real problem for me and began on about day 2 of treatment. You have to just go with flow on that--if your body tells you it needs rest, then you should rest. I also think the fatigue is somewhat due to all the stress we go through prior to treatment--I know I had a lot of sleepless nights before I ever started chemo/rad. It all catches up with you sooner or later. As for not wearing makeup, I wouldn't sweat that at all! I didn't apply one bit of makeup the whole time I got treatment, as I couldn't have cared less how I looked when I felt so bad. As far as I know, no one passed out because I looked "scary!" Have a restful weekend!

cph1127's picture
cph1127
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

Thanks and you have a Happy 4th

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

I am happy you are getting your pump off. I hope that you will be able to enjoy your weekend a little and relax. Hang in there you are going to be fine!!!!

Nancy

z's picture
z
Posts: 1272
Joined: May 2009

Hello, Just the fact of getting the pump off made my entire well being improve. The psychological side effets of this tx is just as stressful as the physical side effects.

Martha you are so funny, I didn't wear make up either, but fortunately for my co workers I didn't have to work through tx.

Lori

Captain11
Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 2011

Glad to hear you are getting your pump off today... Please rest when your body tells you to. I drove a lot for my job, so I started taking FMLA when I started my treatments... Please don't drive while you are on your meds... I get nervous when I hear of people on the road when they don't feel well, (you don't need an accident). Don't worry about the make-up... People are going to see a beautiful, strong, brave woman... and that doesn't require makeup at all... Keep us posted... Have a good holiday weekend... Use sunscreen... We are all here for you and for each other. God bless

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

The nutritionist at Sloan suggested the act same thing about Ensure. I'm going to get some next time out.

suzynanny
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2011

I am extremely tired. My second week ends today. I wonder how in the world I am going to make it six weeks. Hopefully yours goes better than mine has. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

You'll make it one day at a time. Every night we need to say a cheer! We finished another day!

Of course, I haven't started my treatments yet so it's easy for me to say. But I want to try to see each day as a victory. One day crossed off the calendar and not think past that for that day. It's too much.

I am afraid of having my first radiation treatment and getting my pump. Overall I'm afraid of the whole thing. Your sharing helps me. Please keep sharing. You are in my prayers big time.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

You are making me tired just listening to all you are trying to do while going through this. You are what you are and you sound exhausted. Please rest. Cancer fighting is really a full time job you owe it to yourself to do full time or at least put first in your life.

At least that's where I stand. I closed down shop when I got diagnosed but I was in such pain I was getting so I couldn't drive anyway. I realized in November the pain had become disabling and I was a danger to myself and others. I didn't realize why though until I was diagnosed in May. I thought it was raging fybromyalgia and some of it may have been. The treatments don't affect everyone the same way and you can't hold yourself up to some impossible standard that isn't you. Maybe you can work from home? The drive is too much. It's not safe for you any more. Everything is going to be all right. It's just for a while and you'll be back to work full time again. Please try to not do that drive any more. I hate thinking about you that tired and driving.

cph1127's picture
cph1127
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Everyone,

Hope everyone had a great 4th. It is amazing how just getting the pump off helped. I have my appitite back a little so I am eating and drinking again.

After Thursday nights cramping I had some diarrea Friday, (all over myself :( ), what a mess, oh well I did what my doctor told me to do and all is good so far. Actually a decent bowel movement everday which is very unusally for me. I don't mean to be so graphic but I figure there will be newbies out there and they need to know what to expect. My doctor told me that I would battle this throughout my treatment.

I got up Saturaday morning and my mouth was sore and Sunday morning I realized that I have thrush. Called my doctor after church, he gave me his personal cell phone number, and he said he would call in the meds. No pharm in our city had it on hand so we got on the phone and found it 95 miles away so off we went at 6:30 PM Sunday night to get it. Crazy but my husband said that I was worth it. AHHHHHHHH <3 Has anyone every taken the med for thrush that is a pill that you stick between your gum and check? IT is weird. Well I do not think I am any worse but I don't know if I am any better. Been rinsing with soda and salt solutions.

Praise report that I have not had a pain pill since Saturday. Not even a tylenol. I am sure that by the end of the week I will need them again since my radiation starts today and continues for 5 weeks.

As we all say ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!!!! Love you all Cindy ps Have makeup on today!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3114
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks for updating us--glad you are rid of the pump and feeling somewhat better. Diarrhea and accidents were something I had to deal with. Sometimes I just couldn't make it to the bathroom in time. This is only temporary, so don't let it get you down. I'm not sure what your doc prescribed for the thrush, but it must be a magic pill since you had to drive so far to get it! I had the "Magic Mouthwash" for mine, which is a foul tasting solution mixed by a pharmacist, that you swish and swallow. I hope your magic pills do the trick! Good news on the pain front, but keep those pain pills nearby and don't be afraid to take them like I was! Have a good week and keep us posted.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

I had thrush last week before even starting treatment. The doctor says it still looks like there is a little spot left and to save my swish and swallow which like you said is odd. I almost alway forgot and spit it out but remembered just in time to swallow.

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

You made it! On week down. I know getting the pump off is a relief. I found the final week I had to wear the pump it wasn't near as intrusive for me as the first. Hopefully it will be that way for you!

I didn't have much of mouth sores so I can't offer you a whole lot there. Thinking about you as you take on this second week. Let us know how you are progressing.

Angela

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

You made it! One week down. I know getting the pump off is a relief. I found the final week I had to wear the pump it wasn't near as intrusive for me as the first. Hopefully it will be that way for you!

I didn't have much of mouth sores so I can't offer you a whole lot there. Thinking about you as you take on this second week. Let us know how you are progressing.

Angela

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

Keep up the good reporting. We are all about bowel movements here:-)

melbas2
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2010

Hey CPH, I know all too well what pain and embarrassment that causes. I go from my house to my sisters house...who keeps supplies there for me. It got so bad I couldn't go to the grocery store or anywhere for fear of having an accident.I'm 9 months out of radiation and still battle it. go buy the depends. Panti Liners only work for mild incidents. My surgeon kept putting me on creams and such which weren't working. I went in today and had a port installed and since I was already out, he checked back there too. Apparently I had a hole deep inside me that was collecting feces...yuck, which was preventing me from healing. So he cleaned me up, gace me a couple ofd inside stitches and my ass hasn;t felt so good since before May of 2010. Ask your surgeon about this. I'm finally staring to see some hope that it will heal. I hope this helps u. Melodie

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