Cancer related fatigue is profound and difficult to explain. I ran across this article online, which describes this fatigue for patients and caretakers and provides helpful responses. From Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 19, Issue 21 (November), 2001: 4180-4181 American Society for Clinical Oncology . Excerpts:
How can we help our exhausted cancer patients and families for whom prolonged symptomatology is difficult to comprehend? Health care professionals must recognize that cancer-related fatigue is different from fatigue experienced by otherwise healthy persons. Caregivers and family must also be so educated. While exercising or a nap may be helpful suggestions to normally fatigued persons, these may not be the solutions for cancer fatigue.
It must be recognized that each patient is unique. The extent to which cancer fatigue disrupts normal activities will vary widely. In an effort to be encouraging, many colleagues reassured me that many women with breast cancer continue with all their family responsibilities as well as work full time. Rather than helping me, this made me feel somewhat inadequate or lazy because I was so tired. It also led me to fear that my fatigue was all in my head and that if I could only get a grip on my emotion I would be more productive.
. . . . . . . when I can no longer carry on with an activity, this margin is very clear. Attempts to finish a task or pursue a project are unsuccessful. Empty is empty. I do not seem to have a safety margin where, although the needle is on E, there is sill energy to spare. Article