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Cancer Health Center

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Cancer Support: Coping With Cancer Treatments - Topic Overview

Treatment and side effects continued...

Fatigue is a common side effect, and it can really disrupt your life. Some people notice that they feel a little more tired than usual. Other people feel like they have no energy at all. Some days may be better than others.

It's okay to rest when you feel tired. On days when you feel better, try a bit of activity. A short walk may boost your energy.

Here are some ways to care for yourself when you're feeling weak and tired:

  • Get extra rest. Plan ahead so you can take breaks or naps.
  • Save your energy for the most important things you want to do.
  • When you feel good enough to eat, try to eat a balanced diet. Try not to skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • Try to calm yourself when worries fill your head. Deep breathing, gratitude, music, and prayer are all ways to lower your stress level.
  • Accept help from family and friends for home chores and other tasks.

Help and support

Cancer treatment can take a huge toll on your energy, sense of well-being, and emotions. This is the time to take care of yourself and turn to others for support. It's not always easy to ask for help, especially if you're used to taking care of others and doing everything for yourself. But remember that the people around you probably are eager to support you. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness.

Think about the types of help you want. You may need:

  • Someone who can listen to your worries and fears or simply keep you company.
  • Help with errands or picking up kids.
  • Meals and groceries delivered to your home.
  • Rides to and from appointments.

You may find that you have too much help or not enough. If you feel overwhelmed by offers of support, ask a family member or close friend to organize the people helping you so you can focus on taking care of yourself. If you need more help, your doctor can connect you with local programs that can assist you with support, meal deliveries, transportation to your appointments, and other needs.

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