Managing fatigue and cognitive challenges

Understanding fatigue and brain fog

As a result of your cancer and its treatment, it is likely that you will experience some degree of fatigue. Cancer-related fatigue can be described as feeling very tired and lacking energy in a way that gets in the way of your daily activity or function. If you have problems concentrating, thinking, multitasking or remembering things, you are experiencing brain fog (also known as chemo brain). Among other side effects of cancer treatment, fatigue can bring on or worsen brain fog. While there is no medical treatment for cancer-related brain fog, it is possible to manage its symptoms.

Four steps to take control of fatigue and brain fog

  • Tell family or friends and your healthcare team about any fatigue or brain fog, especially if these side effects persistently get in the way of your daily function.

  • Plan your day in advance with checklists, setting reminders, and organizing the things you’ll need the night before or whenever you feel less tired.

  • Be kind to your mind and body by getting plenty of rest, eating well, finding ways to relax, and doing both physical and mental exercises.

  • Be open and honest with yourself and those who care for you about your symptoms and reach out for help from your healthcare team or from a support group.

Connect with someone who’s been there

If you are feeling overwhelmed by fatigue or brain fog, you can connect with someone who’s been through a similar experience who can offer some reassurance and coping strategies.

Resources

Understanding cancer related fatigue and brain fog

Booklet
Learn about chemo brain and fatigue due to treatments, what it means, causes, side effects and how to cope.
download

The 'F' words…Facing Brain Fog and Fatigue

Webcast
Cancer related fatigue and brain fog are often said to be the most common and distressing symptoms reported by people living with cancer. Learn about t…
download

Cancer-Related Fatigue

Podcast
Rachelle Ramsay is a RN with her Certification in Oncology, currently working at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Kent Parlee recently celebrated 36 years o…
download

You are not alone.

Know that the blood cancer community is here to support you every step of the way.