The other day you brought up fatigue. You stated, “Like having cancer, fatigue is something you really don’t understand until you have gone through it yourself. It’s beyond tired or exhausted. You just don’t care to do anything. Just the thought of getting up out of the chair seems like a major feat. I never feel rested.”
A good friend of mine…
who also went through cancer, stated it this way: “Tired is going to bed late and waking up early. Exhausted comes after working really hard on something, like painting a room. But fatigue, that is a whole different game. You can sleep and rest 24/7 and still not feel like you have rested. With the first two you can pinpoint why it happened and do something about it, or at least know it is short-lived. Fatigue, you may know it’s because of side effects of cancer, but you have no control over it or when it will end.”
All I could do was nod my head in agreement as you spoke.
I remember one time in particular when my fibromyalgia fatigue had taken control and I could not enjoy our time together. We were on our vacation in northern Minnesota. The kids wanted to go swimming while you were out fishing with your brother, so I needed to go with them to supervise. I felt like an awful mother because I had to cut the swimming short. I could not keep my eyes open! I was falling asleep even though it was early afternoon. It wasn’t fair to the kids, or to me, as swimming with my kiddos was something I enjoyed. I just did not have the energy that time. During the same vacation, I would sneak in naps while you had the kids. When I heard you approaching, I hurriedly got up out of bed, pretending I hadn’t been sleeping, because I felt so ashamed. But deep down, I think you knew.
Fatigue keeps you in a lonely, silent bubble…
that robs you of living a full life. Even though you struggle to be present, the fatigue bullies you out of enjoying the time you have with others; all you can think is, I just want to go home and sleep.
I hope, once the chemo pills and radiation are finished, the fatigue will wane so you can start feeling more like yourself and enjoy your life again fully. After all, isn’t that why we are going through all this hell, so you can have more quality time with all of us? That is our fervent prayer.
Love you with all my heart –
PS This letter was written prior to Mitch’s passing.