People often say they are tired but when you have cancer the tiredness or fatigue is different and in many cases can be one of the most debilitating side effects and can last a long time.
Cancer related fatigue can affect you physically, emotionally and mentally and doesn’t go away with rest or sleep and varies from person to person.
Everyday life can be hard work and you might not have the energy to cook, clean, bathe, go shopping or even get out of bed. You might not even feel up to a chat. Things that you used to find second nature or easy are now a task and can be hard work.
To be honest I have found things quite difficult over the last couple of months and for those of you who know me well I continue going until I have to stop – or my body stops me doing what I need or want to do! SO this happened in September and I had to take 3 weeks off work – something which I hate doing. I dont want people to think I am having a jolly (Raya had not long been born) or skiving as I dont like to let people down and I dont want to give in to Cancer – but sometimes I have no choice! I am not physically ill – like I dont have the flu, I am not throwing up etc but I was physically shattered and not in a good place psycologically. My oncologist ‘reminded’ me of my situation and he said to me that he doesnt know many people in my situation who still work full time and do what I do!! He also reminded me that if he needed to he would write to my occupational health to say that I should not be working if things got to a stage where he needed to intervene!! So it is all about that cliche ‘work/life balance’. Since then I have had time to reflect and evaluate.
It is important for me to be able to control this side of my life – when I work, what I do and how I do it. This is my normality and it is something that I can control. I cant control what the Cancer is doing but I sure as hell wont let it take control of my life – until I have no option – which I dont plan on doing for a long time to come! However I am constantly tired and sometimes end up in bed at 7:30 pm. Sometimes I really struggle to get out of bed, get dressed, or even speak to anyone and sometimes I just want to hide away. I am not as social as I once was and I think some friends have left me alone because of this. I sometimes feel incredibly lonely but I do as much as I can, as often as I can which is why I sometimes crash and burn!! So live life to the full – decide what and who is important to you – because you never know.
I am now off to bed!! I’m a tough cookie – apart from the Cancer – I am fine!! Good night all. xxx