Radiation Induced Fatigue

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 252
   Posted 6/30/2010 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Completed treatment 22 of 39 today.  The fatigue factor is becoming a problem.  I work full-time from 0715 until 4:00.  I get my treatment at 1030 and then go back to work.  Starting about 2:00, I feel like absolute crap and this continues until I go to bed usually at 10:00. (I nod off a lot around 9:00 in front of the TV).  The fatigue also makes me a grouch.  Not good in a job dealing with the public all day. (My wife is used to me being a grouch!!!!). I also have trouble thinking clearly. My doctor recommended a power nap at lunchtime, but not  a possiblility where I work.  I guess it could be worse. If this is all I will have as side effects from the radiation, then no big thing.  Especially if it kills off the cancer.  Squid.
*Age 63, PSA July 2009 5.66
*Diagnosed July 2009, Biopsy: 2 of 12 cores positive, Gleason 3 + 5 = 8
*MRI and Bone Scan Negative.
*open Surgery October 22, 2009
*Prostate, both nerve bundles, seminal vessels, and lymph nodes removed during surgery.
*Post surgery Biopsy, Gleason 4 + 3; 2 positive margins
*Still slightly incontinant after 3 months - 1 pad per day (light). Dry at night. 1-2 trips to toilet.
*ED - Yes (will start Levitra possibly in January)
*30 day PSA (ultra-sensitive) .07
*90 day PSA (standard) <0.15
*01/10 - bladder neck stricture. opened during cysto exam. Cath #2 in for 5 days.
*03/01 - bladder neck stricture. Dilated during cysto exam. Cath #3 in place.
*03/11 - Bladder neck surgery. Cath #4 in place.
*03/15 - Cath #4 out. Great urine stream. Unfortunately, incontinence back to post surgery level.
*04/14 - Six month PSA - .21.
*05/15 - Incontinence basically under control.  99% dry.  Wear pad daily at work "just in case".
*06/10 - Started IGRT.   39 treatments scheduled.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 6/30/2010 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Squid,

Sorry for the fatigue.

'Glad to hear you're already 56% complete!

Not too shabby! yeah

Surgery: Da Vinci; July 31, 2007; 54 on surgery day;
Pathology: PSA: 4.3; Gleason: 3+3=6; T2a; Confined to Prostate;
Post RP PSAs: 09/'07 <0.04; 12/'07 <0.04; 03/'08 <0.04;
06/'08 <0.04; 12/'08 <0.04; 06/'09 =0.06; 09/'09 <0.04; 12/'09 =0.05;
3/'10 <0.04; Latest PSA 6/'10 <0.01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 6/30/2010 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I struggled with the same problem during my radiation. I went about 11:00 and then right back to work. Fatigue is a normal by product of radiation and like Barry said you are past the half way point. If that is the only side effect you have had I would bet that will be as bad as it gets.
Thanks for sharing

peace to you
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 47 (current)


My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes (3 positive) was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
Currently on Lupron
I go to The Cancer Treatment Center of America
Married with two kids
latest PSA 5-27-08 0.11

PSA July 24th, 2008 is 0.04
PSA Dec 16th, 2008 is .016
PSA Mar 30th, 2009 is .02
PSA July 28th 2009 is .01
PSA OCt 15th 2009 is .11
PSA Jan 15th 2010 is .13
PSA April 16th of 2010 is .16
Testosterone keeps rising, the current number is 156, up from 57 in May

T level dropped to 37 Mar 30th, 2009
cancer in 4 of 6 cores

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 6/30/2010 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
That was my fear and so I scheduled my tx at 2:30 each day so I could work for awhile and exercise in the am. Then I took the rest of the day off with built up sick leave. it just seemed to work out well for me doing it that way. But your past the halfway point so hang in there.
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5 on 11/28/10
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 70 gys on 3/12/10
6 week Post IMRT PSA .44 a drop from .5 but maybe more
Great family and friends

Ralph Alfalfa
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 6/30/2010 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hang in there, it does get better.  I was lucky in that my session started at 2 PM, so I could go home at noon, eat lunch, lay down for an hour or so, and then drive the 20 minutes to the clinic, go back to work and knock off at 5:00.  Being self-employed really helps as the rest of the family could step up.  I did notice the fatigue at the half-way point, but towards the end it wasn't so bad.  But I sure go used to the noon-time naps.  Still take them when I can.  The last couple of weeks or so will go quickly.  Trust me.
 Dx: October,27, 2008(the day after my birthday)
 Psa 14.5
 Gleason:(4+3) 7 T1c
 Bone scan:Negative
 Cat scan: Negative
 Biopsy: 4 of 12 positive, left side, pre-cancerous on the right.
 Confined to prostate.
 DaVinci Jan. 19th, 2009. No lymph node involvement, all margins clear.
 8 week PSa <0.01
 Gleason downgraded to (3+4)7
 6 month Psa , 0.1 
 9 month Psa,  0.2  Doubled! Criminy!
 Started RT 10/28...one year since diagnosis.  RT over 12/22.
 3 month post RT Psa 0.1.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 447
   Posted 6/30/2010 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my treatments scheduled around 5-6 pm so I had a reverse commute... I did get fatigued, but fortuneately, I am retired and did not have to worry about a day job.

Would your workplace allow you an hour sick leave for a power nap? Or just let you take one on your own time?

It took about 6 weeks after treatments ended for the fatigue to go away... And just look at the fatigue as all those cancer cells getting zapped and havinbg their DNA whacked so they cannot replicate.... and they slowly die off... YES!

After 3-4 years of annual PSA 4-6, biopsy recommended
59 y/o
3/13/2007 - 12 point biopsy - Left 0/6  Right 1/6 Gleason 3+3 T1c
4/24/2007 - DaVinci performed at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle
5/2/2007 - Catheter Out! Final pathology of Gleason 6  T2c Nx Mx, approx 20% of prostate involved, positive margin, but only at 2 focal points.  
6/28/2007 9 weeks incontinance... Overnite, went from 4-6 soaked pads a day from prev 8 weeks to 2 barely wet pads a day.
7/12/2007 11 weeks post-op  Minimal leakage...  one small pad a day
7/18/2007 First Post-Op PSA...  0.01 !!! 
9/10/2007 Pad free and ED at 75% with 100mg Viagra generic
6/26/2008 2nd Post-OP PSA at 14 months...  0.02 
12/2/2008 3rd Post-OP PSA at 20 months...   0.03
10/30/2009 4th Post-OP PSA at 31 months...   0.13 (moved and diff lab)
11/3/2009 Retest at my original lab...  0.11  (followup with Doc sched 11/10)
11/10/2009 Discussion indicated biochemical reccurrence and need for salvage radiation treatment. 
1/21/2010 Another PSA test at 34 months...  0.14
1/26/2010 IMRT Salvage Radiation Treatment started
                  32 sessions for 64 gys total.
3/12/2010 Finished 32 sessions...  No side effects to date except a little
tiredness.  Slight changes in bowel movements the last week...  
4/8/2010  Some rectal prostitis, but no change in urgency.  No urinary effects at all.  Now just waiting for the upcoming PSA test in June.
6/7/2010 First 3 month PSA result after SRT = 0.02   WAHOO!  as good as could ever be expected at the 3 month mark!  Thank You Jesus!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7080
   Posted 6/30/2010 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm about 10 days out from IGRT, and am equally wiped by 2. If I push I can hold out till 5, but a quick nap is obligatory.
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