Fatigue question

I have just started rads - I’ve had my 3rd today and so far so good. I am getting zapped from 4 different angles - the breast, my armpit, my neck and one from the back. What I want to know is about the fatigue element - so far I’ve not noticed anything (I’m working from 8 til 2.30 then travel an hour to the hospital then an hour back), obviously I’m not complaining about the lack of fatigue, but I’m wondering if it’t a side effect that some ppl suffer from the onset or if it’s something that builds up on you.

I suspect the fatigue comes more from having to get to the hospital every day. I was finishing work at 2.30, then going to the hospital, then going home to all the housework. The hospital was always running late, and some days I didn’t get home till 6pm. I ended up taking a day off about half way through as I got so tired.

Thanks for the reply - I was thinking that perhaps the travelling would be the biggest factor in the fatigue. I’m being treated at the Beatson and so far so good with the appointments being on time. As I said I’ve been working up to about 2.30pm and then leaving for a 3.40pm appointment but the traffic etc means it’s cutting it a bit fine so I think we will be leaving about 2pmish from now on.

I’m extremely lucky with my work and they have told me that I must take off whatever time I need so if I find that it’s all getting a bit much for me I have no worries about asking for a day off mid-week. Given that I am working half days at the moment what’s another few hours lol.

Hi lilacblushes
I was going to stay off work until the end of rads(on advise of bc nurse, especially if I was covered for sick pay) I have decided to return to work for my sanity and I feel well enough to be at work. The hopital have given me late appointments and its less then an hours drive so I will leave at the end of the school day(not something I would normally do). Yes traffic can be a worry, but I will just have to see how it goes. My attitude is that if I do feel that I am not coping with work and treatment then I can always take a day or two, but I want to get on with my life… I have my marking up this week and start rads the end of the following week.
Gook luck with your treatments Alicex

Good luck with your marking up session. As I said I’ve had 3 sessions so far - have been in 4 times but the 1st session is a dummy run where they x-ray as opposed to zap so they can double check the measurings etc.

I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones as I was spared the rigors of chemo and 'just ’ needed rads and tamoxifen… oh & surgery of course.

So far I have had 2 weeks off work post op then a further week a few weeks later as I was seeing the physio every day to prepare me for my planning session for rad - I had quite severe chording and fairly limited mobility in my arm.

My employers are fantastic and have told me not to worry about needing time off but I decided to continue with work as it allows me to feel like a normal person as opposed to a cancer patient.

How many zaps are you having and where are you being treated?

I’ve just finished my 3rd separate lot of radiotherapy (over the last 13 years) to my spine and have never really noticed any problems with fatigue before until this time which kicked in big time after my 5th session.

Part of it was the travelling but not totally and it’s taken me just over 2 weeks to start to feel normal again and my brain to be in gear. I don’t think the steroids helped either (which I was given to stop inflammation around my stomach area) so that’s probably had a part to play in all this as well.

My first lot of radiotherapy back in 1995 really passed me by without too much of a problem and I do wonder whether it depends on the area you’re having blasted plus the amount of radiotherapy time you’re having. The one to my neck this time was very long compared to my breast area previously.


Aliceinwonderland - I understand about keeping your location quiet if you are a teacher - I used to be a youth leader and I know all about trying to preserve your privacy.

I’m being blasted in 4 seperate areas - the breast, the neck, the armpit and one from the back. Each blast seems very short - but I’ve nothing to compare it to so I’m not sure if I am having a little bit or a lot compared to others.

I’ve noticed over the weekend that my upper arm is regressing a little - nothing major just a mild stingy pain, hopefully it will not get any worse and I am continuing with the physio that I was given just before my planning session.

Hi lilacblushes
I have no ideas as yet where I am to be zapped, I just know have 17 sessions. Not sure how it is all worked out. No doubt will know more on Tues. Although was told the tattoos were to be in my abdomen!!

I got 3 tattoos - one slap bang in the middle of my chest (sort of between my boobs and on the breastbone) and the other 2 are on my sides directly in line with the central point. I asked for hearts and flowers but they just gave me dots - they are clearly not very artistic at the Beatson lol.

Good luck for tomorrow.

Hi -

I finished my Rads (all angles, 25 sessions) 21st Nov did have chemo etc. I was not working but did a 40min drive to the hospital each day. I found the fatigue hit about session 14, apparently this is fairly atandard. Unfortuatley as well as being very tired I also got sick and had to go back onto anti-acid and nausea drugs. The side effects including the tan continued to develop for about 2 weeks after treatment finished. apparently you can feel residual fatigue for up to a year after treatment. That said other ladies seemed to fly through rads with little or no effect.

You may find your arm will stiffen up again especially if you have nodes removed. I was advised to do some stretches each day to keep the range of movement,

The bottom line is that we are all different. Keep in touch with what is happening with your body. If you start feeling knocked out get someone to drive you in and don’t be afraid to take time off work.

Goodluck with the rest of your treament ladies. Yes, I wanted little daisys but just got dots. It would be fun if they did get a little artistic.
All the best Swanie

I’m ok with the travel cos I am not the one driving - I get dedicated patient transport organised via a chairty that someone at work funds, so they pick me up wherever I happen to be and deliver me back to wherever I want to go … I was thinking of suggesting Barbados but obviously only at the weekends when I don’t have to go back the next day for a zap.

Work is also very good and I am sort of just telling them when I will be in and when I won’t. I just prefer to go into work as it makes me more of a normal person than a cancer patient if you know what I mean … also the coffe out of the cappuchino machine is quite good and I get to order in lunch too.

I had a week of intense physio - during which I was fairly convinced the woman was trying to rip my arm off with her bare hands - and I am continuing to keep up with the exercises. Just a shame that I had got to the point of not actually being aware of my arm and now it’s started to regress. Shouldn’t complain tho cos a bit of a pain in the arm is nothing really.