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Cancer Health Center

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Daily Life With GIST

Staying Healthy With GIST continued...

Fatigue may occur, either from the cancer, or from treatment or both. If fatigue is present, exercise is helpful to maintain physical and emotional fitness. Prior to exercising, get medical clearance, a proper exercise program, and exercise limitations.


To deal with the exhaustion of GIST, get enough rest every day. Sleep for at least 8 hours each night and take short naps during the day if needed. Schedule activities so as to do only as much as can be handled. Choose the time of day when you feel the most energetic. Ask friends and family for help.

Plan a work schedule around GIST. Work flexible hours and take breaks. If possible, take a leave of absence from work. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, there may be eligibility for up to 12 weeks of leave because of the illness.

Your Emotional Health

Cancer affects more than just your body. Your emotional and mental health may be impacted as well. The uncertainty of treatment, treatment outcome, concerns about the cancer returning, and the effects of GIST on family and friends are also stressful.

Ask for help when dealing with GIST. Family members, friends, spiritual organizations, online support communities, and cancer support groups are all useful support systems. Reach out to a psychologist or therapist to help you deal with challenges. As tempting as it may be, don’t isolate yourself. Stay involved with friends and try to connect with other people who are dealing with similar challenges.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 11, 2014
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