Sick & Tired: Managing Cancer-Related Fatigue


Cancer itself is an exhausting disease. Radiation and chemotherapy treatments can be taxing and cause extreme fatigue, and cancer patients are also at risk for anemia, which can sap energy. However, family caregivers can help their loved ones manage fatigue in a number of ways. First, be on the lookout for the following indicators of low energy:

  • Tired eyes
  • Stiff shoulders
  • Decreased or lack of energy
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Increased irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Impatience

If you notice these signs in your loved one, help him or her track fatigue patterns by keeping a diary for one week.

  • Identify the time(s) of day when your loved one is most fatigued or has the most energy.
  • Note any activities or situations that make the fatigue better or worse.
  • Use a 1–10 scale to assess levels of fatigue: 1 as the least amount of fatigue and 10 as the worst possible sensation of fatigue.

After recording the patterns in a diary for one full week,  the symptoms and the patterns should be discussed  with a healthcare professional. He or she may have suggestions for coping with the fatigue—or even some ideas for treatment that could help.

Caring for a loved one who has cancer can be a challenging role, particularly as the disease progresses. Wellness Home Care’s highly experienced care team is always on hand to help your loved one in his or her fight against cancer. We can work with your loved one’s doctor to develop an in-home care plan that meets his or her specific needs and promotes strength and health at all times. Contact us in Goshen, Newburgh, Liberty, Suffern, or White Plains for more information.




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