I celebrated my 60th birthday last May by being diagnosed with CTCL (cutaneous T-cell lymphoma) and CLL (Stage 0, all genetic markers in my favor). Initially I had a surprising sense of relief, as I swim for exercise and was getting frustrated with my performance. A year an a half before my diagnosis I was swimming 8000 yds each week at a pace of about 2 min/100 yds. Not exactly Olympic pace, but I was slowly getting faster. However, for about a year before my diagnoses I had been struggling to swim even 5000 yds/wk, and my pace had slowed to about 2:15/100 yds. The biggest frustration was that my swims were now leaving me wiped out not for an hour or so as expected, but the rest of the day and for the next day as well. I now walk more for exercise and swim for only 500-1000 yds a couple of times a week, and if I push my pace much, I'm wiped out much of the next day.
I was involved in cancer research as a medicinal chemist for 20 years, including helping make treatments for leukemia (AML) and lymphoma (ALL), and indolent CLL is the one to pick if you have to pick one. (I didn't know anything about CTCL, but the symptoms (rash) are now completely controlled by sun baths on my deck 2-3 times a week.) One oncologist (for CTCL, she picked up the CLL when she immunophenotyped my CTCL) said it was obvious that my conditions would impact my exercise and energy level. However, two other oncologist (a CLL specialist and a general hematologist) I've seen said there is no way that my CLL could lead to any symptoms at all right now, because my white cell count varies from high normal to just slightly above normal. (Without the immunophenotyping I'd still be undiagnosed.)
This is all frustrating to say the least. I get my best work done in the morning, provided I didn't exercise too much the day before. I use caffeine to function in a regular way I never had before. My sleep is inconsistent, as it has been for many, many stressful years, and I have GERD/hiatal hernia that I struggle to control, making the picture even more complicated.
"Watching and waiting" is no fun, and I'd love to get my old energy level back, or at least have a clear explanation of why I suffer from fatigue/tiredness/lack of energy and motivation so much of the time.