Prior to starting radiation, I heard a lot about the fatigue you get towards the end of treatment. That confused me. I understand why you can get fatigued with chemo therapy. After all, they are putting lots of toxins in you that can lower your blood counts. But why would radiation cause fatigue? I asked my husband, my doctor and my techs about it and they all answered the same. No one really knows why. It just happens.
I experienced my share of fatigue during chemo, so I wasn’t looking forward to it with radiation. If memory serves me, one particularly bad weekend day, I slept nearly 20 out of 24 hours. Fortunately, I didn’t have any problem with radiation fatigue until the last week of treatment. I remember when it hit. I woke up one morning and got out of bed and thought, “Whoa. I’m exhausted and I need to go back to bed.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t go back to bed because I had to get ready to go to radiation. Ironic isn’t it?
Radiation fatigue is different from normal fatigue and chemo fatigue in that rest doesn’t help. I could take a nap and wake up exhausted. It is like being in a perpetual Dramamine fog. My doctor recommends that I take a walk outside when I get too tired. Dolly dog and I have done many laps on the mile long driveway. But the mosquitoes are having a field day with all the recent flooding, and I’m in fear of getting West Nile virus next. Dolly has been vaccinated against West Nile. I have not. So now we are working on inside projects. I do most of the work and Dolly dog provides security.