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Tip of the week

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Coping with fatigue

Sue

Macmillan

Blog added 27 March 2017

Hi everyone,

My name is Sue, and in my 50th year I was diagnosed with tonsil and secondary lymph node cancer. Throughout 2013 I had a cocktail of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and had many of the side effects that accompany treatment, but today I’d like to talk about fatigue.

Here is Becky’s tip:

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I agree that “building back stamina and strength” does take time. Four and a half years on, I am still feeling the long-term effects of treatment, mainly bouts of extreme tiredness which come from nowhere and can last a day or more.

I’d say talk to your partners and friends, and don’t be scared to have a mid-morning or afternoon nap if you need it! Try to put yourself first (hard to do I know, I've tried), and remember it’s ok to let those who support you take over for a while.

I did not eat properly for over a year (I never want to see another tin of chicken soup again), but with the help of my mum, my trusty old food mixer, and my new juicer, I created smoothies and energy giving drinks, and began to take notice of my symptoms and tiredness.

Walking has also really helped. I set goals to walk further each day, to build up my strength and have small achievements I can be proud of. Going out for short drives to the countryside with my partner, armed with a flask of tea, or to a local beauty spot with a family member has been a great help.

Your GP will also listen. Mine is great and has helped no end, making sure my symptoms are just treatment fatigue, and not other issues like thyroid or vitamin levels.

Don't bottle up how you feel. Find the 'new you' and improve on it step by step. There is no ‘quick fix’ to life after cancer, but with the help of loved ones and the Macmillan Online Community I’ve found that I’m not alone, and that the better days are ahead.

Best wishes to you all.

Sue 

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