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No bad days **UPDATE**

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

I just got home from my latest chemo session (35 ot of ??)and was sending out emails to a couple of friends and was going to put "Bad Day" as the subject line. To be honest, this has been a much less than pleasant which started out with PTSD nightmares from my participation in the Grenada Invasion in 1983, our first snow that has my low back and hip aching like a bad tooth, telling my brain good bye as it left for it's bi-weekly trip to Maui, more nightmares during chemo, and needing to use two canes to walk. Just not fun. But, not a bad day.

I can have rotten days, rough days even down right craptacular days, but so long as I wake up above the grass, it ain't a bad day!

Hope that all y'all have good days!

Ray/Doc

sharpy102's picture
sharpy102
Posts: 337
Joined: Apr 2009

hang on, Ray! Think about if you're going through this, how do the cancer cells feel?! They feel like c.r.a.p. :)
Wishing you the best!
- Sophie

Brenda Bricco's picture
Brenda Bricco
Posts: 549
Joined: Aug 2011

That was great Ray! not the part about your "craptacular day" but your perspevtive was wonderful.
GOD bless you.
Brenda

steveandnat's picture
steveandnat
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

Maybe we are all a little more wise because of this crappy cancer. I sure have worked on my inter self and realize how to appreciate good days not thrive on bad days. So well said Doc. Pray you are getting better. Jeff

bigman4christ's picture
bigman4christ
Posts: 87
Joined: Oct 2012

Hey Doc, i am very sorry you had a day like that. the one thing that i have to remember and remind my self is that God does not give us anything that we can not handle. hang in there and there will be more great days to come!

Zach

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Well, turns out that my brain missed it's flight to Maui yesterday and came crawling back asking for forgiveness. Even though I know it'll pull the same antics again next time, I still forgave it and welcomed it back into my head. Other than being very shaky and sleepy, I really felt mostly normal when I left chemo yesterday. I didn't sleep very well last night, though. After nightmares the night before and during treatment, I was actually afraid to go to sleep, so I only got about 2 hours. None the less, I'm feeling mostly normal today and my vision is is almost normal.

On the problematic side, four weeks ago my CEA jumped from 236 to 404. Two weeks ago it dropped to 402 and today it has jumped up again to 444. I will be getting my quarterly PET Scan next Thursday, so the following Tuesday my onc and I will have to discuss what is going on and what to do in the months ahead. I'm going to check and see if Zaltrap is available as an option.

Finally, right before I came down with pneumonia in August I had quit smoking. After over two months of no redeeming light in the gloom of depression, contemplating overdoses and sharp objects and the final straw of going into a stupid rage over nothing and yelling at my loving and faithful service dog/fur kid Lulu I made the deliberate decision to start smoking again. I spoke with the onc and chemo staff about it yesterday and they all agreed that smoking was better than over doses, cutting and screaming. Especially considering that I've displayed the ability to stop without having the nicotine fits and cravings pretty much any time that I want to.

k44454445's picture
k44454445
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

so sorry that this is a very rough time. i hope that things get better for you. hang in there!
hugs
judy

cinreag
Posts: 154
Joined: Oct 2012

I hope you get some relief soon. I cannot imagine what those nightmares must be like, and Im so sorry you have to go through that. Now on the subject of smoking, that I dont have to imagine. I smoked for 27 years. I finally quit successfully after I dont even know how many attempts. I had help from the ole patch. And speaking of dreams those patches made me have some vivid dreams!! They were bright colored and crazy. Science fiction like dreams. I have no idea how my mind could come up with that crazy stuff. And I had no idea that the patches were causing the dreams. I kept telling my family that the chemo was making me dream crazy things. Anyway, I finally quit smoking and still after 2 1/2 years I will get a really strong urge to sit on my front porch and smoke. I actually enjoyed smoking.
I really wish things would get better for you. You seem to have a knack for writing. I hate the things that are happening to you but I enjoy reading your posts. Is that a big contradiction, maybe the biggest ever?
If I could only wish a good day upon you!!
Cindy(from Indiana)

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

One of the really bizarre things about the nightmares I get this time of year is that I sometimes wake up with sore muscles. That's because in some of them, I'm dreaming that I'm trying to fight but it feels like I'm in a pool of jello. I know that I must be trying to throw punches or kicks in my sleep, but nothing has any strength or impact. Luckily there's only been a couple of years when someone was in the bed next to me and she was able to not get hit!

The smoking really was a deliberate action. Sure I'd get a craving after a good meal, but that's pretty easy to brush off and doesn't last long. But, when the gloom of depression gets too much, those five minutes with a smoke can shine a little light in the dark for several hours. My onc knows that I don't smoke much, a pack of 20 little cigars just lasted me four days, and that I can stop if/when I want.

