Very tired after finishing radiotherapy

Can anyone tell me just how long you have to go experiencing extreme tiredness after finishing rads.I finished three weeks ago and I really don’t seem to have any energy and my underarm is still very sore. I also started tamoxifen at the beginning of January so don’t know if that has anything to do with it as well. Anyone suffer the same thing?

I am due to start mine next week, 15 treatments and my Oncologist said expect to be feeling tired and lacking in energy for upto 4-6 weeks after treatment is completed. A girlfriend who had rad treatment said she was tired for about 6 weeks. I suppose it depends on individual and what you have already been through. It is a bit daunting but I suppose it will pass. Take care of yourself .

I finished mine today all 15 of them done and am feeling quite tired - sleeping well and having a nap on my days off during the day… otherwise managing working and housework etc plus walking dog. I would expect it to last a couple more weeks. I think (although don’t know) that tiredness is due to the radiotherapy knocking off some red blood cells… so it’s a bit like having a low blood count and that takes a while to get back up to full whack. It helps me if I can understand the process that is causing the ‘whatever it is’ I’m experiencing.
Anyway, that said, it’s OVER… yey no more driving for evening appts and I get my evenings back. Now on to the rest of my life however slowly I get back up to full steam.

Judy, it does get better. I finished rads last May and. I’ve recently realised that I am more or less back to full strength now, in fact I’m probably fitter than I was before DX. However, it’s been a long slow process. Our bodies are put through such a lot with BC treatment - not to mention the emotional strain! Even ‘ordinary’ surgery with a general anaesthetic takes a couple of months to properly recover, and we have chemo and/or rads and/or hormone ‘therapies’ to contend with as well!

One of the SEs listed for Tamoxifen is tiredness. It’s also mentioned for Zoladex, which I am also having (because I declined chemo).

I can recommend trying to get out for a walk every day - even if it’s only a 100 yards or so! Some days it seemed to require superhuman effort to do it, but it definitely helped me.

Take it steady. Don’t beat yourself up. You WILL get there eventually, but tired is perfectly ‘normal’ for where you are now.

Thank you all for your input. I was particularly interest in your comment JCJ as I never realised the tamoxifen could make you tired. I am also having anesthetics at least twice a year as I had bladder cancer three years ago and the treatment to keep it at bay didn’t agree with me. so I suppose I am too impatient . I will take on board the need to do more walking and hopefully the weather will improve soon.

Grateful for any more tips on how to look after oneself whilst having radiotherapy. Start Tuesday and I am fair skinned with freckles so have to be careful of sun. Having 15 treatments and on Anastrozoe also.

Grateful for any more tips on how to look after oneself whilst having radiotherapy. Start Tuesday and I am fair skinned with freckles so have to be careful of sun. Having 15 treatments and on Anastrozole also.

Katykookabura, I’m fair skinned and burn easily in the sun, I thought i’d suffer terribly during rads (20) but I didn’t. My skin barely changed colour and and I had no soreness whatsoever, you might be fine x

Thanks Chascat reassuring to hear that. Did you use any special creams or just aqueous cream? My daughter has heard ALoe Vera gel is good . Also did you any side effects ?

I used aquaeous cream, nothing else, I understand if you use Aloe Vera is has to be pure 100%. I didn’t really have any side effects at the time, I did feel tired but nothing too bad, I had a 4 year old daughter and my treatment was during the summer holidays last year, I had to look after her every day, take her to the zoo, park etc and I managed, I’m not saying that at times I didn’t struggle because I did, I also had chemo prior to rads too, but it was ok. A couple of months after I finished rads my breast swelled up, I had an ultrasound and was told it was odema caused by the radio, can last years apparently, so although one breast is at least one cup size bigger than the other, it’s not sore or painful in any way x

Hi Chascat,
Sounds like you have been through a tough time. I will just stick to aqueous cream I think then? Just had radiographer on phone to re-arrange time tomorrow as they just realised the machine I was booked for would not be strong enough as I have big boobs!! She said they needed to ensure more even dose could be given?? Anyway, all will be revealed tomorrow( more ways than one!) just want to get started now! Our oncology unit have offered me six pamper sessions for things like facials, massage, reflexology, etc. So taking advantage of those to get me through next four weeks!! Take care.

