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sleeplessness

bebe
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2002

I am two months out of cancer treatment and currently cancer free. Physically and emotionally I am getting stronger everyday, but I am having terrible sleep issues. Initially I couldn't get to sleep at night because I was racked with fear of recurrence and death. I journaled, talked to a therapist, and, I thought, worked through it. But now, ever night at about 2 or 3 in the morning I wake up full of anxiety and fear. There are physical manifestations as well, I get a knot in my stomach, my body hurts and I simply can't get back to sleep. I don't know what I am so afraid and anxious about. These physical and emotional symptoms usually last until 9 or so in the morning (a few hours after I have woken up) Has anyone experienced this? Is this normal survivorship stuff?

lindaslair
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2002

hi Bebe,

I know exactly what you are talking about. I am my husband's caregiver. I do fine during the day, even bad days. I can endure bad news from the doctors, or help my husband with his pain. But sometimes I experience the "night terrors". All of a sudden, the things that were "do-able" during the day become horrible fearsome things at 2 in the morning. Fears seem to be magnified in the middle of the night. You are definately not alone. The way I handle it is to pray. When I speak to Jesus at these times of fear, they vanish and are usually replaced with peace and also the ability to fall back asleep. I wish you peace also. You are not alone. Love, Linda

crtsang
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

Some of the anxiety can come from the sleeplessness itself. It's one of those awful spiralling things. Ask your doctor. There are mild drugs that can help you sleep through the night, and that might help some.
We all get scared, and Linda is right: in the middle of the night, everything looks terrible.

littlewoman's picture
littlewoman
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2002

I dont know if it is normal or not, but I have plenty of sleepless nights,but I think that because I am in pain all the time, and my medications does nothing for me now because I have taken so much of it.So I get got of bed read the bible ,pray and then get on the computer and play spades to get my mind off of it. Sometimes I go 72 hours without sleep and believe me I make it. How because GOD is so good to me. You are in my prays. I have been in remission for 4 years now and every day I think that it has came back for some reason or another.

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2000

I've had a lot of trouble with that myself. I'm sure it's a combination of a lot of things...stress, worry, too much on my mind, getting out of my normal routine, etc. I find if I can just break the sleepless cycle by using some Tylenol PM for a couple of days it helps get me back on track. Ask your doctor if you could try some kind of sleep aid like that.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

I went through a period of time when I had trouble falling asleep. This was not only caused by fear of reccurence, but by a difficult job situation and a marriage going South. Years later, I experienced (and still do experience) one of those get up at 3:00 AM and be unable to fall back to sleep again things. The fact that my brother committed suicide back in 1994 probably has a lot to do with this one. Depression and anxiety are a double-edged sword which slices through one's peace of mind. Exercise and good movies are my methods of coping. I try to catch up on my sleep during the weekends when possible. Good luck!

melzmom
Posts: 47
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi: Are you a female? If so, the chemo can cause symptions of menopause, which will cause anxiety, feer and sleep less nights. You sound just like me. I am one month out of treatment and feel the same way you do. The Dr.'s are right there while we are going through treatment and then we are left to heal emotionally afterwords. I struggle every single day and it keeps getting worse. They have tried four different types of medication and none of them seem to be working. Hang in there. I am here if you need to talk. My e-mail is Melzmommy@yahoo.com. Lia

bbxena
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi BeBe,
I am 20 months out of treatment myself and I still experience those sleepless nites form time to time. I do remember what they were like during and after the chemo ended. I would not even be able to fall aslepp let alone getting up at 2 and 3 in the morning. Doc did put me on anti-depressants but I didn't like the way they made me feel so I wouldn't take them. I would get my boys to bed and then lay on teh couch with the TV on and I was fortuante enuff to find a channel on cable that put scriptures on and wonderful videos of the ocean and country side which would give me a great sense of peace and relaxation. I would also read my bible and a book my friend gave me called Prayers for A Woman of Faith. It helped alot. I don't those nights will ever completely go away but it does get better. You are in my prayers and if you ever need to talk I am here for you. bbxena2001@yahoo.com....feel free!
Brenda

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