Cancer-Related Fatigue


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Our dear friend and advocate Mike Mancini passed away in 2022, and we continue to advocate in his memory.

Nothing is more shocking than a cancer diagnosis when you’re healthy and in shape. Mike Mancini was in the best shape of his life and working full-time when he was diagnosed at age 42 with stage IV colon cancer in 2017.

Mike’s Story

Upon Mike’s diagnosis, he learned that his cancer had metastasized to his liver, lungs, peritoneal cavity, and sternum. After his initial colectomy, he had a temporary colostomy bag for eight months. After his colostomy was reversed, Mike began 12 rounds of chemotherapy. 

In 2018, he had a liver ablation to remove a tumor. January 2020 brought a cancer recurrence, and now Mike is actively treating cancer in hopes that one day he will have no evidence of disease (NED). 

To date, Mike has endured about 70 rounds of chemo, as well as more procedures than anyone would ever want to count. He had thoracentesis to remove cancerous fluid from his right lung three separate times and twice on his left lung. He has exhausted the first two lines of chemotherapy treatments and is currently on his third line of treatment. 

Presently Mike is having a positive response to treatment. His tumors have shrunk and his tumor marker in his blood has decreased considerably. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of his treatment is a skin rash on his face and upper body. 

In addition to being a cancer survivor and patient, Mike is a caregiver to his girlfriend who also has stage IV colon cancer.

Always Fatigued

After starting chemo in 2017, Mike’s energy was sapped. The only strength he felt was the push to go to treatments. His daily routine of going to work and working out ground to a halt. He slept constantly but was always exhausted. Even cooking a meal was an ordeal since he could barely lift a frying pan.

Not only did Mike feel physical fatigue, but he was mentally wiped out as well. He struggled to multitask and learning new things was difficult.

In late 2018, Mike had NED and went back to work and working out. When his cancer returned in 2020, Mike resumed chemo treatments, but he kept working, working out when possible, and continued pursuing his MBA. 

By October 2020, everything became too much. Mike stopped working; he stopped pursuing his MBA; but he continued working out. 

Discovering the Untire App

Mike wishes he knew about the Untire app in 2017 when he was struggling with fatigue. Cancer patients need so much help and support when it comes to fatigue, fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness.

Mike appreciates how Untire’s fitness content not only explains the exercises with words, but also with video, which benefits both audio and visual learners. People often don’t have proper form or experience when it comes to basic exercises, so it was a relief for Mike to see an exercise, like a squat, being demonstrated visually with an audio explanation as well. Since poor form can lead to injury, Mike values the time and care that was put into the app to demonstrate the proper form for each exercise.

Now, when Mike goes for chemo, he is physically tired for a few days, so he doesn’t work out. But slowly, as he begins to feel better, Mike returns to his exercise routine. Although he can’t lift weights like he used to, he doesn’t get depressed about his fitness and he reminds himself that any activity is good and will keep him fighting his cancer.

“Don’t forget to listen to your body. Your body is going through a lot and needs to rest. Your mind is dealing with a lot and needs to rest.”

Mike mancini, stage iv survivor

Talk with your doctor or health care provider if you are experiencing cancer-related fatigue. Fight CRC reminds you that you never fight alone, and we are here with resources to help in your fight.

Untire collaborated with Fight CRC to provide a unique link so you can get a free access code for the Untire app. 

Mike’s Top 5 Cancer-Related Fatigue Tips

1. Exercise

Exercise is at the top of the list. Even if you are just walking to the mailbox or up and down your hallway, it's so important to stay healthy and fit to keep fighting the disease.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing meditation or other types of stress-reducing activities is helpful and important. We need to learn how to recognize stress and deal with it in a healthy way.

3. Ensure Proper Nutrition

We need to make sure we are eating lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Fueling the body with proper nutrition will help combat some of the effects of cancer-related fatigue.

4. Develop a Positive Support System

Surround yourself with friends and family who love and support you. Remove as many negative people or influences from your life as possible. When you are battling this disease, you need to keep a positive, upbeat mindset and you won't be able to do that around negative people.

5. Sleep

Make sure you are getting enough sleep and don't worry if you are sleeping frequently. Your body is going through a lot and needs to rest. Your mind also needs to rest. 

For more on cancer-related fatigue, be sure to check out Tired of Cancer and their app, Untire.

According to their website, "Our mission is to help as many cancer patients as possible all over the world to improve their energy levels and to regain quality of life. We aim to reach that by offering an easy-to-use, digital solution in the form of our the Untire App."

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