The tiredness from chemo goes deep, into my bones and drains all the colour away from my face leaving me looking like I’ve put “day of the dead” make up on. It creeps over me like a curse and drags me down to a sluggish sleepy version of myself that longs for sleep or the sofa. I surrender totally and figure if that’s what my body craves then it should have it. Those twelve-hour marathon sleeps and lie-ins amongst the duvets with book, tablet, cat and tea are like a winter hibernation that restores and heals.
Naturally, being bladder related fatigue from in-the-bladder-instilled-chemo the sleep isn’t uninterrupted. Frequent visits to the loo day and night, due to my irritated bladder screaming “empty me”, have become second nature, so much so I feel I’m sleepwalking to the bathroom.
I know it sometimes gets worse before it gets better: that recovery from this, probably like most recovery isn’t linear.
I know that there are similarities and a common playbook but every time is a little different too. Sometimes a headache and aching limbs, sometimes a feeling like a truck has run me over.
I know that some things cut a little through the fatigue. Meditation brings light, deep peace and acceptance. Yoga brings that magic-unicorn-fairy-dust tingling even to heavy limbs. The deep breaths of both yoga and mediation bring oxygen and some calm and a feeling of proactively balancing the sluggishness.
A little exercise helps I’d read, so I walk around the house or in front of the tv counting steps, it does help a little but doesn’t speed things up. The fatigue still takes its time and many hours of deep rejuvenating sleep before the veil of deep-seated tiredness lifts. My advice is to surrender and listen to your body, it knows what it needs.