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Fatigue may be defined as a feeling of physical and mental exhaustion caused by exertion. However, if you’re fighting cancer, this definition may differ. You might wake up feeling tired, with every muscle in your body aching. Or, it may seem like a heavy weight is bearing down on you. Because of fatigue, you may need to cancel an activity, or crawl into bed right away when you get home. As a result, it may be helpful to know what causes fatigue and how you can combat it.

Here are some ideas about what causes fatigue during a journey with cancer and how you can fight it.

Although it’s not known why fatigue occurs during a battle with cancer, it may be because of the proteins, called cytokines, that cancer releases. Fatigue may be caused by organ damage, muscle weakening, or hormone alteration. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy, or other treatments also may contribute to fatigue. They target cancer and healthy cells, making it difficult to stay energized. Anemia from the cancer, anxiety, insomnia, lack of exercise, improper nutrition, and other issues can worsen fatigue.

If you’re experiencing fatigue during your journey with cancer, let your doctors know. Your primary care physician should join with your oncologist to help you fight fatigue. They may recommend light exercise, such as the Livestrong program at a local YMCA.

Be sure you listen to your body and take it easy. Do what you need to do to conserve your strength for the things you need to do, especially going to medical appointments.

If you or someone you know is on a journey with cancer, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at today.

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During your journey with cancer, be sure to surround yourself with excellent people. Form a

team of people with excellence in knowledge, encouragement, and collecting facts. Spending a significant amount of time with excellent people will help you get the information and support you need as you fight cancer.

Here are some excellent people you want to be part of your battle with cancer.

  • A primary care doctor you like. If you don’t have one, find one. They may need to care for you if you need urgent or hospital care. Do some investigating to find the best fit for you. Look for a doctor who’s knowledgeable, open to answering questions, and willing to follow your breast cancer diagnosis.

  • A nurse navigator. They provide a wealth of information and services to help you understand the cancer diagnosis and treatment process. You need this knowledgeable, caring person in your corner.

  • Close friends. They can listen to you, provide comfort, and help out as needed. Allow your friends to provide meals, watch your kids, and clean your home. They want to support you however you need.

  • A second opinion when needed. If you don’t feel comfortable with what one medical professional suggests, make an appointment to talk with another. You’ll feel more like you’re moving in the right direction on your journey with cancer.

Surround yourself with excellence during your journey with cancer. Include Chix 4 a Cause on your team. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at today.

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A good rule of living is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Focusing on the best possible outcome for any circumstances involves maintaining positive expectations. This is especially important if you receive a cancer diagnosis. Cultivate and keep hope that you will beat the disease.

Focusing on positive thoughts can help you through cancer treatment. The time you spend waiting to see what develops is more productive and pleasant when done with a positive attitude. Live in the moment. Practice gratitude. Breathe. Appreciate the small things.

Keep in mind that the people in your life have your best interests at heart. Even if they don’t know exactly what to say or do, or they can’t relate to having cancer, most people want to help you. Look past their potentially awkward words to the sentiments they were meant to express.

Model a positive outlook for others. Although you won’t always feel happy, display a forward-looking attitude whenever possible. Work on being your best self. Let others help you when needed. Spend more time dwelling on what you have than what you don’t.

Having a positive attitude can make your days of fighting cancer better. If you or someone you know is in need of emotional support during their battle with cancer, get in touch with Chix 4 a Cause. Find out more about our Gifts of Love program at today.

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