Life with increasing tiredness and fatigue

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have always worried about continuity of content for the blog. It went through my mind when I launched it, that there wouldn’t be enough subject matter to keep the audience’s hunger fulfilled. Lets be honest, if it’s not interesting you are not going to read it, and I have never written anything before, unless you count failed O’levels!! But I found that I write from my heart, rather than my head and I have always found subjects that I can talk passionately about.

This week has been fairly uneventful for me. Just regular and routine stuff really, but I am being gradually overtaken by tiredness and fatigue, and these have been the dominant feelings, and are beginning to effect my life in a negative way. The disease which is affecting my tendons, is constantly at war with the treatment I am having, and therefore even though my body is sleeping, there is still a battle being waged inside my body. The result of this is that my body is aching, when I wake up in the morning.

Every minor task is difficult and it takes a great amount of effort to even get dressed! Just going up and down stairs is tiring. If I do rest and sit in a chair my muscles start to seize up, and start aching as soon as I move. This week I have had my two days of dialysis, which is improving my limited movement, but is a tiring process in itself, involving travel to and from London and then having my blood treated.
        

I have this process every two weeks, and I barely have time to recover from one treatment then the next one is coming. I thought I had got used to this regime, but if I am honest, I am finding it tough. Due to the fact that my body is so tired, I’m finding that my normal enthusiasm is waning, and I seem to be turning into an introvert! Everything seems such an effort. Even enjoying myself! I’m finding that I now don’t want to go out and socialise.

It seems that I am battling myself, as I can see what is happening and I am fighting against it, so am pushing myself to do things, but I don’t know how long I can keep this determination up. It is really frustrating, when you can see what is happening, but struggle to do something about it.

Tiredness and fatigue are common side effects of cancer treatments, and it is difficult to know how long they continue after treatment. If I consider my own case, I worked on average in excess of 60 hours a week, and did a lot of travelling. I soaked up the pressure like a sponge. Now, I spend one day in London and I am absolutely shattered!!! I am now in my fifth year of treatment, so what does the future hold for me??

I am as much concerned about the effect that my fatigue has on my wife’s life too. She is very active, and we used to like going for long walks in the country and other healthy pursuits. Now I don’t even want to leave the house. She understands, but that doesn’t really make me feel any better. I am always so aware of the effect that a change in my life, has on other people’s.

I am hoping that this is a relatively short term thing, although it seems to be getting worse. Prior to my illness, I always thought that we all lived with a degree of tiredness, as it was due to the way we lived our lives, but this is different, and affects your general well being. I think it is a very underrated side effect, and the difficulty is, that to a degree it is unquantifiable. In my own case, I don’t know if this spell of tiredness is specifically related to my new regime of treatment, or just the cumulative effect of the battering that my body has received over the last few years.

You can read as much information as you like, about side effects like fatigue, but nothing prepares you for how you can feel. Obviously everyone is different, and will have different degrees of it, but personally I am finding dealing with this issue in the long term, very tough.

If you have experienced anything like I am going through, and have some suggestions to help, they will be gratefully received. Thank you.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Chris
    Just read you entry for Saturday. In the short time I’ve known you and even shorter time I’ve been reading your blog you have always seemed to be so upbeat and full of enthusiasm and optimism. This is the first time you appear down, I hope you are just having a bad day and you are back to your usual self today.. I don’t have any answers for you except to say I’m thinking of you and keep up your spirits. Is there anything I can do to help.
    I’m just preparing for my trip to Wembley for the semi final against Spurs with the usual mixture of expectation and realism which, no doubt is familiar to you.
    So this is just a quick pick you up, I will check in to the blog in a day or two hopefully to find you back to normal. I’ve read your recent entries, as always they are thought provoking and I am remiss in not posting my thoughts. As discussed I don’t have your talent to quickly transfer my thoughts to the screen.
    Keep up your spirits and have a good Sunday.

    Best Regards

    Brian

  2. Hi Brian
    Many thanks for your thoughts.My body has been constantly aching for a period of time now, and I thought I had got used to it, but it is just making me so tired! This is causing me frustration, as it removes all enjoyment from doing what I do.It is difficult because it doesn’t even disappear when I rest.Hopefully it was just one of those days that we have all encountered. You as many as anyone!
    Hope you enjoy the game today. I will be watching on the TV, but I know it is not the same at all. You are right about the mixture of expectation and realism.I hope you get the result you want, and you have another big game in the week which we will be watching keenly.
    Many thanks for your kind wishes, and am pleased you are still enjoying the blog. Enjoy the day, Chris

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