Combat fatigue by embracing change

Submitted by Scott on Sun, 13/10/2019 - 12:55

”Everything begins with a thought, then come the actions” 

Dorian Yates .. Six time Mr Olympia , Bodybuilder. 

The journey through cancer diagnosis and recovery is one that has changed my outlook on life totally. Only once you have stared into the abyss, considered your limited options and decided to embrace the changes required to move forward is it possible to reinvent yourself.  

I spent much time, following my return home after treatment ,considering how that reinvention would actually look. 

It never occurred to me that reinvention wouldn’t be necessary.. Having been taken into the fully immersive environment of leukaemia and its survival I didn’t believe that the new me wouldn’t benefit from a new direction. 

That new direction was exercise and a positivity towards the remainder of the span of time known as life that I had left to use. 

The practical day to day stuff needed to be addressed as a priority. The main issue holding back changes was fatigue post treatment. 

Fatigue doesn’t evaporate quickly once you get up after a nights sleep.. It sticks around all day and is forever waiting to take you off to the dark void of sleep whenever it gets the opportunity. 

So my plan was to fight the fatigue with all the strength I could drag from the inner core of my being whenever I could. 

Only by becoming physically active did I find that was possible. 


One particular day stands out.. I had gone to a local deer park with my wife , we parked up ,I went to get a ticket from a machine about three hundred yards away from the car.. I made it back to the car and that was it . I had an overwhelming urge to go home to sleep. Which is exactly what I did. 

To me that summed up how the fatigue could become all pervasive and beyond seemingly anything I could control. 

Following that day, I embraced a training plan for gym and cycling with a will to succeed that has and continues to surprise me . When you realise what you can do as part of a coherent strategy do you get enough tangible results to push past the old limitations of your soul and into a brave new world. 

I have since realised that the passage of  time post treatment has been the  one of the best solutions to help create the self reinvention I was looking for. 

Fighting fatigue has been the single hardest thing I’ve had to deal with on my journey. 

The best way is still to do what you had planned to do. If I’m set and ready to go for a ride or to the gym I make that happen.. giving of my best when I start the exercise.

One of my favourite quotes resonates with me in those times :  

“Always give 100% whatever your 100% looks like “ 

Lance Armstrong.. Cyclist and cancer survivor. 

Over the last three and a bit years the fatigue has eased off , not to the point where I could go back to the life I had before, not that I would want to anyway,  but certainly enough to be able to function in a meaningful way . 

In the new reality I’m living in ,fatigue is no longer consuming my thoughts or actions.. I’m not saying it won’t ever return but if it did the new focus I have towards exercise and positivity are going to help me to combat it again. Just pushing through and doing more activity not less is the key . 


March 2016 

Diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.. 

October 2019 

In remission since July 2018 ..

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