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I'm a "cancer survivor."
I still can't get used to saying/typing it.
But, I'm extremely thankful.

As of Nov. '07, I finished treatment & my iron levels were at 30.
Even though I've been taking an iron supplement (ferrous fumurate, I think)
I still feel drained.
I was doing good in late Dec, early Jan., and then I got the flu.
It's really taken it's toll on me. As of this coming Wed., it will be 4 weeks that I got it.

My oncologist sent me to a GI Specialist, and a week from Monday, I'll be getting a colonoscopy, followed by Tues, an upper GI.

I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts.
I can't quite tell if it's the flu making me ultra-tired, or low iron, or being post-treatment. Maybe it's the "whole ball of wax."

I thought I was done with tests for awhile, but I suppose these tests are necessary. I think they have to rule out "internal bleeding"...polyps, ulcers, etc. By all rights, I should've had a colonoscopy when I hit 50.

Thanks for any thoughts.
First of all congratulations on your success in beating cancer :) Secondly, i believe you hit the nail on the head when you said that your tiredness could be a combo of cancer treatment, low iron and having had the flu.

Low iron does lower your immune system so that would make it easier for you to catch flu/cold. There can be some really tough strains of the flu out there which can take a while to recover from, even for someone who is normally considered "healthy", but if your body has been through cancer treatment and you have low iron then it can take much longer for you to recover. I had a basic case of the flu last year, or so i thought, and had to take 3 whole weeks off work. I can't recall being that sick in over 10yrs and i wouldn't have wished it on my worst enemy!!

While they are running further tests, has any doctor tested to see whether you are lacking in any of the required vitamins? I ask this b/c when i went to do the relevant blood test to check my iron etc, my new treating doctor added vitamin D and iodine to the list of things he wanted tested. I couldn't understand the significance of this and thought it a waste of time. When we got the test results i was found to be extremly low in these and below the lowest acceptable range.

I'm aware that while doing chemo you can't go taking vitamins etc and now that you are in the all clear you might still want to run by your doctor to see what you can or can't take. Maybe your body is low in the things which give you energy and immune assistance.

An old fashion remedy is one my mother swears by when recovering from the flu and that is mixing a raw egg yolk (not the white) with some milk, a banana, maybe some protein powder if you like (eg: sustagen), blending this and drinking it daily, but not icy cold. Whenever she is feeling weak or lacking in energy she does this. They do say that eggs are like one big vitamin tablet so maybe there is something in this theory of my mums. I make smoothies in the summer time and add a raw egg yolk and then use the white to make an omlet. I also have a juicer and make fresh juice. With the low iron situation i have been making lots of beetroot, apple, carrot, orange and ginger juice. Stuff like this is natural and would likely give you a boost. It wouldn't hurt to try while they are eliminating and other reasons for your low iron.

All the best and hope to hear you are well again soon :)

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