Quality-of-Life: Managing Cancer-Related Fatigue

Cancer-related fatigue can be a tremendous burden on patients and caregivers. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Mariam Nawas and oncology nurse, Mary Lappe, of University of Chicago Medicine, about how cancer-related fatigue is identified and managed.

Patients and caregivers will be empowered to work with their treatment teams, addressing cancer-related fatigue to improve quality of life during cancer treatments and survivorship.

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Support for this episode is provided by University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center.


  1. I have both CLL and CML being treated with Sprycel for my CML. I have fatigue everyday I know that I need to get everything done in the morning that is my best time. I’m stil W&W for the CLL so that is always in the back of my mind. I enjoyed this webcast very much.

    1. I love this. As I’ve been fighting cml for a little over a year now I’ve been really fighting my self with work rasing my younger son that has an special disability and just being able to be myself this new self and person with the new schedule and medication and feeling it’s definitely been a struggle for this momma.

  2. A timely podcast, as one of my symptoms was extreme fatigue before being diagnosed with AML.
    I am currently one year in remission. Currently, my worse symptom is balance (had to sell my bicycle), as I tend to weave bit like I’m tipsy.

  3. I have Plasmablastic Lymphoma and received a stem cell transplant from my body over a year ago. Overall I’m feeling well but I notice that after doing heavy physical work (painting the house and installing windows, etc) that I become very fatigued and it takes several days before I feel normal. My blood count has remained slightly anemic, so I’m assuming that I don’t have enough reserve energy to “bounce back”. I just want to share this w/ others.

  4. I’m newly diagnosed with cancer. I’m just getting fatigued.. I’m also diabetic and have blood clots,all of them cause some tiredness over the past year. Most I’ve been more tired in the past month. Walking around on trails helping me emmencely.

  5. Thank you for this podcast. The in-depth discussion of the many symptoms of cancer related fatigue such as the inability to get proper restful sleep, physical weakness, changes in mood, irritability, or little interest in social activities were many of the symptoms I have encountered after starting my treatment. Besides having a strong treatment team, it is so helpful to have additional information from the LLS podcasts. The suggestions for dealing with CRF in the podcast were very helpful as well.

  6. I found this podcast very informative for me. After having bronchitis I did not recover as quickly as I usually did in the past. I told my PCP that the fatigue level was just terrible; I knew something was not right. He immediately did a CBC and there it was – CLL. I am being seen by a CLL specialist at UNMCCC, Albuquerque. Though I am in the “W&W” group the fatigue is my biggest issue.

  7. I am just starting out after my 5/11/23 diagnoses of LLS. I am in the wait and watch mode or as one of the folks on chat said, patiences think of it as watch and worry. Maintaining a positive attitude.

  8. I have had CLL for at least 50 years and am experiencing a lot of CRF cumulatively over the years. It has affected my ability to walk easily and to climb stairs. The fatigue is unreal! (Try to explain to normal energy people why you can’t do this or that! They just don’t get it!) This podcast was excellent because diet, exercise and a lot of other factors DO make a huge difference in quality of life. Plus they all need to be checked out to be sure they aren’t a contributing cause.

  9. First, I would like to personally attest to the outstanding staff and care at the University of Chicago! Mary Lappe is my transplant nurse and I cannot express how grateful I am for her dedication, empathy, and care she has given not only to me, but to all her patients. She appropriately prepared me for what to expect in terms of fatigue before, during, and after my chemo and stem cell treatments. Both her and Dr. Nawas make good points but especially about nutrition, hydration and exercise. Mary kept stressing to me about eating and moving, even if it was initially small bites and just walking a few steps. Certainly without her encouragement, I’m not sure my recovery would have progressed to where I am today (although I always have to confess that I’m not drinking enough water when she asks!). Great subject, speakers, and podcast…

  10. I am on W&W. Diagnosed 3 yrs ago. Everything was fine until a few months ago. Fatigue was horrible. I am in bed mostly now and totally unmotivated and depressed.

  11. I was diagnosed with Chronic CMML. 8month ago.90yrs. And not having Chemo.Phase 1 everything stable for now ,watch and waiting blood work every 4weeks.,Symptoms nose bleeds and getting very tired.Trying to eat a healthy diet see if that helps.Emily

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