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Post surgery fatigue

17 REPLIES 17
Piqueen
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Good morning 

Wow you are a brave lady ! Sending you lots of positive vibes and best wishes for a speedy recovery

Animals can be wonderful  companions especially when we feel low  but I am sorry to hear that you are facing so much alone that makes it all so much harder

As you say kindness to self is so important there is no shame in accepting help during the tough times in life  I do hope that you are able to access support when you feel you need it 

Hope your  recovery continues and your further surgery goes well too 👌

All the best x

 

Piqueen
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Good Morning

 Hi Rannie Thank you!  so glad to hear your great news ! 

I can honestly say that last week I seem to have turned a corner and though I do get tired so much more easily I am feeling so much brighter and better I am not needing to tae the pain relief so often and have much more free movement. Hang in there it will get better !

Monday I had appointment with the Oncologist who went through everything with me The margins are clear the lymph are clear and he confirmed that I do not need Chemotherapy just the radiotherapy and hormone treatment. He then proceeded to go through the process of the the radiotherapy and discussed all the risks and benefits of both the treatments 

I now have a clear plan and a good understanding of what to expect!

Our Trust is now following latest protocol (based on recent research) which means instead of x3 weeks travelling to and from hospital for radiotherapy I will have x5 consecutive days at a higher dose - The effects will likely be the same and he has recommended 4-6 weeks off post treatment to allow for fatigue and any other effects  - In his words not mine were 'this is life saving curative treatment' Really not how I viewed it but it kind of puts it into perspective doesn't it ?

I am now awaiting the appointment for CT and mark up

On reflection I consider myself so lucky in comparison to so many others, this experience has opened up my eyes both as a nurse and as a woman I have fantastic care and support  There are so many brave souls going through the same and perhaps so much more who's  experiences may not be the same but hang in there it does gets better accept that kindness to self is paramount and know that we are all here in support of each other ☺️

Best wishes to all have a good day lovelies x

 

 

 

 

 

Crooky
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

I had a therapeutic mammoplasty on 18th February with SNB.  I was shocked at how extensive the surgery was but like most of you because I was only in hospital overnight I expected to recover in a few days.  What I did was stupid and I’m paying for it now so don’t do what I did! I started working a week after my surgery and I worked all through my radiotherapy too but I am suffering for it now. I haven’t been able to work at full capacity but my employer has been very supportive so I’ve probably only worked at 50% of normal.  I’m exhausted all the time, I’m emotional all the time, I still have some discomfort and the side effects of the Tamoxifen are terrible.  I have no self confidence because of how I look post surgery but also because the hot flushes are embarrassing.  I’m having about 10-12 a day on top of the nightsweats which disturb my sleep and that doesn’t help with the fatigue.  I’m having equalisation surgery on the left side on 18th June and this time I’m taking at least 2 weeks off.  I honestly feel like I could sleep for a year.  Part of my decision to work is because I’m also grieving for my husband who died of leukaemia 18 months ago after an 18 month fight.  I had nobody to look after me and needed to try and keep my mind occupied.  I have my husband’s three labradors to care for so I walk them twice a day.  The only help I accepted was my friend who walked them for me for a couple of weeks.  So a long winded way of saying be kind to yourself and don’t be as stupid as me because it will just take longer for you to recover.

Rannie
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi Piqueen,

So good to hear your experiences and have further confirmation I am not alone! I had good news this week as I saw the oncologist and was told that I have a low risk of recurrence of cancer so don’t need chemotherapy. Massive relief but guess what, even more tired since this news. Rollercoaster seems to be such a good description of this whole experience. I think though that I am starting to be a bit more accepting of my level of tiredness and and realistic about the time I may need to get back to normal life- everyone’s comments on here have been so so helpful. Thanks all!

R xx

Daised
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi lovelies

 

@Middle C it seems we are on a similar path, I have been feeling the same. I too was shocked as I was taking part in research about early detection in dense breast tissue and had already had a clear mammogram, I was just there to help medical science! I still can't believe it.

I still get a bit tired 2 weeks on from surgery but it's better. Emotionally and psychologically it's a weird and crazy ride.

 

@Piqueen fabulous advice about taking it easy, seeing it as a long journey. I think I have been naive about the surgery too with it being so fast and home so soon within a few hours, I expected to recover faster I think. Life keeps on whizzing by though and it's hard to rest. 

Thanks for being there everyone

Xx

 

 

Sammy73
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi

I had mastectomy on my left boob and recon with implant and 12 lymph nodes removed on 13th april, so over 5 weeks ago and i have now started chemo. 

