Coping With Fatigue When Fighting Prostate Cancer
For every person going through treatment, fatigue is often a daily battle. For those tackling prostate cancer, it’s an even bigger challenge to stay energized while taking on chemo, hormone therapies and other side-effects caused from treatment.
We asked the ProstateCancer.net community how you cope with the fatigue that often comes with prostate cancer treatment. More than 100 of you reacted, and 27 of you weighed in, sharing tips on how you’ve learned to deal with this side effect. Here’s what you had to say:
Most of you exercised regularly before diagnosis and wanted to get back to it as soon as possible. And while fatigue often made exercise difficult, you stayed focused and did what you could to stay moving. For some of you, coping meant changing your routine, but still getting out and exercising.
“Begin mild exercise as soon as possible. And, now that I’m cleared to increase my exercise, I think I’ll have energy for more.”
“I walk now whereas I used to run.”
“The amount of exercise I did daily increased incrementally.”
Don’t fight fatigue
Many of you shared that you added as much sleep as you could squeeze into your day. Whether that meant sleeping 10 hours a night instead of 8, or adding a nap during the day, you made the time to give your body what it needed.
“Don’t fight fatigue. If I’m tired during the day, I take a nap. If I’m out in the evening and I feel worn down, I go home. I am usually up by 6:00 a.m. and ready to turn the lights out by 10:00 p.m. That’s working for me.”
“I came home during my workday and took a nap every day after my treatments.”
“Nappy time right after lunch. I’ve had 16 radiation treatments, and can honestly say, they knock a lot out of me!”
“I slept a lot after my surgery. A month to be exact. It takes a toll on the body.”
How has prostate cancer affected your energy levels?
Limit your work week
For those of you working full-time while getting treatments, you’ve had to make adjustments. For some of you, that meant working shorter hours or even shorter workweeks. And for others, it meant giving your body a break while you get through the workday.
“When I was working, I had to limit my work week to four days. I found that doctors were willing to work with me on excuses for missing work."
“I have to force myself to sit in a chair, but it helps. It feels really good after 4 p.m.”
Another piece of advice shared is to simply keep going. Dealing with cancer is not a sprint by any means. It can be a long road, and for some of you, the best thing to do has been to find that next right thing and do it.
“A little determination to keep going no matter what. If you feel down, find another gear and go. It works for me.”
The fight against prostate cancer is not an easy one and opening up conversations about what works for you can help make the fight a little more manageable. To those new to this fight - find solutions and the strength to keep going. Do you have any other tips for managing fatigue from treatment?
Have you made personal connections through your journey with prostate cancer?