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Bladder Cancer Fatigue: How to be Untired

Last updated: May 2020

One of the worst underlying symptoms of cancer is the unmitigated fatigue it brings.

Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a problem with multiple causes: the effect of your immune system trying to fight tumorous invaders, the medications and treatments it requires, dietary changes, dehydration, and poor sleep caused by anxiety and pain, to name a few.

CRF is no small part of the cancer journey. In fact, its management is critical; without it, you’re likely to experience distressful limitations to your daily life which could worsen the physical and emotional exhaustion that cancer brings.

How does one manage their CRF?

Alison Petok posted a great piece, “Combating Cancer-Related Fatigue,” for BladderCancer.net just a few weeks ago. I definitely recommend you check it out.

In addition, check out news of the arrival of a brand-new fatigue-management app to help you combat CRF: Untire.

Who wants to be Untired?

Untire is a phone app now available through the Apple store or Google Play. It’s accessible to people in 25 EU countries, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. First released in 2018, it gained approval for inclusion in the NHS Apps Library on August 7.

According to Pharma Times, its NHS approval was “based on trial results that initially found that the Untire app significantly reduces fatigue while increasing happiness amongst users, with further results to be published in late 2019.”1

It’s unclear if the app has applied for FDA approval.

Why Untire?

As its name suggests, Untire’s purpose is to help you reduce your cancer fatigue and “get back to living life.”

The app developers — who landed on a recent Forbes list of “women-led startups disrupting healthtech” — share that “at the heart of Untire are two decades of psychological interventions and academic research that show the combination of physical and psychological interventions results in a reduction of CRF. The app is designed to help all cancer patients and survivors irrespective of diagnosis or stage.”2

How Untire helps you manage your cancer-related fatigue

It offers three key features:

  1. Educational videos, tutorials, and daily tips in a simple-to-navigate format
  2. Direct access to their online community of peers experiencing CRF firsthand
  3. A comprehensive program boasting a variety of steps you can take to reclaim your energy

The app is free to download and fairly straightforward to set up and use. Simply follow through a couple of introductory videos, answer some questions about your fatigue, and wait for a single data upload (takes less than 30 seconds). Then you’re asked to join the free Basics program.

There, you have a multitude of options moving forward. You can:

  • Learn about CRF
  • Discover the app’s animations
  • Review all your app’s options
  • Follow their step-by-step program
  • Access their Facebook community
  • Learn about managing your “Vase of Energy”
  • Set up weekly evaluations

How to use Untire

It takes about half an hour to cycle through the entire program, but no need to do it all at once. In fact, they urge users to “take your time and break the Basics up into pieces that feel achievable for you.”

The app developers addressed the detailed roots of fatigue by identifying “themes” which contribute to it. Aside from physical fatigue, other “themes” of fatigue they highlight include:

  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Boundaries
  • Sleep health
  • Self-care
  • Nutrition

Eventually you’ll make it to the Home page and its friendly graphic labeled “It’s time to Untire.” There, you can discover new exercises for combating fatigue, review your themes, plan and choose your day’s fatigue-busting physical activities, or take in the tip of the day.

Or not. You can also simply click “I’m done for today” at the bottom. No pressure!

This is really important. In other medical applications where symptoms and processes like sleep are tracked, one downside can be the elevated stress levels that come from feeling pressured to maintain the app itself.

Untire seems built to be of use when you are ready to use it. It’s calm, pleasant, and friendly videos and audio instructions don’t push you to do more than you have energy for.

In the “My Untire” section, you can view your fatigue management progress as well as track your “Vase of Energy” and measure “How I Feel.”

You’ll also locate access to all your previous efforts, a portal to a handy library, and a link where you can engage with the Untire community (or, if you like, a CRF “buddy”).

To learn more about Untire, visit their website, where you’ll find user testimonials, the research used to develop the app, and resources for healthcare providers and caregivers.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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