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Advice for radiation fatigue and running (Read 175 times)

    I know that there are probably other forums on cancer-related sites where I might find information about this issue.  The truth is I don't want to go to cancer sites anymore than I want to go to radiation 5 times a week for the next 7 weeks or chemo for the 8 weeks following.  I'm still pretty pissed that I'm a member of this club I didn't want to join for the 5th time.  Yup, you heard me right.  I'm slightly blindsided this time by how quickly I feel so drained.  I really want to continue running for as long as I can and I realize that I will need to cut back.  I'm hoping to figure out a way to do both for as long as I can in safety because it keeps me reasonably sane.

     

    Has anyone ever had any luck with nutritional supplements improving fatigue or mental acuity?  One physician suggested that I just increase my caffeine intake before 1-2pm daily.  I'm not talking about sleeplessness.  I sleep well.  My problem is I'm so "bone weary" from treatment that I'm literally tripping because I'm dragging my feet, bumping into door jams, and my ability to focus and concentrate is shot.

     

    Please know that this post is not a ploy to garner sympathy.   When you've dealt with my particular health issue for as long as I have, I get anxious about asking for advice or assistance lest people think I'm an attention whore because it represents 25 years of my life now from first diagnosis to this most recent recurrence.  More than a little over it and maybe slightly cranky.  lol. Smile

     

    2013 Goals:  >2,000 miles, 50-miler and 2 marathons  - Goal met PLUS a 50K.  Take that, Cancer.

     


    Feeling the growl again

      I am sorry to hear what you are going through.

       

      I work in oncology...not directly with patients...and have family members who have been through the radiation courses.  In either setting, I have not seen any supplements work; caffeine and other stimulants seem moderately effective.  Stimulants are under investigation for this issue.

       

      You may find this interesting, though obviously you don't have prostate cancer.  Careful exercise does seem to help to a degree.  Take it easy and make sure you let yourself strong for fighting the cancer.  Best of luck.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        Thanks so much.  I was kinda hoping you would respond, spaniel because I thought you worked in oncology.  If for mental health reasons alone, I'd like to be continue running as long as I'm able.  I haven't taken anything off the race calendar but I'm well aware that I won't be racing anything for a while.  I will run/wog/walk as a substitute for now.  I haven't had any luck with supplements either but certainly haven't tried them all and I'm naturally wary of any company that touts freedom from all ills that treatment brings.  Caffeine, it is then...  I don't suppose there are caffeine pills out there, are there?

         

        2013 Goals:  >2,000 miles, 50-miler and 2 marathons  - Goal met PLUS a 50K.  Take that, Cancer.

         


        Feeling the growl again

          Thanks so much.  I was kinda hoping you would respond, spaniel because I thought you worked in oncology.  If for mental health reasons alone, I'd like to be continue running as long as I'm able.  I haven't taken anything off the race calendar but I'm well aware that I won't be racing anything for a while.  I will run/wog/walk as a substitute for now.  I haven't had any luck with supplements either but certainly haven't tried them all and I'm naturally wary of any company that touts freedom from all ills that treatment brings.  Caffeine, it is then...  I don't suppose there are caffeine pills out there, are there?

           

           

          NoDoz and a plethora of other stuff sold at truck stops and your local gas station counter.  Big grin

           

          I think the dosage on those is pretty stiff but I would have to look up the milligrams.  (MTA - or squint closer at the above photo; IIRC coffee is ~100mg a cup)

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           

            awww snap.  How quickly one forgets.  I haven't seen that since pulling all-nighters in college.  thanks, spaniel

             

            2013 Goals:  >2,000 miles, 50-miler and 2 marathons  - Goal met PLUS a 50K.  Take that, Cancer.

             


            Menace to Sobriety

              Went through the same type treatment about 6 years ago. Sorry that you are having to do it again. I was getting pelvic radiation, so after a couple of weeks, I couldn't run for the gastro related issues until that phase was complete. Once I started chemo, I could run a little, but was pretty weary most of the time.  I just did what I could when I could and concentrated on getting better. Not sure what treatements you'll be on, but feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

              Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go f*** himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.

                I'm also getting pelvic radiation but it's exceeding unlikely that we share the same cancer.  I'll be following it with IV cisplatin chemotherapy for late stage cervical cancer.  Yup, too to GI issues but mine have never been that bad, it's the low dull ache in back that can be an issue.  Perhaps to offset the mounting isolation that accompanies the symptoms of treatment & the unrunning runner, I shall use my next 6 weeks wisely and design & fit my aging beagle with a headband that holds a stick and a hotdog as a lure so that he might pull me around my neighborhood so I can wave to people.

