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Exhausted

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

I have been blessed to have had some time (1.5 years) to rest up before returning to work full-time following the end of treatment. In that time frame I became certified in mat Pilates and have been teaching about 6 hrs a week. About two months ago I went back to work in media sales management and sometimes I feel like crawling by 5:00 in the afternoon. Despite my diet and exercise my energy is ZAPPED. I don't have it in me to go to the grocery store or do much of anything in the evenings and it is taking a toll on enjoying much of anything, family included. This lack of energy, well, SUCKS. Hormones may be playing a role even after beginning bio-identical HRT. I feel old, for the first time in my life.

Tonight I'm having a pity party. Tomorrow is a new day.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Angela,

It's ok to have a pity party. Can I join in? Honestly, it us awful.

Your fatigue is probably not just age. I too am feeling severe fatigue and it is hard to explain to anyone who has not felt this way. For me, it is so much more than tired. Sometimes I feel like a wind up toy that has come to the end and I just cannot put one foot in front of the other. It ia like nothing I have ever felt before. I went back to work full time shortly after treatment for this cancer, and major surgery for another unrelated cancer. By 5 o'clock I could barely make it to the parking garage. I would make the commute home and literally crawl up the stairs, peel off my stockings and crash on the couch. Because I live alone, I often slept like that. I had to get up at 5 am to leave by 7:30 because I had to use the bathroom so often before I left for work. I lasted like that for 6 months until I just couldn't do it another day. Nobody at work knew that I had cancer, and I had no sick time, so nobody cut me any slack. I am not working now, but I have to find work very soon. I am so worried that I just don't have the energy to work anymore. I can barely keep up with cooking, cleaning, and paying bills etc. I go to the gym everyday, but instead of energizing me, I am wiped out after exercising. I don't know what the answer is to combat this kind of fatigue. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat or do. Wondering if this will get better. I have to make a living. I am only 60 and I wiped out my savings paying bills.

If anyone has any tips for combating fatigue, I would love to hear ithem.

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 502
Joined: Jun 2011

Can you find some pre-cooked meals that will satisfy yet be rather healthy, instead of cooking? My nutritionist recommended pre-made meals - up here in northern Massachusetts we have Arabic food - stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage, kibbe...it's pretty healthy and she told me about a store that has them pre-made. It eased things quite a bit.

The cleaning - neighborhood kids looking to make a few dollars?

I guess what I'm suggesting is to make life easier for yourself, for now anyway. I'm so sorry you're savings got wiped out - might make my suggestions hard to do. But figuring out priorities, doing only the things that Need to be done, might help in the long run.

'Crawling up the stairs' - sounds like you need some down-time.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I have had no choice but to let some things around the house go. I used to be a bit of a perfectionist ....not anymore. I have to be economical so I pretty much have to cook. I do try to keep a couple of Amy's organic meals in the freezer for days that I just cannot muster the energy to cook. I find the whole fatigue thing very tough to deal with because it is a big change for me. Now that I am not working, I cannot afford household help at all. I try to do one or two major housecleaniing task a day. Funny that you say you are from northern Mass. I used to live on the North
Shore! I was heading up that way the other day but had to turn around because i just wasn't feeling well enough. Are the leaves at peak up there?

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 502
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi - Yes, the leaves are as about as peak as peak can be. We've got two big trees right outside our front door. One is golden yellow and the other is a beautiful red-yellow - just gorgeous. Course winter is coming - but for today things are absolutely beautiful.
Stay well,
Rose

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am going to try to take a ride again this weekend. I love it up there this time of year!

Enjoy the beauty!

Mary

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2854
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm so sorry you are dealing with fatigue. I don't have any answers for you, but can only say that I, too, sometimes suffer from a real lack of energy. I don't know if it's just from the toll on my body from the treatment, hormonal/menopausal issues, or not being able to get a really good night's sleep--ever! I'm thinking it's a combination of all of them. May you have a better day today! Hugs!

z810840b's picture
z810840b
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

Ah to sleep once more..lack of energy.....hot flashes..... pelvic stiffness....on and on.........

shirlann54
Posts: 161
Joined: Aug 2011

It was 2 years ago today that i was told i had anal cancer.I have come a long way and getting better and better.But I'am like you'all i try to take care of myself i eat better foods i exericise . I dont work but cleaning and cooking going to the store any of that can wipe me out.I,m 58 i dont have the energy i had before treatments.Angela i have my pity partys too some time i want to cry .A few weeks ago i went to the store it was about 6:00 in the evening .I was so wiped out i didnt think i would make it to the car i had to set there and rest before i made the drive home 5 miles away .lol......Shirley

mxperry220
Posts: 357
Joined: Mar 2011

I too do not have the energy or stamina before treatment. I suspect the radiation has played a number on us but at least we are still standing on two feet versus the alternative. I try to walk 4-5 days a week for 30 minutes. I am retired so I do not have the pressures of work. I do not think emotionally I could handle work related stress at this point in my life. I have had to reevaluate my priorities. If I do no feel like doing something for a particular day I do not do it. This goes against my nature as before treatment I thought I had to have everything done for the day that was on my "to do" list. Now the "to do" list sometimes waits until tomorrow.
Mike

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 502
Joined: Jun 2011

It took me about a year and a half to get anywhere near back to my old energy level. Even at 4 years out, I still really have to pace myself or I end up spending a day or two just laying in bed. Pity parties are Very Important. Let yourself have one and you'll feel much better the next day. I call them 'Hermit Days'. Don't want to talk to anyone or do anything - and as much as possible, I let them happen. Life does have a way sometimes of interfering with those Hermit Days, but sometimes you just Really Need One.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Especially if it's raining. Perfect!

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Especially if it's raining. Perfect!

