Start rad treatment next Thursday worried about being tired.

Hello everyone.thanks in advance,  I’ve never been on a forum so I hope I’ve posted in right place. I’m 6 weeks post op lumpectomy and begin treatment next week. Had usual problems with pain after surgery but all I want is this behind me. I’m only getting 3 weeks treatment which I thank God for everyday, I’m due back to work 5July for a full on straight 5 weeks. I work away from home as a carer/companion. But I’m worried this will be a tall order for me to Achieve as I’ve read all about fatigue. I finish treatment 14 June and I think we’ll I have 2 weeks before work to rest up. I’m self employed so to lose 5 weeks wages is like a big deal to me, yet I know I can’t try to look after someone if I’m tired myself. My oncologist said not everyone gets overcome with fatigue, but I’ve yet to read that no-one is affected by the treatment? Sorry if I’m rambling on. Also she said about taking a pill for 10years. My head has been buried in the sand and I’ve hardly told a soul. I feel I can’t cope with menopause symptoms as well as fatigue if I manage to be away for my work. Thanks for any advice I really appreciate being able to ask freely here as I can’t ask advice from friends, I just want to go back to work asap and recover asap. I was told by consultant I was lucky at such early stage diagnosis and nothing in lymph nodes. Phew! 

Hi Bea
Welcome to the forum, there’s loads of support here.
There are many ladies here who did work through rads, but like anything else when going through treatment, be kind to yourself.
I was fortunate, in that I could take sick leave, so I did. But if I had needed to work, then I would have been able to manage it & many do.
For most of us, hormone treatment is standard, again many of us cope with it just fine, or at least find any side effects manageable. As ever, you will see how you are when on it & will deal with side effects if they arise.
There’s no reason not to be positive, especially as it was caught early.
Do come on here & chat whenever you need to & there is the helpline at the top of this page if you need to talk things through.
ann x



Hello and welcome to the forum, I was like you I didnt join until after had my op about six weeks later.  It has been an absolute godsend to me to have all these wonderful ladies on here and I do not know what I would have done without them.


One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone is the same and just because one person has a difficult time with radiotherapy there are many, like myself, who did not have any or very few problems.  I had 20 sessions of radiotherapy, the worst part for me was the fact that my life was dictated every week day by this one very short appointment every day and the daily journey to and from the hospital, the actual radiotherapy itself was no problem at all.


To be honest I did experience fatigue on occasional days whilst going through it, which would result in my falling asleep for about 10 minutes and then I would be fine, but I put that down to the travelling to and from the appointment as I worked throughout my rads but on a very much reduced working pattern, I normally work 25 hours a week, but they would only allow me to do 12 hours over 3 days.  I still do have the occasional day when I get a heavy feeling in my shoulders and the next minute I am asleep for 10 minutes, but I have come to recognise it and just let it happen. 


Rads are very doable but you need to make sure that you take in plenty of fluids whilst undergoing it as that helps with the dehydration from it which can cause fatigure, moisturise 3 times a day and rest whenever you are able to.


I started taking my tamoxifen a month before I started rads, I do have a wonderful hot flush about an hour after I take it, but again on the whole I have not really suffered any side effects, got a bit of constipation when I first started, but I think that was more my body getting used to it.


just to add I was also told by my consultant and oncologist that I was very lucky as it was caught at a very early stage, no lymph node involvement either and that it was totally treatable xx

Hi Bea


my experience was that I was quite tired after each treatment but the mornings were ok. This got worse as the treatment went on. However it’s different for everyone. I carried on working but wished I hadn’t, then again, I’m not self employed. I would definitely recommend late afternoon appointments in your situation , but you may need some time off later on as you come to the end of your treatment schedule. 


Menopause sucks! I was told I had to come off the HRT. From what I’ve read, HRT just postpones the menopause anyway and it’s the same symptoms whenever you come off it (and you can’t take HRT for ever) so I guess you just have to go through it! There’s a book by Marilyn Grenville which has some useful advice. 


Confide in some friends - they will give you a boost! 


Good luck! 

Oh thanks so so much for such positive feedback. Thats totally made my night. Im so glad I came here Ive struggled with hiding away. After operation I was supposed to get results 2 weeks after. I delayed the appointment as I wanted control. I was so fed up with bay 2 and terrified of what had happened. Also I live rural and small place and so upset that people would know. Oh my! So i waited 3 weeks and got really the best outcome I could possibly hope for. Now its just getting back to work and my life back with the minimum of problems if thata at all possible. Im sure it. When im in appoj tments I dont want to hear or listen to what they say. I feel bad that im like this feel im not taking responsibility for my own body. But alteady just by reading all the people s wee stories ive gained so much. I never even knew about arm exercise truly i never. As i wanted to know nothing. Thank you everyone. Thank you so muxh.

Also i meant to add i need ro stay at rhe hospital as too far ro travel so mon to friday and its all been planned I have the whole schedule from next Thursday till 14th June. So I shall have a restful time up there. I think ill be okay as Edinburgh apparently is a good Cancer centre. Actually Its only in past few days ive been able to say the word. Thanls everyone. My boss said to tell them nearer the time im due ro work if I ca t make it.I know my health is more important too. But this 5 weeks of work is important tp me. I also will be away from home that time as I need ro stay with the lady I look after but she is nice and plenty of time off. Thanks again im so glad I came here x

Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Bea.
It can feel a bit isolating at times when going through this, so do come & chat.
As you say, its good to engage with it all as much as you can, as you may feel more in control of it all. Do use the main site for any info, all aspects of treatment are explained there, just follow the links.
My diagnosis & treatment plan sounds like yours, just had the first year all clear & have been back to life as normal for a while now.
ann x

Hi Bea and welcome.  As Lady B an Ann have said everyone is different, but just to Share my experience.  Radiotherapy is very doable for many.  I worked all through my treatment, although I didn’t have the distance in travelling to the hospital you have,  I did take 2 weeks off after my op, and 3 days off after my second op, and as I said worked all through rads, but would emphasise, my hospital is close to where I work, and I have a very flexible job.



I have had some slight fatigue, but nothing that I can’t deal with, I am nearly 2 months post rads, and I think I am nearly back to usual service. During treatment, I did and do, exercise a lot, so if you are able to I would recommend trying to fit something in.  Lastly, best advice for anything “listen to your body” if you feel ok fine, slow down when you need to.  Best wishes. Xxx

That’s great Bea. It’s so good to hear how we go when going through this, as it can be reassuring to others.
ann x