Dana Jennings on cancer fatigue

Today, the NY Times editor Dana Jennings — diagnosed with prostate cancer last year — wrote his blog entry about how cancer makes a person tired. I sometimes can’t relate to Jennings’ posts because they are, of course, tied so closely to his own experience, treatments, and type of cancer. But his words on the fatigue effect of cancer rang true for me. In part, he writes,

It starts with the diagnosis. Knowing that you have cancer exhausts you, stuns you into listlessness. Even so, there’s work to be done. There are doctors to be interrogated, a host of tests and scans to be had, treatment decisions to wrestle with and insurers to kick in the shins. With all that going on, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep.

And later,

There’s one more subtle shade of fatigue: the fatigue of talking about your cancer. From the diagnosis, through treatment and after, the well-meaning questions seem to never stop. How are you feeling? What’s your Gleason? Where’s your P.S.A.? Will you need chemo?

It sometimes feels as if you have become your cancer or, at the very least, its spokesman. And it can be wearing. But I found that it’s crucial to shake off that languor and learn to speak. Sleep heals, but talking heals, too.

Amen, Dana.

You can read his entire entry, “The Many Shades of Cancer Fatigue,” here.


4 Responses to “Dana Jennings on cancer fatigue”

  1. […] post:  Dana Jennings on cancer fatigue   Tags: Cancer, cancer-life, cervical-cancer, gleason, kills-cancer, Prostate Cancer, […]

  2. Well, I can’t say I agree with the end thought, but the rest of it rings true. Cancer gets so much else–it doesn’t get any more of my words or time than it already requires. There are so many other things that have my interest, attention, action, and money.

  3. Well, I know Dawn is with you on that one. She said last night after reading the post, “I know talking is important, but sometimes it gets too be too much!”

  4. Stephanie Jutt Says:

    Yeah, I agree with Dawn – You brought it up!! I’m happy to talk to you – actually thrilled and interested, to talk to you about anything at all – and you’ve got so much going on that it’s always a rich conversation. Keep writing, we’re reading!! Love, Stephanie

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