arms handing a pillow and blanket to another pair of arms

Fatigue, Will It Just Stop?

Sometimes I feel like people think I am exaggerating my illness. I am the kind of person who never goes out without makeup and hair done, even if I am not feeling well. 6 am taking the grands to school I’m dressed and hair done, or brushed.

I feel people don't understand that there are bad days, like when they don't see me, even though they caught me on a good day. A lot of us have symptoms you cannot see, fatigue being one of them.

I don’t want sympathy, I want sleep

I don't want sympathy or pity from anyone, but sometimes I would just like an acknowledgment that I am sick and there are days I am not well or I am too tired to socialize, too tired to do that last load of clothes or cook a huge meal. Just understand although I look good on the outside I may be struggling on the inside. I may need that extra nap so just give me a pillow and cover.

Do you ever hear the 'Oh, I know what tired is like, I have a hard job, and I have kids?' How about the 'I don’t want to hear how tired you are, I’ve done this all day.'

I sympathize with them, really, I do. I know they are genuinely tired. The tiredness we experience with lung cancer, or cancer treatments is the kind where one minute you feel you can take on the world and the next, oh my goodness, you cannot move, you cannot hold your eyes open. The fatigue just zaps your energy. The fatigue is sometimes so severe that you cannot function.

I know how you feel

I know kids can wear you out, you are right. I keep my grands, a one year old and a 6 year old who by the way is so hyper and a 12 year old. I know that kind of tired. Lung cancer does something else. The fatigue with lung cancer is mentally draining. I know they are just trying to relate to me and say something that lets me know they are empathizing. I know they care about me.

Please understand fatigue is huge. Most days we fight through it, for you, for our families, friends, and ourselves. Although, a lot of times we keep smiling and look great.

Smiling through fatigue

I tell people, just because I have lung cancer, doesn't mean I have to look sick. I smile because I now see all the beauty in the world that I was once overlooking. I believe, when someone hears the word lung cancer, they picture the worst. But, I tell everyone I choose to look my best. So, when they say, "you look good," I graciously thank them because I got up, I put in the effort and energy to look my best.

Some days it may be noon before I get dressed, I will do my best to look my best when I walk out the door for as long as I can. I will take that nap when I need that nap. I will ignore that load of clothes when I am dragging. Fatigue is my body telling me to rest. So I rest.

Have you felt fatigue?

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