Mental Health

Cancer and Fatigue: Are You Tired of Being Tired?

I have been tired for as long as I can remember. Add cancer to that mix and my tired nature turned into full-blown fatigue. For most cancer patients, fatigue is a common side effect. Treatment itself can also have an impact on your sleeping patterns. In this post, we will discuss how fatigue can affect you during and after cancer and how to combat the effects.

Cancer and Fatigue

During chemotherapy, I was better about resting and taking care of my body, which was needed to make it through the harsh treatments. This is common for many patients in active treatment. After chemo and surgery though, I tried to get back to my “normal” life and found it a struggle. Many patients will still feel very tired for months or years following treatment and may feel shocked by this impact.

While fatigue in people with cancer may be common it doesn’t mean you have to settle for a lack of rest and sleep. If you are in active treatment such as chemotherapy it is worth talking to your care team about your number of red blood cells, iron levels, and the potential impact on your energy.

Cancer and Fatigue: Are You Tired of Being Tired?

If you talked to your doctor and nurse and you don’t have a blood cell or blood work connection to your fatigue, you can use the app I mention below to identify triggers which contribute to fatigue and better understand your Cancer Related Fatigue. This awareness can lead to small lifestyle shifts that may improve your healthy habits and energy levels.

When I discovered the Untire app, I was desperate – fed up with the long term side effects of treatment. The Untire app specifically focuses on helping cancer patients and survivors address their fatigue. I’m sharing my experience with you as a breast cancer survivor in hopes that this free app can aid your fatigue recovery.

Untire app

We are proud to partner with Untire for today’s post. Sponsors are carefully selected in conjunction with our mission statement to bring you content we think you’ll love and find useful! All opinions and editorial decisions are solely my own.

Managing Cancer Related Fatigue | CRF vicious cycle

When you first download the Untire app, you will learn about CRF, something I had never heard of before. CRF is unique and can come and go leaving you exhausted in ways you may have never imagined before.

Research has shown that recovery time from CRF is often much longer than ordinary fatigue. Considering all that our bodies have gone through during cancer treatment and maintenance I am not surprised we are left dealing with these lingering side effect of cancer.

Causes and Interventions

Managing Cancer Fatigue | Untire App

Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common cancer side effects. Finding the cause of CRF requires self-reporting and a multi-step process with your care team to rule out more specific medical causes such as thyroid disorders, anemia, pharmacological effects or psychological conditions such as depression ( This NIH article goes more into depth on the current research and approach to identifying and treating Cancer Related Fatigue. Since a combination of factors generally causes CRF, it can be helpful to treat it in a holistic sense. Each person’s fatigue and the causes may be different so it’s important to work with your medical team to determine the best approach for your situation.

In terms of how CRT is “diagnosed” the initial scale generally only reflects fatigue severity and intensity. There is some discussion on how a multidimensal scale would better represent the physical, emotional and cognitive impacts of CRT. This more holistic approach to looking at CRF can be difficult as well because there is no reference of standard to compare or refer to for patients experience fatigue. While there is a lot to be learned in this area medically, I did find the Untire App was a helpful resource to understand my cancer related fatigue.

How Does the Untire App Help with Fatigue?

The first step in treating any side effect is to recognize and identify the issue. The vase of energy helps you visualize your energy capacity at any given time and then move on to look at areas impacting your energy negatively or giving you energy.

Assess Your Energy Level:

Untire App Vase of Energy

Fatigue Themes

The fatigue themes section of the app is focused on education. I love the short, animated, snippets of information focused on areas that influence your energy level such as stress, worry, sleep issues, or anxiety.  You can move through the themes at your own pace and find the ones that best apply to your needs.  This is my favorite aspect of the app as it challenges me to confront the areas of my life that are draining my energy and explore means to improve my current state of fatigue. It’s both educational and fun. I like that the sections are short and easily digestible.

Managing Cancer Related Fatigue | Untire App Homescreen

Physical Activity

This physical activity section of the app helps you build mental and physical stamina through small, achievable activities. While some of your CRF may be medically related, other areas can enhanced through building stamina over an extended period. I like that the exercises given to you each week are simple and easily incorporated into your life. I also like that the exercises build off of each other, giving you routines you can incorporate into your daily life.

