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    One's Energy Level
    kiwiallright posted:
    I am trying to understand about one's energy level and what one does to try and improve it.

    My energy was great until June of 2009 - ever since then, two surgeries, seven treatments of chemo and five weeks of rad's the energy just never seem to come back. I was use to living with the energy level that was my new normal, then in late June and July of this year the energy level was no where to be found. August the news that cancer was invading the ole body again, kinda answered why it was low.

    All through the treatments of 2009 I worked full time missed a couple of days, was off for the surgeries etc.

    I was off work from Aug to Sep 16, when I returned to work for ten hours a week, I stay about three or four hours. Most times I have to come home and rest. I read that if you increase your exercise it helps build energy so I have being riding my bike a lot more. I rode 13 miles this last Saturday and on Oct 16th I am going to Austin TX to ride in Lance Armstrongs Charity Ride for Cancer, I am going all out with twenty miles. Last year I trained and was going to do forty five miles, we did not go, so this year the twenty will have to do.
    As you can tell I have rambled and have probably not gotten to the point.

    My question is - where is your energy level at, do you work outside of the home - if you do how do you manage to do everything etc. - What do you do when you hit a wall and cannot do anything?

    Thank you all

    mhall6252 responded:

    I have found the effects of surgery and chemo very "energy-sapping" and I haven't even started radiation yet. I don't work outside the home and I don't have any young children to worry about. As a matter of fact, they are helping take care of me, along with my DH who has discovered talents he didn't know he had during our previous 30 years of marriage!

    Right at the moment, when I hit that wall, I tell DH that I am "done" and he can usually tell by looking at me that I am beyond the point of no return for that day. I have spent way too much time on my couch in the past 14 weeks, although I've had spurts of energy and we've had family and friends over for weekend lake parties. I am told to "sit" and I obey to the extent I can, being a mom and all.

    I am not sure I could have worked through all this. The stress of getting up and getting myself "together" for a job would be way more than I could handle right now. I am in awe of all the women with jobs and children at home. Maybe I could have done it 20 years ago; but at 61 I am just taking things day by day.

    I have heard and read that it takes at least a year to "feel" normal. How are your blood counts? Treatment takes a toll on our white and red blood counts; and if you are anemic, you're never going to have the same energy level you had prior to treatment. Perhaps a CBC blood test is in order.