Hi everyone
Kateykookabura I finished rads a week ago I am also fair skinned had 15 also on anastrozole. I had to have that booster pad on too and was told it usually followed the worst skin reaction but I have been fine used E45 night and morning.Good Luck tomorrow.

Hi all, I was recommended Xclair cream, you can get it on prescription and its specifically for radiation dermatitis. Tubes are quite small so ask for a couple of tubes. Hope this helps
kay x

Hi everyone, had first rad treatment today. Surprised how anxious I got about it .Anyway was well looked after had 3 radiographers measuring me up two men one lady and there was no space for modestly!! Was not quite prepared to bare all then just hop on the machine! Machines were scary but fascinating and it all seems very clever and i just thought how thankful I live in a country where we can get such treatment. Went then and booked reflexology sessions provided by our unit and then went over to the Maggie centre. There are only a few of them in UK but numbers are increasing . Anyone interested google to see if you have one near you and how they were formed. Nice welcome had a cuppa to try and calm myself down and booked in for some sessions they provide also . Well first one over just 14 to go! I know many say you can’t feel anything but when I got up from table, dressed then walked back to reception I could feel a sensation in my breast . Had a few sharp pains but all OK now. Amazing what a G&T can do !!.

Glad it all went straightforward Katy. Did you get a ‘modesty’ top to wear on the table (flaps come down to just expose the bits needed… covering your abdomen so you dont feel so exposed). If not ask for one. My rads finished over a week ago and skin is back to normal (got just a bit shiny/red towards the end). I felt needle like pains in the breast too and felt like it had been ‘cooked’ (which it effectively had) but not unbearable. You will soon be through it all.

They didn’t use modesty tops at my hospital, but I used to keep a camisole or vest on until I was on the table and then pull it down, might be an option.

Ooh we were given ordinary hospital gowns or you could use the blue paper sheets they put on the screens to cover your front from screen to table!
Haven’t ever seen the modesty tops you describe :frowning: good idea tho - especially having 3 YOUNG men staring down at me whilst I’m in the ‘pin-up’ position!!
Just 3 sessions left - woop woop!! Skin starting to break down though… :frowning:
hugs to everyone
Lozza x

Hi all, will mention today why no modesty tops. My sister is an OT and was surprised that I had to strip off without a top or gown at least until I got onto the table. When I got ‘marked up’ I had a gown so don’t know why it was like this,. I did get a bit of blue paper over me once they had measured me and I was left on my own!! I think if it had been all female staff I probably would not have been so self conscious but as Lozzarooney1 says these blokes looking at you why you reveal all was a bit off putting. I suspect because they are doing out all the time they just see you as a measurement exercise!!! . Anyway will wear a vest top today and ask if I can just slide it down once on table or if they have a gown. Trouble is I have had both my knees replaced and the last one was just a year ago so it takes some getting on and off the table so it is not as if I can get up quick escape!! Anyway another day!!

Hi there, I have nothing to offer to you in starting your tretment, but want you to know I will be thinking about you.
I also am very fair and freckled with highly sensitive skin, I will be starting within the next month myself. I am told I have 25 rounds of treatment.Think positive, my experience so far on this journey is attitiude is key! God bless
Patty P

Hi Patty and all. Second encounter was not so bad. Different raidiographers one male, one female and they were more aware of me being topless and the blue paper sheet was used more quickly . Machine I was told was the same although they did slightly different procedure and used electrodes fixing them around my breast. I was told it was another form of measuring. All over much quicker this time. Did have a fourty min delay though. Advise you to take book and bottle of water with you as I had to wait in an interior waiting area were there wasn’t nothing but a loo. Again had sharp pains in breast as I left and drove home. I do have fibromyalgia so that maybe why would be interested to hear if none else has glad these pains immediately after the treatment. I had my reflexology session about three hours before treatment it was good and the therapist picked up al my aches and pains!!! Anyway feel better about it today so wish you well with yours. When does yours start Patty? .