                 

                Glad to hear you are cancer free.  That's huge.  I've said it four times so far but my case is exceedingly atypical.  Can't wait to say it again!

                 

                2013 Goals:  >2,000 miles, 50-miler and 2 marathons  - Goal met PLUS a 50K.  Take that, Cancer.

                 

                jimmyb


                  I have a friend who had breast cancer, and had to do the whole routine of chemotherapy and the such. She used visualization while in a very relaxed state of mind to help herself heal and,  in essence, to tell the body that the drugs were good for it. She visualized the chemo destroying the cancer cells and making her healthy (something along those lines). I think she used a book by Bernie Siegel to learn about different techniques that were helpful for some of his patients. She ended up not losing a hair or getting too weak. She's been cancer-free for about twenty years now. At about the same time, she found herself expressing herself in an art and really taking off in it, despite the cancer. Just thought I'd share that. I believe the mind and body aren't separate at all, and perhaps, if you're not already doing it, you might investigate visualization. Cool

                  Log    PRs

                    So sorry you are on round 5.  That truly sucks.  I work in oncology also as a pharmacy tech that helps patients navigate insurances and get patient assistance for medication.  Have you explained to the doctor about the weariness and tired feeling?  Some of our docs will prescribe Ritalin and other related stimulants to help with that.  Some patients have a great response.

                     

                    Have you had Cisplatin before?  It is highly emetogenic.  Best advice I can give is to take your anti nausea medication exactly as prescribed.  Do not wait until you are nauseous.


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      Have you had Cisplatin before?  It is highly emetogenic.  Best advice I can give is to take your anti nausea medication exactly as prescribed.  Do not wait until you are nauseous.

                       

                      IIRC Cisplatin is a drug that worked really well for my FIL when he was battling liver cancer (cancer that originated in his bladder and spread to his liver.  Poor guy was like you, Dari.  Had no risk factors and was healthier than just about anyone I knew.  Cancer's a twunt), but it also made him very ill.  He and Zofran were BFFs for a while.  I hope you don't deal with a lot of that side-effect.  Perhaps ginger in various sources can help with that (I popped ginger capsules and drank ginger ale when preggers sort of as a preventative measure.  Not sure how much it would help with radiation or chemo-induced nausea, though).

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                      Menace to Sobriety

                        Emend worked well for me. Still wasn't great, but it made it tolerable.

                        Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go f*** himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.


                        Feeling the growl again

                          Yes cisplatin sucks for nausea...Zofran went generic a few years back so it has become more affordable on average insurance.  Stuff works pretty well.

                           

                          Wish more progress has been made in developing more effective treatments for this particular one, most advancement recently has been in preventing early stage disease (vaccine).  Treatment once present is still kind of old school.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                            When I last went thru chemo in 2010, I lived on zofran because the nausea was so debilitating.  It was $100 a pill and my prescription plan didn't cover it.  I ended upappealing  to friends on FB and receiving 15 pills within minutes from ppl who had it for morning sickness & cancer alike. Thankfully the cost has gone down since then because the side-effects from cisplatin have not changed. Sad.

                             

                            IIRC Cisplatin is a drug that worked really well for my FIL when he was battling liver cancer (cancer that originated in his bladder and spread to his liver.  Poor guy was like you, Dari.  Had no risk factors and was healthier than just about anyone I knew.  Cancer's a twunt), but it also made him very ill.  He and Zofran were BFFs for a while.  I hope you don't deal with a lot of that side-effect.  Perhaps ginger in various sources can help with that (I popped ginger capsules and drank ginger ale when preggers sort of as a preventative measure.  Not sure how much it would help with radiation or chemo-induced nausea, though).

                             

                            2013 Goals:  >2,000 miles, 50-miler and 2 marathons  - Goal met PLUS a 50K.  Take that, Cancer.

                             


                            Feeling the growl again

                              When I last went thru chemo in 2010, I lived on zofran because the nausea was so debilitating.  It was $100 a pill and my prescription plan didn't cover it.  I ended upappealing  to friends on FB and receiving 15 pills within minutes from ppl who had it for morning sickness & cancer alike. Thankfully the cost has gone down since then because the side-effects from cisplatin have not changed. Sad.

                               

                              IIRC it is now like $15 a pill.

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand