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sleep?

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 531
Joined: Aug 2006

I find I can not sleep well at night. I woke up last night wet with sweat. I take a tylenol PM instead of Vicodin 1 week after my surgery to remove the tumor. I am just a mess waiting for results Tuesday from the PET scan. I know I have at least one 2 cm lession on my liver in a difficult location to access. I pray, read and then get here. I know rationally I must fight this beast but I am still so emotional at losing so much. Advice?

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi again,

Please allow yourself to heal as you learn more about your disease and your path to healing. We have many on this board who have successfully beat stage 4 colon cancer and are doing very well. If you are reading statitics, please know that they are old and do not take into account the new drugs that are now used in treatment.

As I think back to the time of my treatment, I remember all the things I gained, not lost......precious new friends, reclaimed friendships, knowledge, insight, renewed faith, as well as opportunities to appreciate each day of life and to give back to others.
Try to take one day at a time. I know it's difficult because at the beginning, everything happens so fast. Waiting for test results is the worst part of our journey. Please readily share your feelings with your oncologist because they can give you some meds to help with your anxities.

Please let us hear the results of your PET scan.

Believe all will be well!

Kay

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Hello from a 'veteran'. Almost 2 years from my rectal cancer diagnosis, 3 months since NED, and I STILL am freaking waiting for the results from my MRI on Friday.
Accept that these feelings of yours are normal. My treatment center has a grief counselor. Not for death, but for the grieving that happens to us all when we realize that our old life has 'died'. If your center has one, use him/her.
I got MAD...how DARE ANYTHING impact (sorry, but apprpo....) my life so much....I fought and fought, but also cried, yelled, gave up, started again, all that stuff...

Hugs from a been there, done that....be good to yourself, seek help if the feelings continue and get out of control, realize this is the fight of your life....and concentrate on WINNING!!!!!

Hugs, Kathi

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

after almost 2 years I cannot sleep everytime I get close to getting results...I'm on that period now...I just dont fight it anymore..I leave the TV on so when I wake up I dont think...I just keep watching whatever is on at that time...but things will get better...I still get mad,sad,hapy,hopeful,we are humans...but God is with me..
God bless

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

The important thing for all of us to realize is that our reaction(s) to our cancer diagnosis (or the diagnosis of a loved one) are a very normal response to a very abnormal situation.

Not sleeping well is quite normal considering the extreme physical and emotional stress you are encountering following your diagnosis and surgery. Your body is in a "fight" mode and your adrenaline is pumping much more than normal. While I realize that you are just back from your surgery and probably have significant physical limitations placed on you, I highly recommend that you get out and exercise any way you can. Walking for an hour once or twice daily will work wonders in not only helping you burn off that excess stress and accompanying adrenaline, but also it will help speed your healing.

Something else that helped me - SIGNIFICANTLY - was my thought process/personal philosophy and meditation. I don't know if you are a particularly spiritual person, but I tend to be. I put the results of my illness in the hands of the Divine and left it there knowing that everything really DOES happen for a reason, and it is all according to a much larger Plan [sic].

You say you have lost "so much"... What have you really "lost" except for a chunk of your colon that was killing you? I have to share something with you that I rarely pull out of my back pocket here, but I want you to think about it and carefully consider what you have "lost": Two weeks before my own diagnosis and surgery, my step-dad (who had been my "dad" since I was 4) lost his battle with cancer. Two days after I returned home from his funeral, I was in the hospital. I was served divorce papers 2 days after my surgery. I "lost" my kids, my horses, my life savings, my house and farm, pretty much all of my earthly posessions, and just about everything I had worked my life for (did I mention my divorce attorney SUCKED? Of course I was not a lot of help living 4 hours away and in the midst of chemo). In addition to that, I had cancer. What do you do in that situation? You pick youself up, dust yourself off and soldier on - the only other choice is not an option. Did I ever think about just checking out? I won't lie to you; yes I did. then I looked at my kids' pictures and went back to work.

What has either of us really "lost"? As long as we live and breathe we have an opportunity to heal. Not only do we have an opportunity, we have a RESPONSIBILITY. A responsibility to our family, our friends, those people that love us and to the people whose lives we will enrich in the future. We're here for a reason, to make an impact. You are alive - get out there and LIVE. Let your life be guided by the Plan and use this experience to help others and to help yourself. It is said that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Well, you are one of the strongest people around - use that strength; it's a gift. You have been given that gift for a reason. Make an impact.

We're here to help and to listen and, if you ask for advice give it, but only YOU can take action.

- SpongeBob

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Edit to add:........anxieties and statistics! Didn't proofread. Sorry.

Oh, and being a coach you have been programmed to win. Beating cancer will be your greatest victory.

Hugs,

Kay

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Talk to your doc about your not sleeping if it continues. I take ambien and though I would love to not have to take this drug, I feel much better mentally when I've had a good nights sleep. Once you feel better physically, your stress will subside somewhat. jams

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Impact -

You have received some good advice from others. I am a fellow stage IV survivor and I know exactly how difficult it is to take all this in or to cope with it one day at a time. And waiting for test results is the absolute worst.

That said, you are barely out of surgery. Concentrate on healing - you can't have the most effective forms of chemo anyway, until you heal. And if healing means continuing to take Vicodin, please do - you are ONLY one week out of surgery, and while that seems like an AGE to you, it is nothing actually. So first of all, please control any residual pain.

Advice to exercise - just simple walking - is great - but often you have to take this REALLY slow after surgery (I sure did) - and if so, just take it slowly. Do a little more each day (if you can only walk a block and back for a few days, that's fine).

I am sure you have been advised to see your oncologist within 2-3 weeks. Make that appointment for a time after the anesthesia has mostly cleared from your head (2+ weeks) and then have that appointment and come back to us. There is no chemo regimen you are likely to be prescribed that we haven't all already had and you can get much advice.

Meanwhile, take care of your immediate healing. And, don't be afraid about asking your oncologist for a sleep med if it seems necessary. A good night's sleep is hugely important to both your physical and emotional well-being.

Take care,
Betsy

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Impact, you aren't very far out from your surgery and the general anesthesia alone takes quite a while to work its way out of your system (night sweats and sleeplessness can be part of that).

Hang in there!

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