But im not fixed in regards to surgery im still having pain killers daily i tried to drive on week 3 and it put me back at least 2 weeks. I honestly think we expect too much from our bodies, busy workin then house work dinner gardening.  Honestly do what you can do and dont put pressure on yourself. You are you listen to your body. Very frustrating, i do know.🙂

Piqueen
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Good morning Middle C 

Welcome 

Awh Bless you 🤗 If you were anything like myself although there was the obvious fears in the back of the mind that's where I felt it needed to stay, Positive thoughts only ! So when I went to the clinic the diagnosis that afternoon was completely unexpected and beyond consideration. It was just too huge to comprehend at the time and to be honest although I am 4 weeks post surgery I am still trying to get my head around it. 

Prior to diagnosis I was fit, well, working and rushing about then suddenly I'm isolating, life is on hold and I have switched from the role of nurse to become a patient and it doesn't quite 'fit' me.

My understanding of the Surgery was also naive. It is. so much quicker now, they have you in and out in no time. Therefore my expectations were that I'd be up and fully functional within a week or two only to be hit by the reality that the healing process takes far longer both physically and psychologically  

You have joined us on a   journey like no other. Whilst it varies slightly for each of us,  essentially,  it's about learning to travel light - trying not to carry the weight or burden of how others feel about your diagnosis, it's exhausting. Don't expect to travel at speed - learning to pace yourself there is no rush as with any long journey it is wise to stop and rest by the road awhile. Checking check your road map - each day we  travel a little further in some way - some days feeling physical strength and healing other days its more emotional and psychological but every day travelled is heading in the right direction .  Last and most importantly, Never travel alone - there are so many travel companions here and on other forums, someone to  help to negotiate the bumps in the road helps immensely 👌 

Wishing you all the very best 

X

 

 

Middle C
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi I had a WLE & ISNB last week and today has been a v weepy day... I’m so glad I found these posts today as they completely describe how I feel and the rollercoaster the last 5 weeks have been... I hadn’t even found my lump and was referred to breast unit for other symptoms... so being told that afternoon I had cancer was a massive shock... I haven’t had time to take any of it in yet... the care off the nhs has been amazing so far... just gone through every appointment in a haze. I’m waiting to hear what’s the next step is, chemo or radiotherapy. The tiredness is coming in waves.. one minute I feel full of energy, the next I can barely keep my eyes open & feel so hopeless... but knowing it’s all normal & I’m not along is wonderful... thank you x

Piqueen
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Good morning @Rannie 

This  ' rollercoaster ' seems to have slowed down alittle from diagnosis to surgery has been rapid and like everyone else there really is no time to digest the information and even begin to take it on board It's a matter of switching to autopilot and go with life being thrown up into the air. Now post surgery and having attended the wound check  appointments I am finding life is beginning to settle down a little although it's a different routine there is some time to try to comprehend and get to grips with it all and how I feel.  As has been said it is impossible to ignore so my attitude to face it head on and get through it ☺️ but it's not quite that simple is it?

I too get tired, if I sit down it's not long before I start to doze and my emotions still seem abit all over the place at times It really doesn't take much to open the flood gates particularly if I get frustrated with anything 🙄

I am waiting for oncology appt but have been told that a course of radiotherapy will follow and hormone treatment for approx 5 years I know this can bring about the menopause although it would appear that I'm already heading towards the menopause not sure if the cancer or surgery has exacerbated symptoms or pure coincidence but have noticed the odd hot flush and some night sweats creeping in and obviously the emotional side might also be a symptom to ? 

A friend has recommended that I watch Channel 4 program by  Davina McCall On the menopause so hopefully I  might get better understanding from this 🤞

I have come to realiseand hopefully you have also that this is a time in life when we really do need to be kind and  go easy on ourselves and that taking time out to do this is absolutely ok 👍 

Stay in touch let us know how you are doing 

All the best 

X

 

Rannie
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi Daised,

Thanks for your wisdom-and it is wisdom. There is nothing we can say to each other that can make what is happening go away, but sharing experiences and knowing that I am not alone is worth so much.

Take care

Rachel x

Rannie
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi Piqueen,

Thanks so much for sharing. Rollercoaster describes it! It was only the beginning of March when I was screened and now I am three weeks post op. My life has been turned upside down, but I am not sure how much has really sunk in yet.  I am feeling a little more accepting of my tiredness having heard other people’s stories (thanks all). For myself I am recognising that the tiredness really starts kicking in late afternoon/early evening so trying to plan my time around this and being gentle with myself-I sometimes feel like crying with tiredness in the evening.  Do you know what treatment you are having next-I won’t know for  another week which is more uncertainty. 
Take care

Rachel

 

Daised
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

This thread is so helpful, thank you for posting Rannie and for your replies everyone. So many of my experiences are reflected here.

Rannie I'm dreading the possibility of periods again after 10 years 😕 and terrified that my results might suggest chemo. It's such a surreal and confusing time. I'm sending love, I have no wisdom for you but I hear you. 

