Question asked by: 
Date asked: 
Nov 2016

Is there any guidance on recovery from symptoms such as ongoing fatigue? Is this still normal two years on from surgery and chemo?

Is there any guidance on recovery from chemotherapy symptoms?
Fatigue is a common symptom
Response by Guest Expert Being Together Hertfordshire: Imelda Flanagan CNS

I’m the gynae oncology CNS at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital in Bedfordshire.  My role is all about supporting patients, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the role of your CNS, hopefully you’ve all had access to one. 

Fatigue is a common symptom, and we try and engage people to sign up for groups to help combat it. Ours is called Active Luton, in other areas, I’m sure it’s called something else, it’s emphasising being active. 

Now, the last thing somebody who’s fatigued wants to hear about is being active because they tell they can be sleeping all night and then be still dropping to sleep every two hours in the daytime.  So, we do recognise that activity may not be something that you think would help you.  This fatigue boom and bust cycle is one of the themes on the HOPE programme, looking at what you need to do, looking at prioritising yourself so I recommend people look up a local HOPE course near them.

People do actually say that as much as two years down the line some people are still fatigued, however it’s not many people, people do see improvements.  It’s worth thinking about how you feel, how your mood is, because fatigue is often something that’s expressed psychologically, so maybe some help is needed in that area, too. 

If you feel very low, you won’t want to be doing things, and I would say the first port of call is to speak to your CNS, because engaging with the CNS can then identify where the issues are.  They maybe physical, they may be emotional or psychological, and then we can think about maybe a programme or some service that could help.