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Topic: Is this why I feel more tired than I used to?

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Oct 17, 2019 08:15PM

Dixie02 wrote:

Hey, all. I was told on Friday that I have breast cancer. I have an MRI on the 22nd., and I meet with my doctor on the 25th to discuss treatment. My mind is racing. I'm hoping some of you can answer some questions. Would breast cancer be the cause of me being more tired than usual? I've always been an energetic person, but I've been feeling much more lazy than ever before. A couple of months this year I've wondered if I was borderline anemic. Could depleted energy be the effect of cancer? Or am I just getting old? :)

Also, would breast cancer have an effect on my menstrual cycle? My cycle has always been regular until this year. I did have my first period at a younger age than others, so perhaps that's just an age thing as well.

How does breast cancer make you feel? Or does it generally have no effect?

Dx 10/11/2019, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/10/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/2/2020 Adriamycin (doxorubicin)
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Oct 17, 2019 08:27PM TB90 wrote:

Dixie02: We should start a thread on the symptoms we had as soon as being diagnosed with cancer. Every ache, pain, headache and other symptom is suddenly enhanced and an indicator of advanced disease. I had horrible headaches and remember being prepped for my mastectomy and wishing that all I had to deal with was breast cancer. I was convinced I had brain cancer too. We all have these stories and experiences. Wish I could convince you and bring you relief now. But it is a process we all have to go through.

Dx 11/28/2013, DCIS, Grade 2 Surgery 12/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/20/2014 Breast
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Oct 17, 2019 09:22PM MichelleW wrote:

Dixie02 - I remember being very tired before being diagnosed, but I generally have low energy level. Stress is a very strong energy zapper. I think I knew subconsciously even before having the abnormal mammo and US that something was wrong. The diagnosis and waiting for biopsy results, etc completely drained me. So your low energy could be due to worry. I also had pains in my breast, kind of sharp and even under my arm. Try to get extra sleep if you can...I know everyone says it but exercise really does help, especially being outdoors. I remember feeling better after going for a walk, a quick bike ride, etc.

TB90 - do you remember when the headaches went away? were they due to stress?

Dx 2016, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+ Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Oct 17, 2019 09:33PM AliceBastable wrote:

I felt great last year, better than I'd felt in years. I had lost quite a bit of weight, and assumed that's why I felt good. Then the breast cancer was found, and right before surgery, another type of cancer (which partially accounted for the weight loss). Even with a lumpectomy, re-excision, and a nephrectomy in a three-month span, I felt mostly really good once I was past the initial surgical recovery. This year, I'm technically healthy but I feel like crap. I think it's the Tamoxifen.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 17, 2019 10:26PM DATNY wrote:

Yes, fatigue is the most common symptom of cancer.

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Oct 17, 2019 10:52PM Dixie02 wrote:

Oh, I didn't explain myself well enough. I was feeling tired before the diagnosis. So much so that I thought my iron levels were low, or my age was finally catching up with me. I suppose I was wondering if I would feel more like my old self once I beat this, or if breast cancer has no effect on me in that capacity.

MichelleW, I too feel pain where my lump is located. I stopped googling my symptoms because I'm still in the beginning phase of not knowing everything yet.

Dx 10/11/2019, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/10/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/2/2020 Adriamycin (doxorubicin)
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Oct 17, 2019 11:13PM TB90 wrote:

Michelle: The headaches went away when I stopped worrying about them. Might have been weeks later though. When I get a symptom that I worry about, the symptom intensifies until I stop worrying about it. It starts off being physiological and then becomes psychological. This has happened since BC. How many of us feel better instantly after getting a clear scan or whatever. This is torturous for those of us who are anxious. I have fought this my entire adult life. Different from hypochondria as I am easily reassured by specialists. I overcame this until BC reminded me of my vulnerability. Hugs to all of us.

Dx 11/28/2013, DCIS, Grade 2 Surgery 12/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/20/2014 Breast
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Oct 18, 2019 12:40AM rrshannon wrote:

Both times I was diagnosed I had more energy than other tomes in my life. In fact right before I was diagnosed this last time i was feeling the best I had in 3 years of dealing with back issues.

BRCA Negative. Dx 7/2/2003, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2003 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/23/2003 AC Radiation Therapy 10/30/2003 Dx 12/11/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 1/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 5/10/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 6/16/2019 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/22/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Saline implant
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Oct 18, 2019 02:04AM SondraF wrote:

Looking back to last fall I was starting to feel very tired and worn down, and depression was creeping up. I thought it was due to not recovering from work stress/not having a vacation for some time/living in a stressful city. But I was fine when we did go on vacation a few months later. Then back to a really stressful six months at work and then exhaustion over the summer. Thought I was just getting older and needed a new job but hey, guess it was cancer. Makes a lot more sense now.

Im just coming to the end of the diagnosis whirlwind and through the breakdown crying jags, getting to appointments, and stress of the unknown I've been dead tired. But I realized that and cut myself some slack, noted the time periods when I was most vulnerable to being upset (and planned for distraction or a short pity party), and learned how to measure out my energy levels to get through it.

Dx 9/27/2019, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 11/29/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Oct 18, 2019 05:02AM Rah2464 wrote:

Unusual fatigue is one of the symptoms that pushed me to get diagnosed. My fatigue is different now but I believe primarily due to the Tamoxifen I take. I definitely have bursts of energy that come through. As another poster said exercise does help mitigate some of the medication and treatment side effects. Your body is working very hard to defend itself, makes sense that some of that fatigue is related to that energy process. Sorry you are having to join us - take one appointment at a time, one step at a time. Rest when you need to. Hugs

Dx 5/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/27/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 7/27/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 18, 2019 07:10AM MountainMia wrote:

Dixie, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Yes, it's pretty mind-blowing, so be gentle on yourself as you're going through these first weeks of diagnosis and getting a treatment plan.

Yes, I was extra tired prior to my diagnosis. I had a minor illness in 2014 that was a few months to resolve, and remember how tired I was. Early this year prior to my diagnosis I mentioned to my husband more than once that I wondered if something was wrong with me, it reminded me of 2014.

While I believe my tiredness was related to the cancer, I also know there's no way to tell for sure.

Good luck. We are here to support you.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Oct 18, 2019 07:22AM Ingerp wrote:

I gotta say I had zero symptoms with BC--no pain, no fatigue, . . . . It seems like hormonal changes might be a more likely reason for what you're experiencing. I don't know how old you are, but perimenopause can go on for 10 years, and getting older comes with a host of not-great physical changes.

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast

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