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Trouble sleeping

judymike
judymike Member Posts: 11
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi, My husband has gone through soooooo much in the past 1.5 years. Chemo, radiation, surgery for removal of the rectum, colostomy, surgery for liver resection, now back on chemo, waiting for tumor to shrink for another liver resection, that he's been having trouble sleeping! Major trouble... He has not slept in 3 weeks! Has tried Immovane, Trazadone, (did not like those), Phenabarb, Seroquel. Along he takes with one of those, 2-4mg of Ativans, Remeron (45mg). He's tried Gravols, benadryl.. with no luck. Any suggestions? We are in Canada so some drugs are not available to us as in the US

Comments

  • kangatoo
    kangatoo Member Posts: 2,105
    Hi Judy and Mike from oz. I read your first post and am sorry that you are having such a difficult time. You will see that there is some comfort to be had from the wonderfull people on CSN and also I am sure that you will recv. many more replies especialy from those at stage 4, many of whom have beaten all the odds and live to tell the story. They are our hero's here...and Mike can be one of them. I was dissapointed to see you mention Mikes 1 year diag. for hemarroids(I can never spell it right).
    I too was dx with them and in fact wrongly dx'd for some time due to the bleeding. Sure...I had them but the bleeding was really coming from the tumour. I am fortunate to have only been dx'd stage 2. So often we hear also of the financial plight of others and this would no doubt have an effect on you both. No wonder sleep aludes both of you, especially Mike.
    My heart goes out to you gal. No words will help from my way but know there are many friends here who will be here to support.
    Our best wishes are with you both, Ross and Jen
  • scouty
    scouty Member Posts: 1,965
    If you can find a health food store or place that sells the higher quality supplements, get some melatonin. It will be in 2-4 mg capsules. It is natural and has no side effects other then it takes effect pretty quickly and you need to be able to dedicate 8 hours to sleep. I don't know if you have The Vitamin Shoppe in Canada or not but they make a product called Snooze-In that has melatonin and some other sleep solution supplements (calcium, magnesium, L-Taurine, Valerian, Hops, Skullcap, Chamomile, and Passion Flower). It works great for me and everyone else I've told about it.

    Lisa P.
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    scouty said:

    If you can find a health food store or place that sells the higher quality supplements, get some melatonin. It will be in 2-4 mg capsules. It is natural and has no side effects other then it takes effect pretty quickly and you need to be able to dedicate 8 hours to sleep. I don't know if you have The Vitamin Shoppe in Canada or not but they make a product called Snooze-In that has melatonin and some other sleep solution supplements (calcium, magnesium, L-Taurine, Valerian, Hops, Skullcap, Chamomile, and Passion Flower). It works great for me and everyone else I've told about it.

    Lisa P.

    Yup, I agree with Lisa....

    Melatonin...

    Also, cut out the caffine during the afternoon/evening, and drink some (please don't laugh..it DOES work for me) warm milk...

    Also Chamomile tea, if you can't get the supplement...

    Hugs, Kathi (only a stage III)
  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248
    scouty said:

    If you can find a health food store or place that sells the higher quality supplements, get some melatonin. It will be in 2-4 mg capsules. It is natural and has no side effects other then it takes effect pretty quickly and you need to be able to dedicate 8 hours to sleep. I don't know if you have The Vitamin Shoppe in Canada or not but they make a product called Snooze-In that has melatonin and some other sleep solution supplements (calcium, magnesium, L-Taurine, Valerian, Hops, Skullcap, Chamomile, and Passion Flower). It works great for me and everyone else I've told about it.

    Lisa P.

    Hi -

    I checked the Vitamin Shoppe website and this product is not legally shippable to Canada due to Canadian laws. Of course, I am sure there is a way...........

    Sleep disorders are horrible. My oncologist prescribed me 3mg of Lunesta and it solved my problem (my problem was that I would fall asleep fine, but then wake up and not be able to go to back to sleep with countless useless thoughts, replaying of conversations, songs I recently heard, going thru my mind. The Lunesta helped that and seems to cause no side effects. I may start trying melatonin instead, however.

    Take care and hoping your husband finds some relief,

    Betsy
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952
    I have nothing against sleeping pills - and use them on occasion myself. But I have also got some relief by using meditation tapes. May not be appealing to him but they can really get you into a good state of relaxation. Helps the "mind buzzing' that prevents me from sleeping. Also, is he able to get some exercise? (I know that can be hard while on chemo). Good luck to you both.
  • 2bhealed
    2bhealed Member Posts: 2,064
    I second the melatonin advice. I take it every night and sleep very well. My Naturopathic doctor "prescribed" it for me for not only as a sleep aid, but it's also a good anti-oxidant. It's also been known to shrink tumors but it must be taken only at night and NOT during the day for naps or something. I took up to 21mg at one point. I am now back down to 3mg a night but I also take 2000mg of a calcium/mag supplement at night which also helps to induce sleep (and strong dreaming). My vitamin store lady (huge help and very knowledgeable and a cancer survivor) just turned my onto a product called IonicFizz. It's a powder supplement that you put in water and it fizzes and you drink it right down. It is very very tasteful and my hubby who suffers from insomnia has been using it and sleeping much better!

    Be careful with the Valerian -- some people react to it like it's a stimulant (I have personally witnessed this reaction in my hubby).

    The thing about melatonin is that for me it's helped me regulate my sleep cycles so if I wake up I can fall back asleep. there are other positive aspects of it but I cannot remember at the moment. I think Dr. Quillin's book, "Beating Cancer with Nutrition" has info on it.

    Hope this helps.

    peace, emily
  • SteveLD
    SteveLD Member Posts: 2
    Hello. I know exactly what your husband is going through. Ever since my treatment for testicular seminoma two years ago (i.e. orchiectomy and chemothrapy) I have had terrible insomnia. I have tried Immovane, amitriptyline, phenobarbital, trimipramine, and Unisom-2 with no relief.

    Recently, my doctor gave me a prescription for 3 other drugs; they were to be tried for a week at a time to evaluate their effectiveness. The drugs were: Dalmane 30mg, Nozinan 25mg, and Seroquel 100mg. Of these, the Dalmane and Nozinan were most effective. I would suggest using the Dalmane twice a week, and the Nozinan 5 times a week (to prevent rebound insomnia).

    By the way, I also live in Canada, so these drugs are all available here.

    Good luck, and my best wishes to your husband for a complete recovery from his cancer.

    SteveLD