Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Dealing with extreme fatigue after completing active treatment

Options
Maura1
Maura1 Member Posts: 12

I am now about 6 months out from completing active treatment (surgery, chemo, radiation), and now just continuing with Zoladex (goserelin) injections for the next 5-10 years for medically induced menopause. I was hoping that by now I would start to notice some improvement in energy level, but it anything I find it is getting worse. I find that the fatigue makes it difficult to concentrate and makes it tremendously difficult to make it through the work day. I have been continuing to exercise regularly and eat healthy in hopes that it might be helping some, but nothing seems to be helping. Does anyone have any tips on how they manage with the fatigue?

Comments

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
    edited June 2022
    Options
    It took me about a year before I finally started feeling more like myself again. Your body is still recovering! It might help to cut back on the exercise a little and see if that helps.
  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 151
    edited June 2022
    Options

    i experienced extreme fatigue as well. Some days I nap. Most days I’m in bed by 8 pm. Not asleep. But reading and watching tv. I’m up by 6. I just need that much time in bed every night. I exercise 5 days a week. I’m a little over a year out from diagnosis and treatment. Make sure you are getting lots of protein at each meal and lots of water.

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
    edited June 2022
    Options

    Hello--I'm similar with being about 6 months out. I'm tired too, and hurt all over. It's hard to exercise, and chemo brain is real.

  • Maura1
    Maura1 Member Posts: 12
    edited June 2022
    Options

    Parakeets, that's encouraging to hear that around the year mark you started feeling better!

    Monarch, I too spend most of my time that I'm not at work in bed. It's so frustrating to not have the energy to do the things I want to be able to do. I also try and exercise a few days per week. I used to work out 5-6 days per week pre-diagnosis, so I've been trying to slowly get back into it. I was a powerlifter, so it's been pretty discouraging to see the dramatic loss of strength and having to take it extra slow due to some mild issues with lymphedema.

    gb2115, I know! Chemo brain is definitely still an issue for me too, I think that the fatigue makes it even worse. It's definitely a struggle to exercise, but I have been trying my best to work out at least 3-4 days per week because I know it's supposed to help with the fatigue and cognition, but the lack of energy and achiness really makes it less enjoyable than it used to be for me.

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658
    edited June 2022
    Options

    maura1:

    It took quite a while for me to recover my energy levels after treatment. Chemotherapy left me severely anemic and fatigued and each surgery, the mastectomy and exchange surgery, wiped out the miniscule progress I had made as far as the anemia and energy went and put me back to square one. It took about 8 months after my final chemo infusion for me to feel like I was on the cusp of recovery and I didn't really feel like I had neared my normal pre chemo energy level until I was over a year out. I just tried to get enough rest and nutrition and gave myself time to recover.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,940
    edited June 2022
    Options

    I once read that however long you were in 'active treatment', it will take that much time to feel 'normal' again. My experience was it took double that time. Even though I exercised religiously (which I think is extremely important), and felt better and better the further out I was from chemo and radiation, it took me 2 full years to feel completely normal and like I could actually start moving forward again.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 336
    edited June 2022
    Options

    ruthbru, I really appreciate you sharing how long it took you to recover. With one more TC treatment ahead, and in my crappy days post Treatment 3, I find myself wondering if I'll ever be truly energetic again. Intellectually I know I will. Hearing it will take some time is encouraging, especially from someone whose activity is so aspirational to me right now.

    I asked my MO before my treatment last Wednesday about my extreme fatigue. She said to just listen to my body and rest when I need to. Hearing that helped too.

    When my mom died a year ago, hospice described the body as a machine. Hers was breaking down. Mine is in treatment. Different recommendations, but after my chemo and upcoming radiation overhaul, I'll need a new break in period before I get to push it all out on an appropriate race course. And that's ok.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,940
    edited June 2022
    Options

    It's not a race......and you will find slowly building back up will be more productive than trying to push yourself. I think consistency in the main thing.

  • mpetago
    mpetago Member Posts: 54
    edited June 2022
    Options

    For me, I would say that it was about a year after treatment before I felt somewhat normal as far as energy levels, but now that I'm in natural perimenopause the fatigue is back with a vengeance. It's estrogen depletion, the vast majority of the side effects we have following active treatment and while on hormone blockers are from that more than anything else from what I'm learning. Some women have had success with different anti depressants, or are able to get through it by other means. Many women say that HRT makes the biggest difference, but most are not willing to try that option based on what we've been told as far as recurrence risks.

  • odyssey305
    odyssey305 Member Posts: 37
    edited June 2022
    Options

    I didn’t experience extreme fatigue until I had my ovaries removed+hysterectomy at the end of April. None of my other treatments for BC came close to kicking my ass like surgical menopause. My problem is 100% hardcore insomnia, and after trying so many different things, my MO finally prescribed trazadone. I just started taking it so I’m hoping after I adjust, it will help. All that to say, if you haven’t brought this up to your doctor, you may want to consider it, especially if you’re not getting enough deep sleep at night. Another thing that’s worked for me is taking cat naps, or at least being horizontal for 30-60 minutes. I know this sounds obvious but i had to give myself permission to napsince I’m a go-go-go type person. I love the body as a machine metaphor and I use naps to recharge between tasks. Today at work I sacrificed eating lunch for a nap, and although that’s not great either, at least it got me through an afternoon meeting that took way too long. Our bodies have been through a serious trauma, and it takes time to heal and fully recover, but we WILL get there. Take care!

  • jrnj
    jrnj Member Posts: 407
    edited June 2022
    Options

    I’ve dealt with insomnia my whole life. I was on sleeping pills for years. I slept ok during active treatment and after surgery. It’s the AIs that are killing me along with ovary removal. I stopped taking sleeping pills in January they weren’t working anymore. I wake up every 2 hours don’t get a solid deep sleep and am miserable all the time. When I take a med break I feel like my old self

  • Christinag53
    Christinag53 Member Posts: 17
    edited July 2022
    Options

    Sorry, no tips. I’m having the same problem. Glad I’m not alone. My bloodwork is normal. My doctor didn’t really have an explanation for it which makes me feel crazy