Thanks for the compliment on my writing, it is something I enjoy very much and always hope that what I post here can make someone feel better and maybe even get a chuckle or two. I've found that humor really is a very powerful medicine in this fight.

danker
Posts: 731
Joined: Apr 2012

My 90 year old cousin used to say"If when you wake up, and you know who you are and where you are, it is a magnificent day!!!!

thingy45's picture
thingy45
Posts: 569
Joined: Apr 2011

Not always fun to feel like crap, but hang in there, better days are to come.
Hugs, Marjan

cinreag
Posts: 154
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Marjan. I am 4 days new to this site. I just read your "about me page" Glad things are going good for you.You talk about walking through the storm you never walk alone. There is a song about that.It is one of my favorite songs.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Aww heck, Dan, there's been times I've woken up not knowing who or where I was and still thought it was a magnificent day. Of course, those are mornings when my "date" the night before was a guy called Jose Cuervo!

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Rough days are part of this journey and I can share many of the feelings you express in your posts. I guess the hardest thing for you at the moment is trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel considering the rising cea inspite of your treatments. It is good you are up for the pet scan and review with your onc as it sounds like you are in need of of a clear plan forward to focus on.

In the ,meantime I wonder if it is also time to consider some help for that globe trotting brain of yours. I am not sure if you have some one you can talk openly to regularly but some form of counselling may be helpful. Also if these feelings, urges and problems are persisting then considering things like antidepressants which can help with PTSD dreams too might be a good idea. You have an inner strength and strong attitude that helps you keep going despite all the things you are facing but that doest mean you can't get depressed or ned outside help- in fact at times that inner strength can mean people delay asking for help longer than they should.

Tell me to back off if I'm off the mark but don't let yourself struggle long than you should without asking for help. The are a lot of people here and in your life at home that care about you.

Steve

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Hey Doc, sorry your going through this.....just curious are you taking any anti-nausea drugs? I have a presc. for something called apo-prochlorazine for nausea. If so, look up the drug on the internet and it's side effects. I looked it up as I have taken two of these pills in the last week and they knock me out sleepy so I wondered why, good thing both times I have taken them was at night when I'd be in bed anyway...but I have woken up in the morning going wow that was a deep sleep and weird dream.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

I have Zofran, both dis-solvable and IV but very rarely need to use them. I got some real good sleep last night and feeling pretty spiffy today. That's really what I needed more than anything else.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Steve, knowing some of what you've been going through lately and only able to speculate about the rest really helps to lend me strength. I know when my nightmares will start and can brace for them. I also know that after about a month, they'll stop. The daily battle that you face is for the long run and the courage in your heart is truly of Herculean proportions. When I'm feeling down, I can say my daily motto "it's a great day to be alive" and feel better. I cannot begin to imagine how deep and black your dark days must be.

As for anti-depressants, I won't take them. I lost a nephew in 1999 who was like a son to me. At the time I was on Prozac and when I looked at him in his coffin and couldn't weep I felt robbed of my emotions. That's the last time I've take any anti-depressant.

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Thanks for the reply and details. I fully understand you have a long experience of managing these problems and found your own strategies. I just sometimes worry more about those that rely on their internal strategies rather than ask for external help especially if new and more comples challenges arise. However, you clearly have a good range of things from meds to mantras that get you through. I cope mainly by similar perseverance through the hard moments and relishing the good. Is only really hitting know how long term my challenges are- you focus so hard on getting better you sometimes forget the bits that will never heal. For those I guess adaptation and acceptance is the only answer- I hope that comes in time.

Thanks again for the reply,
Steve

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

Man this disease sucks. But I want you to know that in a weird way reading about your trials and tribulations help me. Part "at least I'm not that eff'd up...yet", and part "the crap I'm going through is kinda normal." We all have to navigate these headwaters on our own, but we gather strength from those that have faced similar challenges and occasionally find smooth sailing. Hang in there my friend, and if smoking helps you -- enjoy it! What the hell, I doubt it's as toxic as the crap they pump into our bodies.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5001
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm sorry you have to deal with that post traumatic stress.

*hugs*
Gail

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks, Gail. Fortunately this is a short lived, annual thing. It usually only lasts from mid-October to mid-November. Even then, I don't get the nightmares every night.

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

Hey Doc, I have read these posts several times. I thought I just don't know what to say. I will think about it and come back.
Well, I thunk and thunk. I came back. I still do not know what to say.
I really hate that you have to go through this.
Hugs and prayers,
Judy

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Thank you so much for your thoughts. Once I get one or two good nights of sleep things get better. From past experience I know that once things run their course I'll be back to my old, usual, ornery self. Probably the best (and simplest) thing right now is "sweet dreams."

k44454445's picture
k44454445
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

i hope things get better for you. so sorry you have to deal with this. well here's to a good peaceful sleep! hang in there.
prayers & hugs
judy

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