Struggling emotionally

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Hi all

I’m 3 months post treatment and I’m not sure if this is a normal part of recovery but I’m really struggling mentally and with my emotions. I’m very restless and weepy.

I’m also weaning off morphine at the moment which I’m sure isn’t helping.

I feel like I’ve no energy or inclination to do anything and it’s really getting me down.

I am trying to have a more positive mindset but it’s not easy. 

I’m still struggling with eating and I’m reliant on fortisips. Still only managing about 1500 calories which I’m sure is not enough. As this is a daily battle I’m sure this isn’t helping me either but it’s so hard to eat when you feel nauseous and have no appetite.

I went back to work a few weeks ago, just part-time but this week I’ve struggled to get out of bed.

Is this normal? And will it get better?



  • Hi Suzanne 

    emotionally this is a really topsy turvy time. A form of PTSD
    have a read if this essay on cancer recovery. You might find a good number of explanations there.

    Your lack of energy does have a physical cause. We call it radiation fatigue. It’s real and debilitating. You can’t fight it. You just have to rest. 

    I must say that going back to work this early especially when you aren’t yet eating properly is a mistake. 
    Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard 

    It does get better a dat at a time a step at a time, though sometimes backwards  


    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

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  • Hi Suzanne 

    You’ve done brilliantly going back to work after 3 months - it was 6 months before I went back and even then I struggled. So don’t beat yourself up you are doing great. 
    im 9 months post treatment and still have to rest a lot and motivation is hard. 
    After 3 months I was struggling to eat too, go for high calorie stuff if you can. 
    I went away for a week with my sister at 4 months to try and get back into a routine of getting up for breakfast and doing a bit of walking and reading - been away from home was good. 

    I think it takes a long time - take it easy 

    Rachel x

  • Hi Suzanne, it is normal to feel like this after what we go through, I remember I used to think. Did that really happen? Recovery can be a long-drawn-out process; you have to give yourself the time to heal. You will get there, recovery can't be rushed.


  • Hi Suzanne

    Tonsil cancer HPV16+ finished treatment June 2023

    I had 30 radio and 4 chemo ...PEG feeding...really struggled, low points seemed to come fast and furiously, no sooner had I climbed over one hurdle then another 3 appeared....every day was a hard day....but things do improve ...slowly at first then improvement accelerates....struggled badly with eating until last September then my eating started have a healthy BMI and enjoying most of my food and drink....actually look forward to meal times.

    Coming off morphine is not pleasant for most.

    Fatigue still be expected ...tough treatment to recover from.

    Take care 


  • Thanks Dani, I’ve read that essay before but it really resonates when reading again. It is so hard some days to get going but I suppose it’s only to be expected.

  • Hi Listen to your body it’s really early days for you. Like Dani says going back to work too early can have a detrimental effect. Yiu need to be eating around 2500 calories a day or

    I did. I 5 foot   9 stone that’s what dieticians  worked out I needdd. and that only maintained my weight for a good 15 months I ate that amount every day. Very little pleasure was derived from food for a good 6-9 mjnths I took the mantra food is fuel. What you’re feeling is normal. You could also have radiation fatigue which is debilitating I had it for a good while. I used to take 20 min power naps which helped me. It’s not forever although you may feel

    like it. Remember the treatments killed cancer in a delicate part of our bodies it takes time to recover. It’s a marathon not a sprint. 
    Try to uo your food intake 

    hugs Hazel 

    Hazel aka RadioactiveRaz 

    My blog is  HPV 16+ tonsil cancer Now 5 years  post treatment. 35 radiotherapy 2 chemo T2N2NM.Happily getting on with living always happy to help  

  • Thanks Rachel. I’ll try not to be so hard on myself.

  • Thanks Ray, I’m so keen to get on with life I’m struggling with my limitations.

  • Thanks Peter, it’s reassuring that things do get better, especially with food and eating.

  • Thanks Hazel. I am trying with eating I’m just finding it so difficult. And I’m so frustrated I give up easily I think. You’re right, food is fuel, I’ll keep trying.