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

My granddaughter's high school drama class had a performance tonight and my granddaughter choreographed the dancing. It was only the fact that she really wanted me to see what she had accomplished that got me out that late. I literally had to drag myself! And it was at 7:00!!!! I'm super glad I went but am exhausted........

Social life? Ha..... Lunch with friends is about the best I can do.... Can't leave early and can't stay late! Lori

z810840b's picture
z810840b
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi angela..Please tell me more about the hormones..Do you feel a difference on them...is there danger taking them???Hugs..alyse

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

I gave my notice yesterday. After Cobra expires I can move forward without having to use employer group insurance and it isn't nearly as much of a financial burden as I had once thought.

Disappointed that I couldn't continue my beloved Pilates teaching, or jogging, or heavy weight training due to stenosis of the spine beginning at my C2 and running all the way down my back, I was upset and a little depressed when I took this sales mgmt job. WHAT was I thinking?

In searching insurance options yesterday, my broker, whose office has a STELLAR reputation in town, told me that she would bring me into her group of agents if I wanted to get my GROUP I insurance license again and continue to get licensed in life, and property & casualty. I could work my own hours. :) I think that suits me to a T. It just fell into my lap.

Soooo, no more pity party for me. And I slept in until 8:15 am! Wow! Thank you guys for reminding me that I'm not old and tired. I'm young and energized. But just not the energizer bunny. My cut-off time is just a little earlier than what it used to be!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2854
Joined: Jan 2010

As they say, things always work out like they're supposed to! I'm so happy that as one door closed for you, another one opened. You sound excited and I am very glad for that--I was a little worried about you! I'm glad you were able to sleep in this morning. For some reason, I did too! Here's hoping we both have a fabulous day! Hugs!

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Everything falls into place the way that it should. Faith never fails.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

You are really blessed to be able to quit your job. Good for you! Sounds like you are headed to a better quality of life and that is terrific!

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

The jury is still out on the safety of HRT. It got an enormously bad rap a few years ago when women with past hormonal cancer (such as breast) and HRT was shown to encourage a recurrance. As does soy, they say.

However, for those women who are low risk for breast cancers, HRT can be beneficial. I have a check up with my doctor next week to review what I have experienced. My sex life has improved. I still don't have the desire I used to have, but it's better than absolutely NONE, zilch. Not as many hot flashes but hot flashes weren't a main issue to begin with. I still have sleep problems and I'm still cranky. All of which may stem from lack of sleep.

I know that doesn't help much. Let me put it to you this way. I've improved from about a 1 to a 4. I would be happy at 6.

Blessings to you.
Angela

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2854
Joined: Jan 2010

You are headed in the right direction! Yay!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 744
Joined: May 2011

Oh Angela,

All the things you set your mind and heart to, the new jobs, etc. were really stressful. You are my hero. God bless you for putting yourself out there. Even a person with perfect health would feel stressed and tired. But us, with our history, well I don't even know how you visualized it, much less pulled it off for as long as you did.

I hope you can work your schedules where your naps come first.

I am having a hard time also since I have bronchial issues and asthma and have had to take antibiotics twice already this fall. I went for a CT scan with contrast yesterday since the Oncologist wanted to get a little better look at my lymph glands in my chest. This of course, freaked me out but I went and the test results should be back by Tuesday. But even if I didn't have these things going on, it sounds like reading all these posts, it is normal to have a time getting back to a full schedule. I am more bummed about my voice, which is suffering so much I resigned from my church job on Sunday (on Monday I changed my mind, which was fine with the Music Director, thank God). Also thank God the Otolaryngologist said the vocal chords are fine, just a lot of inflammation around them. It's my body's way of protecting them, I guess. He has great credentials. I feel lucky to have so many great doctors, if not so great for needing them in the first place:-)

It's a beautiful day outside but I am just going to watch TV and knit. I am having a wonderful time knitting. It is a great hobby to do when resting. I am also making many gifts and it is nice to think of those I love while resting.

Good luck with your new job. It sounds perfect.

Fondly,
Sandy

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 744
Joined: May 2011

Oh Angela,

All the things you set your mind and heart to, the new jobs, etc. were really stressful. You are my hero. God bless you for putting yourself out there. Even a person with perfect health would feel stressed and tired. But us, with our history, well I don't even know how you visualized it, much less pulled it off for as long as you did.

I hope you can work your schedules where your naps come first.

I am having a hard time also since I have bronchial issues and asthma and have had to take antibiotics twice already this fall. I went for a CT scan with contrast yesterday since the Oncologist wanted to get a little better look at my lymph glands in my chest. This of course, freaked me out but I went and the test results should be back by Tuesday. But even if I didn't have these things going on, it sounds like reading all these posts, it is normal to have a time getting back to a full schedule. I am more bummed about my voice, which is suffering so much I resigned from my church job on Sunday (on Monday I changed my mind, which was fine with the Music Director, thank God). Also thank God the Otolaryngologist said the vocal chords are fine, just a lot of inflammation around them. It's my body's way of protecting them, I guess. He has great credentials. I feel lucky to have so many great doctors, if not so great for needing them in the first place:-)

It's a beautiful day outside but I am just going to watch TV and knit. I am having a wonderful time knitting. It is a great hobby to do when resting. I am also making many gifts and it is nice to think of those I love while resting.

Good luck with your new job. It sounds perfect.

Fondly,
Sandy

7243
Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2011

Angela ... I too had a year off from work. I've been back now for a year and I'm just about 2 years post treatment. I'm still tired, but it's getting better! I hope the Bio-identical hormones help and your fatigue will get better. A bit of self pity is okay ... I had that same party this morning. Hang in there .... this too will pass. You're one of the strongest women on this site! Allow a bit of a down moment ....

Sending you support and love. xoxo

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