Managing Cancer Related Fatigue | Physical Activity

Reducing Stress

Stress and anxiety play a major role in fatigue. Our symptoms of cancer and the emotional toll can have a big impact on our stress and anxiety. There is an entire section within the Untire app focused on reducing stress through easily implemented exercises. I have enjoyed the breathing techniques and full body scan activities focusing on mental stress and relaxation. You can work through these exercises as time allows and return to any section when you want for a refresher.

Managing Cancer Related Fatigue | App in use


CRF can cast a shadow over our lives. It can make us feel like a cancer will never lose its grip on us. But little by little, we can make progress to improve our energy and address the long-term fatigue. The Untire app has a section for inspirational tips. It’s a nice pick me up when you’re having a bad day or get lost in the sadness of your fatigue.

Untire App inspirational tips

Community & Support

The app also allows users to connect with a community of other users focused on the same goal. Struggling alone is hard; working on something challenging together can be more fun and more successful.

Join the app with a friend and help hold each other accountable. The Untire Facebook community is also available at your fingertips for additional support, insight, and tips. If you check out the app, I would love to connect with you and share our experiences on social @mycancerchic

Cancer Related Fatigue Reflections

I have really enjoyed learning more about fatigue and reflecting on my energy. It’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day and forget that we are not meant to always feel exhausted. Our bodies are amazing and need to be taken care of, particularly after the toll of cancer treatment.

The Untire app has encouraged me to reflect more on my time and priorities. Not only am I more mindful of things that cost me energy, like errands, work, and cleaning, but I am also more aware of the energy-draining areas such as worry, anxiety, and stress. This awareness has forced me to confront the stress in my life and take meaningful self-care steps toward improving my lifestyle to eliminate fatigue.

You can download the app for free in the app store or GooglePlay on Android. Connect with the Untire app team on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter to learn more about their mission and how the app works for other patients and survivors.


    Melisande Balleste

    June 14, 2018Reply

    👍 post. At times I feel tried and fatigue due to my financial situation 🙄 which seems to be central theme instead of living life and enjoy it. Thank you as always 👍 information.


      June 14, 2018Reply

      That makes so much sense. With the added financial stress related to an illness it makes sense that that finances would impact our sleep and overall stress.

    Emily Adams The Planking Traveler

    June 15, 2018Reply

    That looks like a really useful app. I feel tired all the time due to chronic fatigue syndrome that I believe was partially genetic as my Mom has it as well, so I can relate to your feelings in a small way.


      June 15, 2018Reply

      I truly hope it can help you in some way!


    June 15, 2018Reply

    I’m constantly feeling fatigued as well. It’s a daily challenge. I’m always careful to watch what I eat and drink so I’m not contributing to the problem. Have you tried some of your oils to help with fatigue? That might be an option.


      June 16, 2018Reply

      I do use an essential oil blend at night for sleep and love lavender for calming. What oils do you like?


    June 19, 2018Reply

    That app is pretty cool. I downloaded it and checked it out and I like all the clear instructions it gives. Better ham most apps that just throw you into the thing without explaining how any of it works, or it’s purpose.

    The hubbs


      June 21, 2018Reply

      So impressed you checked it out.


    June 26, 2018Reply

    Just because Chemo/radiation is over for a month or more does not mean you should not have a full blood workup every few months. Anemia and other abnormal blood anomalies can cause severe fatigue. I see my Oncologist and GP , between the two they order comprehensive blood tests, (approx 50 individual tests).


      June 26, 2018Reply

      Thank you for sharing your insight

    Sarah Newman

    July 24, 2018Reply

    I am so happy to have found your website and particularly this specific blog. (I wish I would have found months ago) I completed chemo in January and am currently going through the tissue expander process (bilateral mastectomy). The fatigue is kicking my butt!!! I am so glad to know I am not alone in this and am loading the app now. Thank you so much for sharing.

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