late onset of fatigue after rad complete

e_hope Member Posts: 370
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Has anyone else experience late onset of extreme fatigue after their rad was done?

I did 7 weeks of radiation.. (had 5 months of chemo prior) and felt fairly good during ALL my rad treatments. a little tired by the end of the day but nothing to bad.

finished rad on Monday. and starting yesterday I am extremely tired, the tired that makes your body hurt. I even feel asleep yesterday in the middle of the day as so as I sat down. I am so tired I am starting to get cranky..

Just curious if anyone else had this.. I was thinking I was in the clear of rad fatigue..


  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    yes, it is normal
    yes it is very normal. Take everything easy, do not put any pressure. If you can take a nap and rest in the middle of the day you will feel much better. Full recovery could take from 6 to 12 months. I know you have three small children, but please find a time for yourself. Good nutrition also is very important.

    Take care of yourself.
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    It's perfectly normal according to my radiation oncologist......The effects of radiation are cumulative, just like chemo.....We continue to "cook" for several weeks, I was told..I finished one week ago.....I did really well DURING the 6 1/2 weeks...started feeling tired the 4th week....Some days now I feel fine and other days, it's like.......I HAVE TO LAY DOWN AND SLEEP or I am going to fall over.........or at least get off my feet and rest....I was told that I should notice a big difference about 7 weeks AFTER treatment ended....but that some people, it can take a full year to regain the energy they once had....especially if they had chemo before rads, which I did, like you....I have found that on the days I feel great, are the days that I do more than usual......the days I just kind of veg out, are the days I feel really tired.... I think we all have to find what works for us......
    I wish you well......
  • terpsi
    terpsi Member Posts: 33
    after effects of radiation
    You've already gotten replies to let you know this is a common occurrence. As my radonc told me, the effects are cumulative. She said, Don't expect that when you finish, you'll stop feeling the fatigue and the other side effects. They are cumulative and can last several weeks after your last treatment.

    I can confirm that personally. When I had radiation the first time around (2004 for original BC diagnosis), I had it after intense chemo. I remember being so tired I could barely get through the day.

    This time (March 2009) I got it following my surgery and before my chemo. I was falling asleep practically standing up, and the burn on my back didn't improve for quite a while. I just know that the fatigue from radiation is the deepest kind of exhaustion I have ever felt.

    Advice? Be kind to yourself and go with the need to nap, sleep, relax and rest your body as much as it needs it. And, of course, drink lots of water and fluids. If you have radiation burn, continue to treat the skin as directed by your radonc and advice you've seen here from the wonderful support group of BC sisters.

    donna peach