I am almost two years from the end of my radiotherapy (no chemo ) and have been on Tamoxifen for almost two years as well.  I had a mental health crisis in September 2021 so I’m on antidepressant medication because of that.  However I’m absolutely knackered all the time.  If I sit down for longer than 5 minutes I fall asleep.  I can’t drive long distances anymore because I fell asleep at the wheel and scared myself.  I’m trying to keep active because I walk my dog twice a day and have started going to classes at my health club 3 times a week.  I read that exercise helps but I don’t feel any better.  I work from home full time and I know I couldn’t cope with commuting anymore either.  I used to have an hours drive to and from work every day and now it would be commuting into London and I just can’t do it.  Is anyone else out there feeling like this?  I’m 56 by the way. 

Hi Crooky

I have that level of fatigue and more, but I am on lifelong chemo so I can blame my cancer and chemo. Sometimes I wish I were a vampire, just so’s I could get some good, red blood!!! It doesn’t sound right that you should experience such debilitating fatigue two years later (though I’m sure it’s not unknown). Your breast care nurse service is there for the rest of your life so I’d suggest contacting them and asking for advice. If you’re doing things right and it’s still limiting your life, then something isn’t right. Maybe you need bloods checking. 

Hope you get some answers and things improve xx

Sorry to hear you are so tired and depressed. I am feeling pretty miserable too. I am on letrozole and one of the side effects of this can be depression. I did take tamoxifen years ago and I gave it up after about two months then. I got another kind of breast cancer still ductal but a higher grade than first time after 19 years. My first diagnosis was at 48 but my new one was at 67. So my life expectancy now is lower than it was then with or without cancer.

I now feel about 100 and I am not sure I want to take tablets and treatments which are the same I would have if I had secondary breast cancer but brought forward to now. I find it difficult to take tablets for something which may or may not make a difference. Apparently quite a large proportion of women stop taking long term treatment.

Taking Letrozole gives me about a 5% extra chance of living to 82 according to the NHS Predict Model. I have a 55% chance of living to 82 without it i.e. if I had surgery alone.

You take it for a minimum of 5 years, but they really want you to take it for 10.

Bisphonates which I am also having for 3 years every 6 months makes only a 2% difference at 15 years.

My mother is now nearly 96, her birthday is next month. She has osteoporosis, heart problems, hardly any teeth, a broken eye socket from when she fell over as a result of her heart problems, and dementia. That is what I have to look forward to.

My Dad lived to 95. He had a heart bypass at 83 so he was keen to keep going. But he did say quite near the end of his life that he thought people were living too long now. He didn’t say he was one of them though. He was in hospital some months bedbound as he could not walk or get up and there were no nurses available to get him out of bed. We were told he was going to die but it took a long time.

My conclusion? A shorter life could be an advantage.