When you are prescribed radiation therapy as your cancer treatment, your doctor will provide you with a list of possible side effects. Symptoms you may feel are things like diarrhea, hair loss, nausea and what people feel the most after radiation is fatigue. Those going through radiation therapy do experience it more frequently and often very chronically.
- Feeling tired or lethargic throughout the day
- Reduced energy
- Reduced motivation
- Reduced concentration
For example, walking from the parking lot to your office may take longer. Fatigue can be extremely frustrating because you are not quite sleepy, but you will have very little energy. Everyone handles fatigue differently so keep in mind through out your weeks of treatment it can vary. Your fatigue may increase over time as you undergo more radiation therapy treatments.
5 Tips to Help Cope with Fatigue
Here are 5 things you can do to help cope with the fatigue.
There are many things you can do to help cope with cancer fatigue:
1. Ask others for help. It’s completely okay to ask for help whenever you need it and be sure to accept the help whenever its given! Pushing yourself when you are already exhausted can cause more damage.
2. Sleep. It’s very important to get enough sleep and if you are having restless nights then try to nap less during the day.
3. Rest. It’s very important for you to listen to your body and to rest whenever you need to.
4. Hydration. Many people forget that dehydration is huge cause of fatigue. Be sure to drink enough water through out the day and eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content. Big tip: If you are feel sick then be sure to drink room temperature water. Avoid caffeinated drinks.
5. Exercise when can. Studies have shown those suffering from cancer can get more energy whenever they can exercise. Remember, it doesn’t have to be intense! Exercise can be a short walk, swimming or yoga.
Many patients do not understand the severity of fatigue and do not discuss it with their doctors. There can be underlying medical reasons for fatigue so be sure to address any symptoms you are feeling.