Still so tired.....

I am three and a half weeks post mastectomy. I did really well the first week or two, very little pain, but tired from the anaesthetic, but I am now really sore (no infection, have had a seroma drained once) but the worst thing is the tiredness. Too tired even to reach cross my bedside table to pick up my tea. SO want to feel better for Christmas and for my kids. Has anyone else experienced this? Am I being unrealistic? I have essays to do and revision for exams in January and want to keep going. People keep telling me to rest but it’s driving me mad to look at everything that needs doing and it doesn’t help anyway!! This is the tihrd time I’ve had cancer ( lymphoma first then BC in 2005 and now BC again and a mastectomy. I am beginning to feel bl***y fed up !! Sorrry-am voicing my frustration and diappointment! xx

Oh WendB, what a bl**dy shame to feel so crap for Christmas. Have you talked to anyone about this? On the one hand, it hasn’t been long since MX–and you know it IS a big deal to have had such a major intrusion on your body. It will take some time to heal, both mentally and physically. But I wonder whether you are in a viscious cycle of worry and pushing yourself too hard? This may be shock (tiredness is a BIG symptom of that) from the op and the diagnosis, or it may be depression. It might be an idea to talk about this with someone “professional”–my first suggestion would be the amazing women who run the BCC helpline, but other options include your GP, your surgeon, or your BCN. When I felt like I was hitting a wall, the BCC helpline was right there for me, and it really made a difference. Also, it did help me to rant and rave on this board, and to read everybody else’s rants–somebody DID get it.
January is a ways away, and you should get a teeny tiny bit better every day. Why not try to figure out what you can do in a systematic sort of way–not making your expectations too high, and NOT pushing yourself. Read one article, or chapter (I used to read in the bath–more relaxing, AND I couldn’t get distracted) or one even page. Do one small thing. Write down what you HAVE accomplished; when you look at it, you may be doing more than you think. Above all, don’t panic. Frustration is so normal, but so useless, isn’t it?
In the meanwhile, here’s a big ((((hug)))) xx

Hi WendB

As Quail says, it really does help to talk to someone to discuss your feelings and offload some of your concerns and frustrations.

The helpline are open Weekdays 9-5 and Saturday 10-2 on 0808 800 6000. Do give them a call if you need to talk.

Best wishes.

Louise, Facilitator

Wendy, BIG HUG xxxx
You are beating yourself up too much, worrying too much, trying to do too much.
You are ALLOWED to be tired ,and rest - and you should: your body and mind need time t o heal -having cancer once is bad enough, having it come back for a third time is must be devastating and utterly exhausting.
Your first duty is to your health, and to your recovery - it is time to lie back, close your eyes, REST your weary body and mind , and let others look after YOU. Your kids are young and resilient and they want you to get better. Knocking yourself outr for Xmas won’t help you, or them, if it slows your recovery.
And the exams aren’t the end of the world - could you delay them? Why push yourself so hard at a time when the single most importnat thing is the slow and gentle healing of your body and mind.
Sorry to sound so prescriptive and bossy, but whilst it’s admirable to try to keep going, it’s not an end in itself, and why make it into a stick to beat yourself with? The end, the purpose, here is FOR YOU TO HEAL. I personally, am being quite ruthless about discarding anything that is not helping me recover, right now. It can ALL WAIT.
Hope very much that you’ll be feeling better soon
HUGE HUG xxx lots of love Carolinexxx

Wendy, agree with what everyone else is saying to you, don’t be so hard on yourself, sometimes it does have to be all about you, so don’t feel guilty or bad! Let others help, sending you lots of hugs, xx

You are all so lovely-thankyou. Yes, I suppose i am expecting a lot of myself. But I think I am just trying to keep going because I don’t want this to interrupt my life again or to get behind and do badly as a result. I will try to stop until after Christmas and will put my books away. I am too sore to concentrate anyway. I am going back to the clinic on Monday to have the seroma drained so I can talk them and to BCC. The trouble is, they all know me so well they kind of expect me to know the ropes and cope!! I guess we never really know ourselves or what we really need , do we? Thankyou xxx

From one Wendy to another Wendy

know what you mean but listen to your body rest when it tells you to and carry on when you are ok. I too have the b*****d for a second time with a 14 year gap I thought I was ok but hey we will beat it yet again .

Hugs Wendy x x

Hi Wendy, I am 5 weeks post surgery, mx node clearence and recon. I am still tired - which is a result of not being able to sleep in my favoured position when sleeping. The tiredness only started to go last week after week 4. I have had bad and good days. My duvet days are my bad days and my having a walk days are my good days.

I am the kind of person who is on the go all of the time. Iv had to slow it down to where i have had to lay on a sofa - it really frustrated be no end - but some days i didnt have the energy to do anything.

I am now just getting back to normal.

I really feel for you now at this time. You have to be kind to yourself, you are doing really well. Please don’t underestimate the tiredness. I find that alot of my tiredness is brought on by the mental fatigue of this condition. Add the pressure of Christmas looming and it can all seem rather overwhelming and exhausting. The anesthetic from the surgery took it out of me for several weeks.
Also, please don’t be a martyr to the painkillers. If you are in pain and you are not taking anything for it, it is even harder to combat the fatigue.
Take good care and rest up! You’ll get through this and be skipping around again in no time!
All the best,
Sunshine Lollipops

Hi WendB,
As the others say it is very early days for you be kind to yourself, I cope with my fatigue by taking a 30 minute nap when it hits me, I set my alarm and find it helps me through the day knowing I can do that when I need to xxxxx