Posted 6/7/2010 2:27 PM (GMT -7)
Sonny, its a good an honest post. We have spoken by phone since you posted this, so you know my feelings and experience on it. Running into a wall of severe fatigue even months after ending radiation is not uncommon. When I had my first bout of radiation in the year 2000, I was fine at the time, but after about 3-4 months after it ended, I pretty well had a physical collapse of sorts, that ended up with me taking 1 year of physical therapy. My medical oncologist warned me about it in advanced, but at that time, I thought I was a tough guy, and worked full time, went to radiation, never asked for help,, etc., and when I crashed and burned, it hit me hard. The dr. said at that time, if I can recover my strength and endurance back to about 70-75% of where I was before radiation, I would be doing good. And that is about where I was prior to PC.
Now that I have been through major radiation a second time, with my SRT for the PC, which ended around Thanksgiving, still fighting daily, a massive wall of chronic fatituge. It hits me like a steel wall around 3-5 pm every day of the week. Doenst matter if I rest first, or am taking it easy, or if I am busy, once it hits, I am wasted for the rest of that day. I mostly plan to do stuff early in the day. With me about to start a new job, after a long period of unemployment, I am deeply concerned about this. Not sure how I could physically do 50-60 hour weeks including commuting, when I can't even do a full day right now. Will cross that bridge later. Still going to be having physical therapy as soon as they can get me off the catheter.
This is the time for Sonny to think of Sonny. Listen to your body, rest when it needs rest, in the long run, you will actually do better that way. No reward or bonus points for trying to be a tough guy. Radiation fatigue is a very real and powerful thing. For the men here that say they never got it, or never felt it, they are the fortunate ones. For those that are pondering, you will know it, if you ever experience it. There's a world of difference between just being tired and wore out, and feeling the effects of radiation caused fatigue. It really can feel like an invisible wall, and when it hits, all the intentions in the world aren't going to help you feel better. You have to learn how to expect it, to adapt to it, and to slowly overcome it to the best of your ability, and hope that doesn't stay with you forever. That part really varies from person to person, keep in good communications with your doctor.
Sonny, the fact that you are facing up to your needs, is a great and wonderful step in your own recovery. As your friend, I am most happy for this news and our earlier conversation.
David in SC