Thursday, January 16, 2014

Exhausted

I have one more day of radiation this week to be able to say that I have completed one week of radiation.  I'm exhausted.  Completely exhausted.  Towards the end of the day, I don't even want to move.

I'm proud of my body and the fight it is putting up.  It's hard on a body to have everything killed off.  Then it has to work hard to build it all back up.  Our bodies are completely amazing.

I was reading about fatigue in cancer patients last night.  I just have to plan on being tired and out of energy for several more months, but it sure gets old.  Here is some of what I read...
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Cancer-related fatigue is common in cancer patients. Fatigue is often confused with tiredness. Tiredness happens to everyone -- it's a feeling you expect after certain activities or at the end of the day. Usually, you know why you are tired and a good night's sleep solves the problem.

Fatigue is a daily lack of energy; an unusual or excessive whole-body tiredness not relieved by sleep. It can be acute (lasting a month or less) or chronic (lasting from one month to six months or longer). Fatigue can prevent you from functioning normally and impacts your quality of life.

The following cancer treatments are commonly associated with fatigue:
(I have to go through all three of these)
  • Chemotherapy. Any chemotherapy drug may cause fatigue. Patients frequently experience fatigue after several weeks of chemotherapy, but this varies among patients. In some patients, fatigue lasts a few days, while others say the problem persists throughout the course of treatment and even after the treatment is complete.
  • Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can cause cumulative fatigue (fatigue that increases over time). This can occur regardless of the treatment site. Fatigue usually lasts from three to four weeks after treatment stops but can continue for up to two to three months. 
  • Hormone therapy can cause fatigue by depriving the body of estrogen. It can last throughout the course of treatment or longer.
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I've been nervous every morning that I climb up on the table for my radiation.  Once I am up there and they have me situated, I shut my eyes tight and keep them closed.  I don't want to see anything and I would prefer not to hear anything.  There are sounds that the machine makes during the procedure.  With my eyes closed tight, I imagine that I am once again in Hawaii with John (and my sister Lisa and her husband Bob).  Any sounds the machine makes are just the sounds of the blender at the beach side resort, making us some amazing drinks.

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