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Coping with Fatigue

Fatigue caused by cancer and cancer treatment can make it difficult to accomplish even the smallest of tasks. Having other people around who can help you with these everyday tasks can alleviate the fatigue, but delegating responsibilities to others can be a difficult task in itself. Here are some tips to help guide you in delegating tasks to others.

Know What Needs to Be Done

• Make a list of what you need done.
• Plan and prioritize your list into items that must get done, items that can be done later and those that can be dropped.
• Make a list of all your friends and family members who might be recruited to assist you. Also, think of individuals associated with an organization, such as a church or synagogue, who might be able to help recruiting others. Remember that the more people there are to help, the easier it is for everyone.
• If possible, find a friend or family member who can divide duties among your family members and friends, considering their skill and knowledge level, motivation and personal traits. An easy way to let people know how they can help is by sending out an email list or calling individuals and asking them to pick one or two tasks they would like to do. It’s important to be clear about the responsibility and your expectations.
• Evaluate and provide praise. Thank people for their good work and, to the extent possible, resist the temptation to take over if things go wrong.


• Openly and honestly, let your friends and family members know your feelings.
• Use “I feel” and “I want” statements.
• Communicate who, what, where, when, how and why.
More Information:

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.