Lots of love to everyone

Xx

Piqueen
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

  • Hi like you I also had surgery on 22nd April it was a rollercoaster ride from diagnosis to surgery I didn't get a chance to digest it,  one moment I was seemingly fit and well the next was surgery and suddenly my life has changed . I feel uncomfortable fatigued and emotional. I too am having to take regular analgesia I'm trying to do the exercises to deal with cording I also had a seroma drained but it seems to have returned. Perhaps naively I thought I would be back to near normal and back at work like you but I'm not sure how I'd cope if I were at work in this state. I suppose it helps knowing others have similar experiences and think that it's a case of one day at a time 

🤗 

 

 

  • 🤗
Rannie
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Many thanks Becky, that is hugely reassuring. I think the SLNB has been particularly uncomfortable, I have seen somewhere on here that large boobs mean that the pulling on the scar is greater and this makes sense to me (am wearing supportive bras). Really helpful to know about your experience with getting back to work and that you felt even longer would have been helpful. I might be in danger of rushing back to work too soon and although it is not physically demanding work, it is psychologically challenging.

hope your recovery continues well.

Rachel x

Rannie
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi Evie,

Thanks so much. It’s good to hear your story which gives me such a lot of reassurance. I hope your recovery is continuing well

Rachel x

Becky87
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

Hi Rannie, 

I had a mastectomy and SLNB at the beginning of April last year, and needed no further treatment.
I think how you are feeling is normal and expected. It’s still so early! Ignore the things online go by how you feel. I too read them and felt like I should be returning to work after 4 weeks. I actually had 10 weeks off in the end. I feel like the two week thing online refers to the incision being healed over, which really doesn’t mean that much as there’s still lots going on beneath the surface of boob, armpit and mind! 
Also it depends on your job - how physical it is, what the commute is like versus are you able to work from home. I didn’t even seriously consider going back to work until the 8 week mark, when after telling my BCN in excitement  that I had finally managed to drive to Asda on my own but needed painkillers after doing gears (my surgery was on my left side) she told me I needed another few weeks. Deffo speak to you BCN and GP about going back to work when you feel the time is right. even now when I look back I think I should have taken an extra few weeks! 
Your body has been through a massive trauma and healing takes time. But also dealing with everything mentally is a massive strain on your energy too, especially as you’re now waiting on another test. I also found the SLNB quite hard to recover from and I’m still doing my arm exercises 2/3 times a day now as it still gets stiff. I am also finding that i still get very tired, particularly on the evenings. So don’t feel bad about still feeling tired! Keep sleeping when you want/need too, getting out for fresh air when you feel like it and generally try and do the things that make your mind and soul happy! 

I really hope that’s made you feel a bit better. You’re not alone in how you’re feeling. 
Take it easy and look after yourself! 

Becky xx 

Evie-S
Member

Re: Post surgery fatigue

@Rannie - I had a mastectomy and full node clearance, so not the same as your surgery, but I do remember that tiredness lasting a while. I think 2 weeks is still early days. You are doing exactly the right things, by listening to your body and resting but also taking walks every day. We are all individuals and there will always be some people who recover faster than the “norm” and others who take longer. I certainly couldn’t have gone back to work after 2 weeks, I wasn’t even driving then.

Added to that you’ve got to factor in that you may not have been sleeping as soundly if you’ve been in pain, plus the iron levels. It’s good you are seeing both your GP and oncologist soon - so get a notebook and make a list of questions and concerns so you don’t miss any.

I hope you won’t need to have chemo but if you do then we are all here to discuss it with you and help you through.

My very best wishes to you as you recover - now is the time for lots of “me time” and being kind and gentle to yourself. As @Tili said in another post now is the time to be queen bee - I love that description. Evie xx

Rannie
Member

Post surgery fatigue

Hello,

 I had WLE & SLNB on 22nd April so two weeks ago yesterday. I am still getting very tired so in the afternoons I will just fall asleep wherever I am and then be exhausted again by the evening. I am getting out everyday for a walk so it is not tiredness that comes with being inactive. There is no way that I would be able to go back to work at the moment but a lot of the stuff I am reading seems to suggest two weeks for recovery and I am wondering how many people manage to do that.

There are some additional issues that may be having an impact on my recovery.  First, I have been a lot more physically uncomfortable than I had expected. I am not someone who tends to take painkillers unless really needed but am still needing to take paracetamol at least once a day. I also found out when I saw the surgeon last week that my cancer was not grade 2 as told after the original biopsy, but grade 3. I am therefore now waiting for result of oncotype dx test to assess whether I would benefit from chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy. This possibility came as a quite a shock. I also have a history of heavy periods leading to iron deficiency, which in recent years was managed by a mirena coil.  I was devastated when I was told the coil had to be removed as my tumour is hormone receptor positive. I had hoped that while on the coil, I might have gone through the menopause but this week had my first period for 4 years and wonder if this, along with the surgery, has again affected my iron levels.  I am seeing my gp next week and oncologist the following week but in the meantime I just wondered if any one else is able to let me know of their experiences of fatigue.

 

Many thanks

R xx