    brcansur responded:
    I am like you if I do nothing I have no energy the more I get moving the better I feel. But if I stop for to long then I am done. So I do believe that excercise does help build energy levels back up. Please what ever you do start out slow so that you do not hurt yourself and your muscles. Your body has been through a lot and so have you. Start with a walk then add little excercises around the house like going up and down the stairs a few times, lifting a can of veggies in each hand 5 times and work your way up to more. If you have light weight use them but go easy and work your way up. I go to a gym and excercise in a heated pool then use the jets to relax after it feels really good and helps my back and hips. Plus I walk and hike in good weather as much as my body lets me.
    As you can see from other post I do a lot around the house but I go in spurst. I have to keep going to get it done then take a few days off because my body needs a break. I don't feel like I have the energy to get it done but once I get moving I am fine as long as I don't stop for more then 10 -15 min then I am done shot caput down for sure energy is gone. That is how I am for energy hope this helps you SO YES I FEEL EXCERCISE AND MOVING HELPS!!!! Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
    Jenna291 replied to brcansur's response:
    Hi Mary,
    When going thru the 16 weeks of chemo, I hit a wall hard every 4th or 5th day and from there pretty much stayed in bed for a few days until my enegy level climbed back just enough to get ready for the next chemo (I went every 2 weeks) I had neulasta shots causing aches and pains and red blood count boosters towards the end (3 of them). I was told with the red count low to try and eat more iron enriched foods, so I was able to have spinach pasta and I drank replacement meal drinks. Did not work during the chemo. Not only was I sick, but the energy level was in the toilet no matter how much I rested or what I ate!!
    I had 2 surgeries after chemo, then about 3 weeks after that returned to work 20 hours a week. I drove myself to radiation for 36 treatments right after work, so at that time I was out of the house from around 8am to 4pm 4 days a week, and came home and just slept after that!!! Lots of takeout meals and lots of family help during that time.
    I started gradually getting back to a walking routine, which really helped my energy level. It wasn't easy, sometimes I would rather be sleeping, but eventually the energy came back. Do I get tired even now 4 years later? Hell ya! I am also pushing 56 and still on arimidex, plus put into menopause from all the chemo. I try and eat a balanced diet (of course chocolate has to be in there a few times a week!!!))) and walk a little each day. Things do get better, although I will never be back to the old me. It takes lots of patience!!!!
    Loads of luck and keep on moving, whenever you can!!!!
    best ~ Jenna
    sadblossom responded:
    I did not have chemo but I had a lumpectomy plus two more surgeries for more tissue to get to clear margins and then on to 30 rad treatments and have been on Arimidex for 1 1/2 yrs. I too have the fatique and lack of energy problem. It hit me bad during rad treatments. I was told it would return in 2 months, no go, 4 months, no go, 1 yr, no they say it may be 4 yrs or until I finish with the Arimidex pill. In other words I do not think they know when it will come back. I have tried everything suggested to me and nothing works. I do not work outside the home and I would not be able to anyway. I am sooooo tired all of the time. I don't do a fraction of what I use to. I was always an immaculate house keeper, now I can't do it all. My husband helps me daily. I can not shop when I want, I shop about every 2 weeks with DH's help. He even helps with the cooking and laundry. I do all I can but it is not what I use to do.
    I wish I had the answer for the energy question but I don't. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. And I hope someone will come along and answer this for us both and for many others.
    Shell1007 replied to sadblossom's response:
    I am so glad there is someone besides me that only did radiation and is having problems with NO energy. I thought I was losing my mind. I had more energy during Rad (of course I was napping everyday) I was done with Rad in Jan but the fatigue hit about May. I asked the Dr about this & he doesn't seemed too concerned - imagine that huh. I am on Tamoxifen. When it takes all my energy to shower, do my hair and makeup & I am exhausted...something isn't right! I am thinking of trying accupuncture. Going to make an appt next week.
    Take care,
    sadblossom replied to Shell1007's response:
    You sound like a mirror image of myself. I did ok in the beginning rads, even shopped every day afterwards to 'avoid' the fatgue I had heard about. HA! That only cost me money!
    No, you are NOT going nuts! Or, if you are, I am too. By teh time I finished rads I had such an extremely hard time taking a shower that DH had to help me dry off and get dressed. And yes to get dressed and do make up and hair was about all I could handle. I had even sit and cried because of the fatigue.
    My doctors can tell me nothing concrete. I personally think that radiation zaps us of much more than bad cells. I also think that it does finally catch up with us. I have been this way for 1 yr and 9 months now. I feel as if I am at a stand still with this problem.It is depressing and fretful. You can only 'force' yourself to do so much.
    I hope at some point they figure out something to do about this part of this ordeal too.I get tired of doing everything sitting down.
    Thanks and stay in touch!
    kiwiallright responded:
    Ladies Thank you. We are only a few, your responses have helped. Today I was busy all day, Family came over for dinner and lucky for me I did a lot last night then about an hour before dinner we discovered that the element in the oven had died. By the time we sat down for dinner i was ready for the easy chair - but I enjoyed my grandchildren and children, this is what I call living -
    I thank you all, I do hope that one day we will be out sprinting and doing whatever to our hearts contents, only problem is I do not know when.
    Love to all

    Antiques4Me responded:
    Hi Mary,

    I do sympathise with you for feeling that lack of enerygy. For me that's been the hardest thing. I'm near the end of my chemo treatments, and I was discussing something with my doctor which might relate to your case, too, so I'll bring it up. She told me that for five years after treatments, I'd have to be on a medication that surpresses estrogen in order to keep tumors from growing back. It turns out that the medicine I need has a couple of side effects, including fatigue and body pain. I think that the nickname for the medicine is A/I, but I don't have the name of it. It is for postmenopausal women, which I am. I had a total hysterectomy in 2004. Could this be causing your problem?

    I think you're amazing for doing the Lance Armstrong ride! Twenty miles is a long way for a new cancer survivor. I applaud you and will be cheering for you on that day!

    judyfams replied to Antiques4Me's response:
    Those medicines are a group called Aromatase Inhibitors and include Aromasin, arimidex and Femera.
    They work by not allowing the body to make estrogen and some of their side effects are osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis), hot flashes,and possible body aches and pain.

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