Fatigue and cancer treatment

Posted by Nancy, Volunteer Mentor @1nan, Sep 20, 2019

It seems that fatigue has affected all aspects of life in the years I have had treatment for multiple myeloma. (Into 4th year.)The cancer causes fatigue, and all treatments list fatigue as most common side effect. My greatest challenge has been to manage time so fatigue doesn’t rule every day, and I wonder how others deal with it. My greatest strategy comes from recognizing that there is major difference between physical and mental fatigue. I have activities that are doable when physical fatigue limits what I do, like writing, mind games, or reading. But having physical energy doesn’t always mean I feel like quilting, baking, etc. I just feel lazy! How do you deal with your fatigue so you stay productive in a good way that keeps you happy?

@deirdrebrownw– I agree with you to do any physical activity in the AM even if you haven't slept that well or don't feel rested. Often times as I was recovering I napped but really didn't feel all that rested. This was after chemo and surgery. Fatigue does take a while to overcome so take advantage of any time you do feel rested.
Another thing that I do after an operation is to stand as straight as I can the first or second time that nurses get me up. It makes subsequent times much easier.
@1nan– How are you feeling now?

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@merpreb

@deirdrebrownw– I agree with you to do any physical activity in the AM even if you haven't slept that well or don't feel rested. Often times as I was recovering I napped but really didn't feel all that rested. This was after chemo and surgery. Fatigue does take a while to overcome so take advantage of any time you do feel rested.
Another thing that I do after an operation is to stand as straight as I can the first or second time that nurses get me up. It makes subsequent times much easier.
@1nan– How are you feeling now?

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Hi Merry. This has been the toughest thing I have had to deal with yet. Of the 3 prior cervical spinal fusions, one totally broke loose from poor bone quality and the cord was severely compromised. The second prior fusion had to be removed, and two surgeries, anterior and posterior, a week apart, resulted in fusions C2 to T2 and discectomy at C7-T1. The 10 inch incision down my back has healed beautifully and pain is getting more tolerable every day. I was off myeloma treatment 7 weeks, started back 2 weeks ago. That has caused some back sliding since I am still healing, but just some exaggerated side effects. I am so blessed that some severe problems were discovered and dealt with and I will come out of this better than before. One miraculous thing is that hard substance had formed on my spinal cord and had to be "chiseled" off the cord!!! This Thanksgiving we have so much that blesses us. I am getting stronger each week and have great hope for Christmas and moving into the new year. Add to that, we will have a new great grandchild in about 3 more weeks. I see lots of rocking and cuddles in my near future. Yes, we are more than blessed, and God has been present every step of the way. Gene, my husband, was my rock through it all. On December 1 we will celebrate our 57th Anniversary, and we couldn't be more grateful. When my Myeloma blood work showed miraculous leaps to remission while I was OFF treatment, I had replay in my head/heart, "Be still and know that I am God". There is nothing more to say. I hope others can find hope in my experience and know that we are never alone. That is the source of my forever peace. Thank you so much for thinking of me and asking. I am slowly following some conversations on Connect and love the work all of you are doing. Nancy

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