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Fatigue, Will It Just Stop?

Fatigued

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Donna Fernandez moderator
    2 months ago

    Great article, Sandy, and absolutely spot on!!!

  • anrean
    3 months ago

    Great article! This is my 5th primary cancer since 2002 and I deeply wish people could understand that there is a difference between tired/exhausted and fatigued. When I “disappear” for a desperately needed nap it is not being rude, it is taking care of my body. Yes, I do want to be included in the social functions and I wish you could understand that at some point my batteries will need to be recharged. A hour napping puts me back in the game instead of having to skip it altogether!!

  • Sandy Spears moderator author
    3 months ago

    I am glad you enjoyed reading this and can relate. Yes our bodies needs a recharge sometimes. I am sorry to hear you have been battling cancer for 17 years. Please keep us updated if you’d like on you and your treatments. Best, Sandy

  • Palmdalegirl
    3 months ago

    Sandy, you just said exactly how I feel on a daily basis as well. I also take care of 2 grandkids, a 5 yo and a 2 yo. I’m totally exhausted from both, the cancer, and the treatments, and watching the kids. People think that because you look good, that you must be “cured”. I know my kids think that way. They feel mom looks healthy, so she must be “cured”.

  • Sandy Spears moderator author
    3 months ago

    I am glad you could relate. I get the so you are cured, right? Ugh just have to smile. Best, Sandy

  • Deanna
    3 months ago

    Sandy that was a wonderful message about this fatigue I have it so bad I have small cell lung cancer and my fatigue is just horrible they gave me 18 months almost 3 years ago so it’s been a godsend I hope the best for everyone

  • Sandy Spears moderator author
    3 months ago

    Thank you for reading and enjoying it. Thinking of you, Sandy

  • Gladup
    3 months ago

    I hear ya! Always being told I look great, accept it graciously and.move on. They can’t see how you Feel, only how you look.

  • Sandy Spears moderator author
    3 months ago

    That’s right! Smile big because you earned the compliment. Best to you, Sandy

  • merpreb
    3 months ago

    I hear you on this one. I find that if I don’t tell people that I’m tired or ill they won’t know. I am always told that I look good, and maybe I do that day, but there are others when makeup won’t even do the job. Is it important that they know how ill or tired that you are? If some of your friends are indifferent to you, they aren’t worth the effort. As a lung cancer patient of 22+ years I’ve heard all sorts of things. Most need to be ignored.
    I’m sure that your daughter and other relatives appreciate you- and that’s what counts.

  • Sandy Spears moderator author
    3 months ago

    Wow! 22 years. Thank you so much for your comment. You are right the ones that appreciate is what counts. Best, Sandy

  • Gladup
    3 months ago

    Wow, 22 years! Gives me hope, just 6 months postoperative and 3 months post chemo, tho I only tolerated half the treatment. I hear ya, the only people who really understand are those who’ve been there.

  • Alisa moderator
    3 months ago

    @merpreb I get it! I’m a 19 year survivor and happy to meet someone “older” than me! All the best, Alisa

  • jdpatraw
    3 months ago

    So well said. I was in line at a bathroom and talking to my friend. I said oh I did not remember – chemo brain. The gal in front said my friend says that and I tell her sometimes.it is just an excuse. I thought well honey how would you like to try chemo. I did not say it. I know I can be sensitive but some things said are just plain insensitive. That is my spout off for the day. Thanks for listening.

  • Sandy Spears moderator author
    2 months ago

    Thank You!

  • Gladup
    3 months ago

    Yes, definitely lots of insensitive folks out their, even family and “friends”. I try to ignore the comments but they do hurt.

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