Saturday, September 26, 2009

How Fatigue Affects Me

I’ve often said that I have no strength in my legs for standing or walking. Well, today I wanted to share a few of the other ways constant fatigue shows itself in my every day activities.

Household chores such as washing floors, folding laundry, cooking, scrubbing pans, etc have become more than difficult. I have to constantly sit and rest while doing anything at all and to be honest ... I don’t do much house work anymore. Anything that requires physical effort just isn’t fun in the least.

Eating certain foods is difficult if not impossible. My jaw seems have no strength to bite down on some foods. For example; I have difficulty eating apples, fresh vegetables/salads ... raw carrots are out of the question. Sandwiches such as bacon and tomato or turkey or any type where the food is tough or chewy are difficult for me to bite through. So I usually avoid them.

Things like wraps are great for me because the food is already all chopped up. Last Wednesday when I went out for supper, I ordered Shepherd’s Pie which is ground beef with mashed potatoes. It was very easy to eat but I did experience something unusual for the first time. I had difficulty lifting the fork up to my mouth. Not sure if the outdoor table setup was an odd height or because it was an extra warm evening ... but my hand actually started shaking as I brought the fork to my mouth. I was so weak in my arms that evening.

Driving has become a bit of a challenge. Some days it feels like my car has standard steering instead of power. It actually takes effort to turn the steering wheel to turn a corner.

Brushing my teeth had become a real chore. But thankfully, my dentist gave me an electric toothbrush which cuts the effort by at least half. I now sit on the edge of the tub and let the toothbrush do all the work.

Applying make-up is no longer pleasurable. It requires too much effort so I don’t.

I can hardly believe I’m so weak.


Renee said...

It is the taxotere Daria. I am sure of it. I hated to chew and it made me even more tired.

Love you.

Renee xoxo

whidbeywoman said...

Go on-line and check with your local library for some cookbooks for chemotherapy patients. I have checked some out and Ron enjoys the food so much he wants me to purchase some. They are easy to prepare, nutritious and easy on the jaw and mouth sores.
Is there someone who can help you with household chores? Or maybe you can get on a schedule... one chore a day, and rest in between.
God bless you.

Michelle said...

Sounds like my mum.

Love to you


Alison D said...

Sometimes I just feel I've hit a brick wall and yet often I can't sleep. I do understand. Small meals and small rests suit me but I hope the help and advice you're being offered will not only help but show you that so many people are with you in spirit. God bless you

Sherry said...

You describe the fatigue so well Daria. This is a perfect picture of how debilitating the fatigue from chemo can be. Anyone who has never experienced it will get a first hand view from this post.

Conserve where you can sweet and know that you are permitted to let the housework go!!!!

Debby said...

I remember, by the end of chemo, feeling as if. I. was. simply. running. out. of. steam. How many more chemos do you have to go?

Daria said...


My chemo treatments are indefinite.
If the side effects get to be too much the oncologist would cut the dosage back. If I wanted a break for a short time, that could be arranged too.


Sandy said...

Oh goodness Daria, I saw it take a toll on TJ like that also and actually still is. I am sure D is willing to help around the house and I also like the idea of one chore a day. Heck, that is how I do housework now myself. I have so much to do with work and taking care of TJ that I don't have a lot of time or energy to devote to housework so one chore a day it is.

Denise said...

I am so sorry girl....... so sorry.. I do not know what to say but to just pray..... but that is a powerful thing! I will pray for strength for you.......... I WILL pray!

Carolyn R. Parsons said...

Wow..that sounds, well, I won't mince words, horrible. Yet you seem so accepting of it and strong inspite of it.

I hope there comes a day when you can be free of these drugs and this disease.


nollyposh said...

(((Hugs))) Can someone juice your vegies for you? i find i get strength back when i can juice and therefore get the most/more from my food with the least amount of stress on my body (i found this particularly helpful during cancer treatment)... Also vitamin B12 and Selenium (Ian Gawler has a lot of helpful hints in his books: ) Love to you xox

Carol Urban said...

I don't have any energy to clean. Just taking a bath wears me out. I choose whether to dry my hair or put on makeup if we're going out. Lately, it's been a bath but no hairdo and no makeup. I lay in bed during chemo week and hope the following week will be good enough that I feel like going out. I am very lucky that my mother in law has been staying with us during chemo week. She cooks and cleans. I am so thankful to have her.

Joanie said...

I had no idea chores as simple as brushing your teeth or lifting a fork could be so challenging!

Sure wish I lived near you. I'd help out with your housework.

John looked so good, even during chemo, that it was hard for me to understand why he was so tired. Now I think I get it.