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Picture of Topic After cancer treatment


Topic After cancer treatment

Finished treatment? Trying to find a new normal or perhaps feeling a bit lost and anxious - share experiences and practical tips with other members and the online team.

  • 42 conversations

fatigue after breast cancer

Started by Anonymous on 08 January 2018 at 19:21


I am one year on from lobular BC for which I recieved WLE and radiotherapy. I should be on top of the world but have hit rock bottom with fatigue and depression - I did return to work but am now signed off again because the fatigue has made the depression worse. I have been on fluoxetine for years. My biggest worry is about failing in my next return to work. My boss has agreed to a 2nd phased return. Any suggestions would be great.

Comments (7)

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Displaying 7 comments

  • Picture of Tombenefits
    From Tombenefits  
    12 February 2018 at 12:51

    Hi Cuckoo,

    Many apologies that my earlier reply to you appears to have got swallowed in the ether. We have had some glitches of late - thankfully all sorted out now - that has meant the occasional such hiccup.

    Hopefully Take 2 is now all nicely tucked up in your My Messages box, :-) but I have kept a copy just in case. It's fairly rare that this happens . I normally aim to respond much more quickly , even if my part timedness sometimes only permits a brief acknowledgement until I am next in .

    Thanks for alerting me to the apparent lack of reply and again my apologies for the delay that you have experienced. Further message swaps as we explore the specifics and details should be much quicker :-)

    Best wishes,


  • From Anonymous
    06 February 2018 at 13:51
    Edited on: 07 February 2018 at 12:16

    Hello Tom,

    I don't think I've had a message from you as a follow up to your message on 9th Jan.

    Just to update you. I am signed off from work again for at least another month: total time off 3 months this time (this is my second sick leave since returning to work June 2017 when time off was 5 1/2 months). So not ready for phased return yet. I have read the Macmillan leaflets on returning to work, and looked at my pension etc (I'm 62) but it's all very confusing. I don't want to retire and am worried that working reduced hours will affect my pension. I don't feel my health is bad enough for early retirement (post cancer, osteoarthritus, anxiety and depression).

    Hope to hear fom you soon,


    7th Feb have posted directly to you :)

  • Picture of Robyn
    From Robyn  
    19 January 2018 at 09:51

    Hello Luna
    It sounds as if you have worked hard to find ways to manage the hotflushes you have experienced post treatment. Melatonin can be useful to reset your internal body clock when you have got out of sync with sleeping patterns however it is not recommended as a long term solution . Although your sleep is more restful it sounds as if your bodyclock is still set to an unusual pattern and there may be other support that would help with the fatigue and flushes you are experiencing. You are welcome to message me privately if you would like to talk things over in more detail
    Best wishes

  • From Anonymous
    18 January 2018 at 20:48

    Hi I had the same difficulties three years ago when I finished treatment and returned to my part-time job. Can’t say things have got a lot better as the hot flushes are a nightmare that stop me sleeping at night and mean I nod off as soon as I sit down to watch tv or listen to the radio only to wake up twenty minutes later. Oncologist tried all the usual drugs but nothing helped with my sleep pattern until I asked my GP for help with my diet. A referral to slimming world has helped me lose weight and gain a positive outlook on life. Six months ago I also read about melatonin and how this can help the sleep deprived. It has helped - I am still up through the night and still nod off during the day / evening but it must be doing something as my energy levels are up and the sleep I get is definitely restful. Hope this helps in some way and you find a way of coping with your fatigue. Luna

  • Picture of Tombenefits
    From Tombenefits  
    09 January 2018 at 22:23
    Edited on: 09 January 2018 at 22:25


    I'm Tom, the Online Centre benefits Adviser. Just a quick hello as I am on the road and battery is about to run out.

    There are a variety of ways benefits can help as you ease back into work or support part time work options where full time seems tricky for now

    I will message you to explore more around these and suggestions around adaptions in work, and we can set up a session.

    I will also liaise with a colleague who is a specialist in employment issues and return to work to see any ideas he can bring. And whether a session in the Online Centre between you two might be useful as well

    Best wishes,

    Tom :-)

  • From Anonymous
    09 January 2018 at 11:03

    Thank you BellasGirl. I've been to see my GP today and he has prescribed me some new meds and says I'm not to go back yet. He also reassured me again that I'm 'normal' in the fact I still have fatigue. As you are well aware, it's difficult for those who don't know to understand how it feels and, of course, their biggest wish is that I am better so that's how they expect me to be. My job is wonderful and I really don't want to change my hours (pension looming in 4 years - thank you government). I have just started having counselling, it was good to get everything out! I try to get out for walks weather permitting but am limitted by osteoarthritis in my knee (too 'young' for ne knee!) so is more of a hobble! Ive decided I should have been a dormouse then I could have hibernated! I hope you are gaining in strength and have found the new you?xxxx

  • From Anonymous
    08 January 2018 at 21:52

    Hi cuckoo, I'd like to say I am replying to offer you a solution to your fatigue issues, sadly I'm not! However I wanted to say you are not alone and how you are feeling is perfectly normal. Your body and more importantly your mind has been through a lot. A year is not a long time considering what you have been through. You had Cancer and with that comes the realisation that these things do happen to people like you! Life will never be the same again, because every ache and pain brings an extra added worry! Add to that going back to work and being surrounded by work colleagues who 'assuming they know what you went through' think you are back to 'normal'! Sadly you/we have to learn to live with the 'new normal' and that includes learning to listen to our bodies and realise that sometimes it can't do as much as we would like it too! I know that's really hard to deal with but as you learn to listen to your body it does get easier! It might mean having the occasional afternoon nap, or having a nice walk to wake you up! I get off of the bus a stop early so I can wake myself up before I go into work! It sounds silly but it's simple things like this that help! I also think a little walk gives you a chance to think and sort your head ready for the day! I also wonder if you have had any form of counselling? It might help to sort through your feelings. It's taken me 4 years (and Robyn and Sue encouraging me) to finally admit I couldn't work through my feelings on my own! As for your phased return, I would take things as slowly as you are able. Don't be forced to do more hours than you are able. This about you finding a pace you are comfortable with. I don't know what you do, But you know what cuckoo, it's also okay to admit that you can't do it anymore and that you want to find something else that suits the 'new you' better! I hope you find the solution that helps you and I wish you all the best. Xxx

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