Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Before DCIS, I remember feeling suddenly tired in the daytime.  I blamed getting adjusted in a new state, moving twice in a little over a year, and still recuperating from spine surgery.  Sometimes, I would just have to take a nap.

Tamoxifen, after two months, makes the daytime fatigue attacks more intense.  Nine a.m. is a fairly dependable droop time.  As Dad used to say, my head "feels full of cotton wool."  And sometimes if I'm home in the afternoon.

In desperation, I've ignored the digestive health doctor in favor of morning and early afternoon coffee breaks.  (But no caffeine on an empty stomach.)

Today, in search of comforting news instead of the usual experiments on rats, I opened Cancer Research UK.  This is a charity organization, no doctors mentioned.  I usually avoid sites like this, but it seemed like a better idea than another nap.

I turned to the Tamoxifen page. In their Common Side Effects, they say "Fatigue (tiredness) affects about one out of four women.  1 of 4!  Yet the survivors I know never mention it to me.  And a couple of websites I frequent say that half the women with cancer therapy fatigue never mention it to the doctor.

I clicked "fatigue from cancer drugs" and then "What you can do about fatigue."  And there it is:  the thing I avoid so often now:  exercise!   That thing they say will keep me alive.  I even posted about the Therapeutic Landscapes quote that two hours of nature walking a week helped some cancer patients with the kind of thinking and poor attention span I'm worrying about. At least I do climb the stairs at both libraries

But I have been avoiding my weights:  too busy, and skipping my walk: it's storming out there again.  My new copy of "Strong Women Stay Young" is in the closet.

I see a vicious circle here:  The more depressed I am, the more I don't exercise.  So I get more depressed.    Is that the whole story?  I think there's more to this.  First, I want quicker results.  If a few days of walking don't help, I go back to the rest of my to-do list.
Second, I think a key is:  It's boring.  I used to do my weights in California with the TV on.  In the valley, I only did a few useless minutes--didn't get bored and didn't get results.

Third:  And maybe most important:  Since it's boring, I need to balance it by giving myself time for things that aren't boring.  You know, like fun!


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