wide-eyed at 4am

Sketchy Sleep or Side Effects?

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I’ve learned that there is one thing that you just don’t know with some chemo side effects: you don’t know for sure if they are from the chemo or if you would have had the condition anyway – chemo or not.

Acid stomach, fatigue, headache …. these are the ones that are most difficult for me to attribute – accurately.

It really doesn’t matter. I’ve had a very limited range of side effects – and they have not been severe.

The worst was the weekend after the 1st treatment. I did pinpoint the headache as side effect of the immune booster shot I received 24 hours after treatment. They told me it would come – caused by over-production of white blood cells inspired directly by the shot. The fatigue that set it was definitely from the treatment. It came on faster than any “tiredness” I’ve ever felt – even with the flu – and lasted for about 28 hours. I think I slept for 22 of the 28.

I never was nauseated – really. But had acid stomach from eating hardly anything. This has produced itself again this week, but it is generally associated with a meal so I don’t really know if it’s a trailing side effect or just acid stomach.

The same for light fatigue. Last night after our busy day, I was tired and dozed a little as the football games ran their course in front of me.

This is pretty common. However, I can’t attribute it directly to chemo because of my sketchy sleep rhythm which is the topic here so I’m finally getting to it.

A theme that runs throughout the cancer journey is sketchy sleep. If you ever get a cancer diagnosis just realize that you’re going to have to live with it.

Since the day of my questionable mammogram, I’ve gotten so few “good nights of sleep” that I could count them on one hand. Even with prescribed and over the counter sleep aids, I still awaken almost every two hours. Some times the over the counter stuff works better than the prescribed types.

BLOG_Colors of SleepYou’ll learn the many colors of sleep (according to your pill) and figure out which ones work best for you most of the time.

I do go back to sleep some nights and some nights I don’t (hence this blog). This definitely produces the condition I describe above (tired at the end of the day) so my light fatigue last night could be from chemo or it could be from my sleep rhythm ( which you can’t really call a rhythm at all). Most likely it’s a combo of the two….

So I’ve sort of learned to live with this sleep schedule and enjoy the early morning hours with a little solitude for prayer, blog writing and exercising my left arm.

I suppose that just a small example of how I feel about this entire journey. It’s something that I’ve been dealt and I just have to accept, set my determination to come through it in the best way possible – ad just do it.

It’s overwhelming – yes – but it isn’t taking over my life. I’m doing (or getting back to doing) things that I did before surgery forced a break. The routine is sanity in an insane world of appointments, procedures therapies, treatments, check-ups and classes.

This week brings chemo #2. Bring it on!


Author: jillpurdy

A few months ago I wasn't but now I'm a statistic. That doesn't define me. I'm a daughter, a sister, a wife, a step mom, a grandmother, a friend and a Christian. I will continue to love exercise, music, cooking and food, and my family and friends. I'm stubborn, energetic, giving and too OCD for my own good sometimes. And I'm going to stay this way - despite cancer and the treatments that it takes to give it the royal beatdown.

One thought on “Sketchy Sleep or Side Effects?

  1. My admiration and prayers continue. Love Ya! June


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