You have many items on the "To Do" list, but you just do not have the energy to get them all done. Activities that normally take you no time take all day to complete. You are experiencing fatigue. Fatigue is subjective and very individual. In simplest terms, it is the feeling of being more tired than the level of activity exerted. Fatigue often interferes with day to day functioning.
Fatigue may be related to medical conditions such as anemia (low hemoglobin), low thyroid function or infection. It is one of the most commonly reported symptoms at the time of diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Active myeloma, treatment and side effects like dehydration or uncontrolled pain cause fatigue. Steroids are often used in myeloma treatment. They initially can cause insomnia and hyperactivity with a rebound effect of being fatigued. Depression also contributes to fatigue.
Your health care provider may ask you to rate your level of fatigue at baseline, or the start of treatment, and then throughout your treatment. It is important to offer the information and discuss your level of fatigue with your healthcare provider. If the level of fatigue is out of the norm for your level of hemoglobin or cycle of treatment, this may lead to more testing to find another cause.
Managing fatigue can be done by taking a proactive approach. If fatigue is due to a medical condition like depression, anemia or infection, treatment of the underlying condition will improve energy. Maintaining proper nutrition, hydration and participating in a regular scheduled exercise program have also been found to be beneficial to improve energy. Becoming aware of how you react to medications will help in planning activities and adjusting your schedule for times when you will have more/less energy. Fatigue may not be life threatening, but it alters quality of life and should be discussed with your health care provider.