News You Can Use A monthly newsletter from the Cancer Learning Center April 2009 – Issue 45
Cancer and Fatigue Fatigue is a lack of energy and motivation that often occurs during or shortly after cancer treatment. Tese symptoms often occur with fatigue:
• General weakness or limb heaviness • Diminished concentration or attention • Increased memory problems • Decreased interest in usual activities • Difficulty completing daily tasks • Insomnia or unrefreshing sleep
During cancer treatment fatigue is normal. It does not mean that the treatments are not working or that the cancer is getting worse. Te fatigue that is a side effect of cancer and its treatments is not always relieved with rest and does not always go away immediately when treatment ends.
Fatigue is the most underreported side effect of cancer treatment. Talk to your health care team about fatigue, especially if it keeps you from performing your daily tasks. Tey may recommend medicines that can improve your energy level or help you sleep.
You can manage your fatigue with these techniques:
Exercise. Exercise is the only proven fatigue- relief strategy. Include some form of exercise in your daily routine. Even 15-30 minutes can help you feel more energetic. Choose activities you already enjoy such as walking, cycling, swimming, or yoga.
Conserve energy. Take time for breaks and short naps (less than one hour). Be sure to get a full night of sleep. Go to bed and wake up at consistent times each day.
Te Cancer Learning Center
(CLC) is a free resource library on the first floor of
Huntsman Cancer Institute
801-581-6365 1-888-424-2100 huntsmancancer.org/clc
If you experience cancer fatigue, you may feel you need more rest than seems reasonable for your level of exertion.
Eat and drink well. Eat frequent, small meals to help maintain your strength. Try to limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol. Keep a water bottle with you and sip water throughout the day. Sometimes diet changes can improve fatigue; consult a nutritionist.
Make a plan. Prioritize your tasks so you can be flexible when you have less energy. Allow yourself to take a slower pace and give some tasks to other people.
Help with Fatigue
from the Linda B. and Robert B. Wiggins Wellness Center
* Fitness Program designs the right exercise plan for you
* Registered dietitian guides appropriate diet changes
Please call 801-587-4585 for more information.
NEW FROM THE CLC
Books Myths and Facts About Cancer Fatigue by Ann Berger
Fatigue In Cancer by Maryl Winningham
A Meditation to Help You With Fatigue by Belleruth Naparstek
Solving the Puzzle of Fatigue by Belleruth Naparstek
Dimensions of Caring: Taking Control of Fatigue
Finding Strength for Living
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