Coping with Cancer Fatigue During The Holidays
What is cancer fatigue?
Cancer fatigue is different from normal tiredness as it doesn’t always go away with rest. It can be severe and distressing for some.
What are the symptoms?
Fatigue affects people with cancer in many different ways. Some of the common symptoms are:
- Having little or no energy
- Muscle ache, pain, or weakness
- Trouble concentrating
- Not able to carry out daily tasks
What causes fatigue?
Fatigue can happen because of cancer itself, side effects of treatment, poor eating habits due to changes in appetite, sleeping problems, stress and mood changes, and lack of physical activity.
How long does it last?
Fatigue can last throughout cancer treatment and for some time after treatment is completed. Energy levels gradually improve over time and most people feel better about 6 months after treatment ends.
How can I manage fatigue during the holiday season with my chemotherapy/radiotherapy sessions?
Tips for managing fatigue:
- Pace yourself: Attend one thing at a time. Include regular short breaks throughout the day. Rest when you need to.
- Eat a balanced meal & drink plenty of water. Keep yourself hydrated.
- Get Help: Get someone to do house chores/ cleaning or even help with grocery shopping.
- Be Physically Active: Discuss with your doctor safe exercises that you can do based on your condition.
- Try Relaxation and Meditation techniques: Can help to relieve stress and anxiety that can contribute to fatigue.
- Be Positive – Remember: Fatigue usually gets better over time.
by Dr. Ina Shaliny A/P Duraisamy, Consultant Clinical Oncologist