Tag Archives: sleep

Nov. 19.

An Evening of Rest

My Status: Feeling Good
Mood: Cranky

Yesterday I thought I’d try an evening of rest. I’m back to work, albeit from home, knew I wouldn’t be writing, didn’t really want to do anything, so rest seemed like a good idea. Here’s the thing—I don’t rest well. I never have. Even when putting my feet up, kicking back and relaxing, my mind is usually working on something, in one way or another. Sooooo the rest thing … didn’t go all that well. So I tried going to bed early.

The sleep thing wasn’t happening either. *sigh* I’ll be tired, and as soon as my head hits the pillow … it’s not that my mind won’t turn off—my body won’t. Since having the chemo treatments, every time I hop in bed my stomach turns into a bubble factory. Literally. I am manufacturing so much gas, that if I could take what’s inside me, distill it, and convert it into fuel form, Denny and I would never buy another tank of gas. It’s ridiculous. And on top of that, my legs go into hyper-restless gear. It reaches the point where I want to give up and just stay up … forever.

But last night, after tossing and turning and keeping the dogs awake for two hours (or more), I had a brain wave. I haven’t been nauseous, but what if the same home remedies worked… a piece of toast, a few crackers to soak up whatever is burbling around inside me. And for the restless legs, a hot bath. Things like Gas-X were proving woefully inadequate against my bubble factory, so it was worth a try. What do you know? It worked.

In a very short time, I’m going to try the same thing (without the tossing and turning first) and see whether I was simply so exhausted anything would have worked, or whether this is a viable answer. I’ll let you know. Hopefully rest will come easily tonight… I need it.

Today has been a somewhat cranky day. I don’t have them very often, but today, it jumped me from the very start. What caused the crankiness? *shrugs* It could be the trouble getting to sleep. It could be simply what my body is going through and to be expected from time to time. Or it could be the increasingly unbearable silence in my head. My characters still aren’t speaking to me … not in the way they need to. I’m not writing—and this is bad. I need to write, but in order to do so, I need my characters to tell me what needs to go down on the page. Yes, I have an idea, but without them, it is only words, and has no meaning. No heart.

I did see the doc yesterday and all my blood work came back as being on track, and the doc is pleased with how I’m doing. So those are positive things.

If any of my fellow writers see my characters gallivanting about—tell them they are needed at home. Pronto!!

The picture at the top of the post is symbolic of my bubble factory. 🙂

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Nov. 16.

Day of Rest

My Status: Rested
Mood: Good

Sleep has been accomplished. And not only the drugged variety, which was interrupted by several trips during the night to excrete the extra fluids I’ve been carrying around, but this afternoon I had a honest-to-goodness, natural sleep, nap. Too much information? As I mentioned in my first post: My aim is to share my experiences with you, good, bad, horrid, and laughable.

Why would I share so much? For a few reasons:

  • Because it helps me to get it out. And this is the number one reason.
  • This is a journey and while it may be primarily MY journey, I am not on it alone.
  • Cancer used to be a word which was whispered from one person to the next, something to fear. It is far too common and affects too many people for us to continue whispering the word, but we still treat the symptoms, treatments, and journey with the same fear. Maybe by talking about all the issues we can move to a realm where we can freely discuss what is happening without that sense of awe and fear.
    • And this cycles back up to the first and second points for me. If I don’t feel free to discuss the gritty details, then I am isolated in my journey. I feel cut off from my support network, and brings everyone else along on a false journey.
  • As my dad used to say, “Life isn’t all peaches and cream.
  • By talking about that which causes fear, lessens the fear and gives us back a measure of control (however illusive)
  • And because I’m not much one for orthodox conventions. Sue me.

A common misconception is that the patient is travelling down the road toward health on their own. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This diagnosis, this journey, impacts not only me, but anyone who cares about me. We all bring our own backgrounds to the particular issue—in this case, Leukemia/Lymphoma + bad guy abnormalities = chemotherapy. While I am the one who is getting bruised, and has had the drips going into me, I am not the only one dealing with the diagnosis. Denny, although he will not admit it to me, is struggling with the diagnosis, and the reality of what I’m going through. Things have not been bad so far, which is fantastic, but he’s worried about what might lie ahead.

Everyone wants to do something to help. It is a natural, communal instinct. When you hear someone has trouble, you want to reach out and help those in need. The problem is that right now, there’s not a whole lot anyone can do for me. Except be there; sending prayers, good thoughts, good vibes, jokes, commiseration, reading these posts, commenting, etc. (Please don’t stop.)

Right now the posts have been primarily focused on those gritty details, but I’m sure I’ll break into other types of posts along the way … I’m a writer, and what affects me affects my characters, so I’m sure there will be a post or two about that in the not too distant future. I haven’t accomplished a lot of writing this week, but I’m okay with that as well. I know when I need it to be my focus, it will be there for me, taking me away from some of the reality.

Triumph of the day: Due to the aforementioned interruptions to sleep last night, I have lost 6 lbs of the water weight which had piled on due to the steroids. YAY!!! for accomplishments. I am still carrying excess water (which is immediately evident when I remove my compression glove—the line hangs around for a few hours), but that the water is making an effort to leave cheers me up. I thought I might be headed into nauseous country this morning, but thanks to my friend Mindy, I took her advice and took the nausea medication BEFORE there was an issue, and ultimately have remained nausea free for the remainder of the day. BOO-YA for the little things. I did have the after-white-cell-boosting fever, but it has now dissipated along with the headache it brought along for the ride. Fortunately, it didn’t exceed the mark where I needed to call anyone about it, so rest, fluids, and eating slowly has prevailed to make this day a good one. My head is still not up to writing, but that’s okay… there is always tomorrow, and with what I hope is another good night sleep, the words will start to flow.

The picture at the top of this post symbolizes how I feel about finally getting sleep. Rainbows have always been very special to me … because they’re rainbows and all colorful and sparkly. An awesome refraction of light. They are the promise of good things ahead.

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