Fitness vs. fatigue management – it has really been a struggle for me to find the balance. When you sign on the dotted line to take breast cancer treatments they tell you every little possible horrible thing that could happen to you, and you sign those forms knowing all the risk factors. One of the after-effects I still have is extreme fatigue, where at the end of the day I am so tired I do the head bobs at the dinner table trying not to fall asleep in my mashed potatoes. I chuckle when this happens as it reminds me of little children in Disneyland at the end of their day, sitting in a restaurant and falling asleep while they are eating because the are all used up. Totally spent!
Our bodies have this “energy account” and how we spend our energy determines our fatigue level. I would never have known this without going through treatments. Before breast cancer I slept maybe 7 hours a day and that was all I needed – I couldn’t sleep longer even if I tried. Now I need at least 9 hours or more, and wake up still tired. I know this is the result of the chemo and the rads – but I’d had no idea how much this would disrupt my life.
I tried going back to work full-time and kept crashing. I am now taking Wednesdays off to recharge mid-week. I have found “fitness” hasn’t improved my fatigue level (which I secretly hoped it would), but it hasn’t made it worse either. What has been most interesting to me is that a one-hour meeting at work takes more out of me then a one-hour workout. I think the mental energy we burn throughout the day, with the concentration, and multi-tasking, is a larger load on our bodies than what I was ever before aware of. I spend my Wednesdays off visiting doctors and in silence. The quieter I am, and the less interaction I have with others, the more my energy levels go up. I think I’ll become a monk!
Yes, I am the hottest date around town, if we go out for dinner on a Friday night, by 7:30 I am yawning away at the restaurant… such a classy girl!
Life is good,
Jordan is a Best Health reader and guest blogger. Find links to all of her posts on the Breast Cancer Blog home page.