I had to go through a legal mediation 2 months after surgery and the mediator was a retired judge who also happened to have had breast cancer. When I explained about my surgery and the expected recovery (given by my surgeon) her eyes popped open and she said, "Really? I was only off work for two days." Boy, did I feel like a complete loser. It didn't occur to me that perhaps she had a simple lumpectomy with no reconstruction, chemo, etc. Maybe she was just naturally blessed with super-woman qualities. No, all I felt was judgment: how I'd made a muck of my life, was a complete failure and weakling for not getting up and over the whole business. Even someone who's supposedly been in our shoes really hasn't... they've only been in theirs. Our experiences may be similar but they are not the same. I so appreciate finding this forum and all of you who share because even though it seems like everyone has cancer these days... we all have different ways of dealing.
Also, I used to see an Acupuncturist who did acupressure for my anxiety and after surgery helped with recovering range of motion, etc. Anyhoo, he told me it could take a year or more to recover from the physical trauma to the body including the surgery itself. Yes, we may heal in a few months but internally there is still a lot going on even if we don't necessarily feel it. And the emotional/psychological healing, it all takes time. Sleeping 10-12 hours a day would not be abnormal and he urged me to listen to and honor my body. I should mention he had testicular cancer some years ago so can relate to some extent. I've always been a terrible sleeper but definitely feel like I need more sleep sometimes. My problem is I can't turn my brain off...
HI there - listen FEC-T is no picnic and thats not all you have had to deal with - I was expecting to go back to work soon after finishing my treatment and I couldn't ( 2 ops, FEC-T, rads, tamox). I didn't go back to work until 6 months after completing treatment. What I learnt worked for me when I was back at work was totally sticking to the routine of finishing work earlier than I used to , going home and resting on the sofa UNTIL MY BODY was ready to get up again....I really learnt to listenn to my body ...so somtimes people didn't get their tea! haha. We have lost the art of convalescence in the 21st century but thats what many of us need. Some people don't need it - great, good for them, but some of us do.
Its irritating, but try not to fight it - your body will let you know when its recuperated!
very best of luck, Moorcow.
I think what makes it worse is that two people at work have had the same as me but don't seem to be as tired. Neither took as much time off work. I feel really inadequate and pathetic. I even find it hard to get up off chairs!
Hi - I did read somewhere "Its like your body can't keep up with your mind". That is exactly how I feel. I start the day with all these plans and after a days work I'm good for nothing. I'm going to a concert tomorrow and I have no idea how I'm going to get past 7.00! Most days I'm ready for bed by 8. I think what is scary you can't just carry on as your body makes you stop. I am also just past a year after my operation which makes me think it is the Tamoxifen, but it did take about 6 months to kick in so it was a bit of a shock as I thought I would have the same energy as before. Silly me!!
Approximately a year since my treatment began. I'm like one of those wind-up toys that starts off fast but slows down gradually. I spring out of bed in the morning full of energy (which is why I exercise very early in the morning because that way it gets it over and done with and I'm not tempted to 'skip' it later on in the day.)Tiredness still hits me sometimes, usually in mid-afternoon or around 7pm. The nurses did tell me to expect to feel tired but I don't recall them mentioning that it would go on for so long, however I don't stress about it. As Charity says just rest when you need to.
I think this is one area that's not talked about enough - there's a lot of focus on going through chemo or radiotherapy (rightly), but it doesn't end there for some women - since being on hormone therapy (since 2013) I've had continualy fatigue and feeling like I'm still on chemo. It's a difficult situation if you have to work - the body needs as much rest as it can get. For some women it can help changing to a different type of hormone treatment, so it might be worth seeing one's Oncologist.
Hi all. I had mx in July 2014, followed by 6 FEC-t chemo and 15 sessions of Rads. Came off work 1st July and returned on 9th March 2015. Have been working on phased return hoping to be back to full time by end June. It is getting easier although am in bed some nights before 9 and sleep in at weekends until 9.30. Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
Oh yes! I'm 3 weeks into a phased return after 2 WLEs, and rads. On Tamoxifen and sitting here wondering how I can summon up the energy to get to the bus stop, let alone do 4 hours work. I feel I should be feeling much better than this, so get frustrated with myself. Shouldn't I be delighted to have treatment over and eager to get back to "normal"? It's reassuring in a way to see others on here feel the same, but hard to get it across to others who seem to think it's all over and done with.
I hope you feel better soon
I had my last radiotherapy on 1st April this year. It followed 6 cycles of Fec-T and then two surgeries. During one of the surgeries I suffered a bronchial spasm and had to be reintubated as I stopped breathing. I am on tamoxifen now. I didn't go back to work till a month after the radiotherapy as I was so tired. All in all I was off for 10 months -I work in a day nursery. I am now on a phased return and am coming home and falling asleep every day. I am shattered. The Dr has done blood tests but there is nothing wrong. I am trying to get fit and have started at the gym but that's wearing me out too. It is starting to get me down as people don't understand. Has anyone had similar?