Do Not Accept Cancer Fatigue As “New Normal”

Barbara Tako is a breast cancer survivor (2010), melanoma survivor (2014) and author of Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools–We’ll Get You Through This. She is a cancer coping advocate, speaker and published writer for television, radio and other venues across the country. She lives, survives, and thrives in Minnesota with her husband, children and dog. See more at,or

[ / Barbara Tako] I saw the diagnosis on my medical chart, “chronic fatigue” and felt a familiar twinge of frustration. My “chronic fatigue” diagnosis was not on my medical chart before my cancers. I wondered why it was listed as “chronic” rather than “cancer-related fatigue” (CRF)? Maybe my fatigue has more than one cause? As someone who also struggles with sleep apnea, I decided to go see a sleep psychiatrist about it all.

The sleep psychiatrist was very thorough. I knew there were patient quizzes for depression and anxiety. I learned there was also one for fatigue! The psychiatrist also ordered more thorough blood work to be done. She worked with me to tweak my CPAP machine to help me too. I was grateful and I wish I had gone to her sooner. Lesson learned: Do not put off or wait to seek help to address fatigue. [Read more…]