Becoming overly tired.

I was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in both lungs last June and the Oncologist said I would survive for approximately one year. I was sent for radiotherapy for palitive reasons on the larger tumor which seems to have halted it's progress, according to a recent scan. The scan also showed that the other three tumors in my other lung had grown in size but that I had also developed a large clot in the lung, which I am being treated for with blood thinners. I also have underlying health problems, Heart Disease (Stents fitted), COPD and Rhumatoid Arthritis. I have a hospice nurse who visits as well as a Hospice Counsellor because my partner recently died, (she had lung cancer and had half of her left lung removed but unfortunately she caught Covid which she could not fight off and sadly passed away). I have become increasingly tired and find myself sleeping more than is normal and I have been told that this is part of the cancer process. I am now afraid to go to sleep in case I don't wake up. Is this normal?

  • Hi

    Welcome to the Online Community here at Macmillan. I hope you find it a helpful place to access support and ask questions. My name is Paula and I am one of the information nurses.


    I am sorry to hear about your partner. Understandably with your partner dying and with your own diagnosis, this is a difficult time for you right now. It sounds as though you have some good support through your hospice.


    Becoming increasingly tired, sometimes known as fatigue, can certainly be normal for people who are living with cancer. Your other health conditions may also contribute to the tiredness too. I was wondering if perhaps you can discuss the fatigue with your hospice nurse if you haven’t already. They may suggest keeping a diary of your energy levels. That way you could keep a track of things daily to see if there is any pattern to your fatigue and to identify if there are any changes you could make that would help. Your hospice may also offer support sessions for coping with fatigue. You might also want to take a look at an online resource called RESTORE on the Macmillan website.


    You have mentioned about being afraid to go to sleep in case you don’t wake up. People with cancer can experience many different emotions and feelings, and cannot always explain the reasons why they are feeling like they are. It might be good to talk to the hospice nurse about this or perhaps the hospice counsellor as they may be able to support you with how you are feeling and make suggestions. You could always speak with your GP too.


    I hope you find this information helpful. You can also always call one of our nurses directly if you want to talk over your concerns or require any further support.


    Take care


    Paula H, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email. 

    Ref/ VG/PH