I have recently been diagnosed with DCIS in the right breast (questionable in the left) and surgeon has recommended lumpectomy with radiation. However, I have been dealing with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome for 19 years and am terrified of the recommended 6 weeks of radiation therapy. I'm extremely concerned that I'm already functioning on a low level of energy and that the major fatigue from the radiation will put me back to where I was 19 years ago..flat in bed and non functional... I can't live that way again. The surgeon doesn't seem to take CFIDS too seriously and I am having trouble finding any information on the effects of radiation treatment on cfids patients. I realize mastectomy without radiation is my other option but if there is any way to avoid losing my breast I'd like the option. Can you help?
Dear news24: I am not aware of any research specifically on chronic fatigue and radiation therapy. Certainly, radiation therapy can make people feel fatigued but there is wide variation in terms of how significant this is. Some people never miss a beat and others need a nap. There is no way to predict how you may respond to radiation therapy. Ultimately, you will need to decide which option feels more comfortable to you.
Hi - I don't think you should be worried about excessive fatigue from radiotherapy ..... it is duck soup compared to breast cancer chemo. However, I have had Crohn's disease for some 37 years and and often have periods of flares when I have to go under the duvet. That is when you really should worry about not only fatigue, but severe rectal haemorrhages and being on hospital prescribed Frutijuice for 4 months.
I think, with respect, you need to get your cancer diagnosis in perspective. This is a life threatening disease and a few weeks or months of fatigue is nothing compared to your life expectancy. It isn't too bad - no nausea like with chemo, and I pray you don't have to go through that.
Perhaps you could get some counselling to help you cope with your diagnosis, or some relaxation/visualisation tapes/CD's to help calm you down and cope. It is a difficult time, but with some positive action and thoughts, you will come through it, like most of us bc survivors have learned to do. I was dx 4 years ago, with lymph node spread, so not a good prognosis, but still here, hale and happy 4 years later.
I do hope your prognosis is good and you get the help you need to get through.
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