I talk a lot about cancer survivor fatigue on this blog. I created Brio to focus on tackling fatigue in cancer survivors because it’s a common symptom and it’s a disruptive symptom, but it’s also symbolic of the cancer experience.
Fatigue is common because cancer treatment downright causes fatigue. We’ve talked about that ad nauseam.
Fatigue is disruptive because when you’re tired, you don’t feel energetic or clear enough to get the business of life done. We’ve talked about that ad nauseam, too.
But fatigue as a “symbolic symptom?” Symbolic of what?
I believe cancer survivors associate fatigue with the whole experience of cancer as an illness. It’s so pervasive during cancer treatment, how could you associate it with anything else?
Fatigue is the opposite of vitality, the opposite of feeling effective and virile. Fatigue is symbolic of suffering, of slowing down, of fading - not thriving.
This irony is part of the struggle. Cancer survivors are well. You beat the cancer monster. But you don’t feel well.
Those opposing forces cause distress. They cause questioning. They cause stagnation.
And when fatigue lingers, it’s a constant reminder of how fragile life is. A reminder of everything you want in your life but maybe can’t have.
And that’s why, when I ask Cancer Survivors what you want, you always say you want your life and energy back.
You want to keep going, without interruption. You want to continue living your life.
And when you say you want your life back, you follow with exactly how you want to feel when you get your life back.
On this point you are abundantly clear. You know what results you want:
To be happier and healthier.
Able to enjoy life again.
Have enough energy to get things done.
A great outcome.
To feel fit and strong.
You know exactly what you want, but not always how to get it. There’s the crux of the problem.
It’s heart-breaking to hear cancer survivors say:
I’m tired of trying.
I’ve tried everything.
I’m too tired to try anymore.
It’s heart breaking because, my goodness, what was the point of all this struggle, anyway?
The point was living well, with good health, living to love and enjoy your family, experience your passions, and feel the sunshine on your skin for many days to come.
It was to get better and feel better than ever.
But the way to fix it isn’t totally obvious.
I’ve asked cancer survivors what you want in a program to fix your fatigue.
One cancer survivor said, “It needs to be easy, good information, a way of life.”
I couldn’t agree more.
I’m presenting a workshop this week about how to find vitality after cancer in three steps.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not, but the steps aren’t necessarily easy and the results aren’t automatic.
But they’re what science says works for cancer survivors with fatigue.
And there’s a secret at the end of the presentation that’ll knock your socks off.
You’ve gotta register to get the whole story:
Take care Survivors, and I’ll see you at the Workshop!
If you have questions about the dates and times, email me at email@example.com - I’ll get back to you ASAP.