Treatments Over

lajohnso4 Member Posts: 31
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I finished my treatment for breast cancer seven months ago. And I am trying to get on with my life but it seems that I have been more depressed since my treatments are over than when I was taking treatments. I quess I was busying trying to battle this disease. I am unable to get a good night sleep. I mentioned this to my doctor before and she suggested various things to. However, the problem still did not go away. So she gave me some Effexor XR. They do not seem to help, they are the smallest mg. 37.5. I guess I need to call her and see if the dosage can be increased. Any advise on what I can do to get some sleep. I thought I was coping pretty good.


  • dstarnes
    dstarnes Member Posts: 14
    Try listening to a CD thru headphones - something light and soothing. I listen to Elton John and it puts me out by the 4th or 5th song. Reading helps, too. TV just keeps ya awake longer.
  • vac
    vac Member Posts: 97
    i take ambien it is great i get a good night sleep and i don't wake up with a hang over
  • DJC
    DJC Member Posts: 52
    I was also prescribed Ambien. Vac is correct - you get 8 hours of good solid sleep without having to wake up with the typical over-the-counter sleep medication hangover. Additionally, I like to take a long hot bath before bed if time allows. I can soak my pains away, read and pamper myself with aromatheric bath products. I think anything you can employ to get your mind off the day to day and onto pleasant and positive thoughts will serve you well in this regard. Hoping you get a good night's sleep soon. Donna
  • AngelBaby
    AngelBaby Member Posts: 47
    I'm glad I saw your post. I'm three months out of treatment tomorrow. It's amazing how every day seems to count more now. I've been having a hard time readjusting to "normal" life whatever that is supposed to be. My oncologist prescribed Lorazepam to help me sleep but as mentioned in earlier posts it does give you a hangover. I normally pray myself to sleep. I find that talking to Him soothes me. I know that there will be a night when I can fall asleep and stay I hold on to that prayer. I know that things will get better for you....we just need one day at a time. Thinking of you. Karen
  • bturner
    bturner Member Posts: 9
    I completed treatment a year ago this month and have found I have had more depression and a harder time dealing with this in the past two months than I have had thru the whole ordeal. I also had the sleep problems and still do. As others have replied, I also use Ambian. At first i was concerned about using a prescription sleep med on a regular basis, but I have found that getting a good nights sleep is so important to how i feel. So, i still use it nightly and I have no hang over effects, etc. and it really helps alot to get a good nights sleep.
  • bpcbrinks
    bpcbrinks Member Posts: 31
    I, too, have problems sleeping and have tried everything that has been listed (except Ambien). But watch out for the Effexor. I take that for hot flashes and when I mentioned to my doc about the insomnia he said that it was a side effect of the effexor. You might want to try either the Ativan (Lorazapam) or Ambien to counteract the Effexor.

    If it's not one thing it's another as they say!!
  • Snookums
    Snookums Member Posts: 148
    I did increase mine and it helped plus a book I got from my cancer society here in Baton Rouge, Life After Cancer. I was in you shoes in November and honestly these wonderful people on this site saved my sanity by refering me to that book. I only had to read a small amount to help me out and now I am past that "crash and burn" stage. I moved through it. I know if I feel stress when going back for my yearly check ups or 6 mth check ups as the years go by these wonderful people will pull me up by my bootstraps and get me going again. Through these remarkable survivors and God, I know I will survive!
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi lajohnso-4:

    I know that a lot of women are concerned about taking prescription sleep meds and I've also heard of some women who have difficulty getting off it once they feel ready to try. It isn't easy deciding what's best. One thing's for sure...not sleeping well or not enough is a serious problem!

    The ladies here have given some great suggestions so I just wanted to throw out some of the "natural" approaches to a restful nights sleep:

    A warm glass of milk about a half hour before bedtime helps a lot of people to relax and fall asleep. Also, if you are taking Calcium supplements, you may find that the Calcium/Magnesium formula (in a 2:1 ratio), taken about a half hour before bedtime can be very helpful.

    Finally, there are some other natural preparations to check out. Valerian is one which comes to mind. Most formulations contain Valerian Root and/or Valerian Dried Extract, and contain as additives, only gelatin, which holds the capsule together.

    I'd suggest checking with your doctor (if she's
    open to and knowledgable about herbals) and also check with a good herbalist and/or Naturopathic
    Physician. There is almost always something more natural and less harsh to address some of our problems. Do be cautious though. Good guidance and research is essential. Particularly if you've no experience in this realm. A lot of quackery pervades this field. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's harmless.
    And as with all supplements, try to always buy the Standardized formulas.

    Finally, if you've never tried meditation to relieve stress/soothe the spirit, then I'd highly recommend giving it a go. A good session before bedtime will likely put you right out. It takes some practice but is well worth the time. There are many good books available for "how to". Also, some Yoga instructors can help you to get started.

    Sleeping is only half the battle though. It's important to work on becoming more grounded and less fearful and stressed. How you feel and think during the daytime is also extremely important. A good counselor or some good self help books can do wonders. One book which comes to mind is Dr. Bernie Seigel's book: How to Live Between Office Visits. It's a good read and can offer some alternative ways of thinking about our predicament. Try to remember that we, as survivors, are not helpless. We are not at anyone's mercy anymore than we choose to be. We can live well and function without tons of Rx meds for the rest of our lives. Meds are great for transition periods, while we find our emotional legs again, but nobody should take them forever, in order to function. We can make changes in our thinking, our diets, our outlook and our daily lives. It's work and requires effort on our part, but we can get to that place which is more peaceful and fulfilling
    and begin to really live again. We've all been in a dark place which scared the bejeesus out of us but we can pull ourselves up by our boot straps. And there's no time better than today, to start our amazing journey out the other side!
    It may take everything everyone has suggested here and then some. But trust yourself. You CAN do it! You CAN unravel that plate of spaghetti that is your emotions and you can find joy and light again.

    Best wishes for a magnificient emotional recovery!

    Love, light and laughter,