I am usually a super positive person. It is not an act, it is not fake, it is just part of who I am. Usually when I am feeling under the weather I like to become a hermit, I don't like showing my negative side. I had chemo on Tuesday and it always hits me hard for about 5 to 7 days. I don't know if this cycle has affected me more or what but I am really feeling the chemo fatigue. Last cycle I managed on a good day to go to the gym, this time it was an effort to go and get my photo taken. I have spent most of today laying on the couch napping. So I thought I would try and describe what I experience when I say chemo fatigue, bearing in mind that everyone's experience is different.
This morning I sensed the sunlight in my room and rolled over, I heard my dog come up to my door to remind me to let her out and I rolled over, I needed to pee but I refused to get out of bed preferring the discomfort of a full bladder. Eventually I made my way to the bathroom, dog and then settled on the couch. I lay there not doing anything no energy to watch TV, read or think, I just stare into space. It feels like you have just run a marathon your muscles ache a little and you feel like even moving your finger is too much effort. The problem with indulging the chemo fatigue I know from experience is that after a day of laying on the couch you have a stiff neck and a sour mood and nothing has changed.
I always struggle with the listen to your body and rest or push yourself and you will feel better. I think the chemo fatigue really emphasis's this struggle. I am sure everyone does something different but I usually allow time for rest and then if there is any energy I take the opportunity to complete small tasks. Even if it means folding clothes whist sitting on the floor and then laying on the floor staring at the ceiling. I celebrate my small accomplishments. I do get overambitious and make plans with friends and then cancel, but I do appreciate it when they show up with some food and are happy to lay on the couch with me.
When you lack energy and spend the day couped up at home I feel my mood slip. I am a firm believer in activity and fresh air as vital ingredients for a good mood. So I will allow myself to lay on this couch today day but I will aim to get up off my butt and walk Smudge around the block this afternoon. I am sure Smudgy will keep me to my word.