...and I am as pooped as if I just worked an 80 hour week. Of course, I am retired, not working at all, so why the fatigue! I have not been sleeping all that well, in fact about as poorly as I have done ever. All related to the Big C in one way or another, mostly due I suppose to the effects from radiation therapy. I get so dry after only 15 minutes to a half hour that I keep waking up that often to drink something. Drinking something while you are supposed to be sleeping only goes to more waking-up, this time to get rid of all the fluids. It is a never ending cycle and I figure I wake up at least 20 times a night for one reason or another, either the drink/wizz cycle or because the furnace turned on, or because I am freezing and need to get another blanket (intolerance for cold seems to be a side effect of the cancer treatments) or because someone up early for school or work just slammed the door on his or her way out or because one of the dogs, usually Pepe, is licking my face or doing the I need to go out dance on my chest, or because I have to yank the CPAP mask off of my face because it is annoying (I have both obstructive and Central Nervous Sleep Apneas so really do need the darned thing) or because my arthritis is acting up and I am in pain from laying on one side too long in one of the few spurts of more than an hour that I m asleep, or because the edema on my neck has ballooned making it a bit uncomfortable to breath, or....
"Holy shit" was my thought and my out loud murmuring to myself this morning when I looked into a mirror to check on the edema right after I crawled out of bed. It was bigger than yesterday, now in two distinct bulges on my neck instead of one but that did not cause me to say what I said. What got me to say it was he fact that there was a huge bag under my left eye and the makings of one under my right. Man, if I don't get a few good nights worth of sleep soon I may just age from the mid-fifties to mid-eighties overnight! Crap, I look somewhere halfway between now. I am going to see a doc today, a new Internist - she is not newly a doc, just will be a new one for me. I have not seen a regular GP or Internist since I was diagnosed with the cancer last August or maybe in September. Decided why would I want to go to the same office where the doc, whom I think was responsible for me getting such a bad case of cancer, is located. Hell, she just turned me off on internists altogether. Still, I need to get a complete check-up and the cancer docs want me to get checked for a couple of specific things that they will not check on, so I am off to a new doctor this afternoon. My daughter goes to this doc and says she is a good one, I hope so.
I am hoping she can help me find a suitable way to get a good nights sleep at least a few times a week, if not every night. By suitable way, I mean as in without me drinking a few shots each night or something like that, I would hate to add becoming an alcoholic to my list of woes. I also mean without me taking sleeping pills if at all possible. I was going to ask the new doc for sleeping pills until I heard of the recent study that concluded that even users who only occasionally take sleeping medications have a significantly higher death rate than those who do not take them and that those who take more sleeping pills have an even higher death rate. I have to wonder, is that because of the sleeping pills or because they are not sleeping well in the first place? Now that I just had that thought, maybe I will ask for some sleeping pills after all. If they kill me at least there will be a good chance I'll die peacefully, in my sleep (only kidding, I think). Another finding was that there was up to a 35% increase in cancer diagnosis for those taking sleeping pills even though their risk factors were no greater than the control group who did not take the sleeping meds. Nope, maybe I had best avoid them after all.
I am pretty sure that this recent bout of me not sleeping all that well will be over soon, just another turn in the revolving door of the cancer experience. I had been sleeping pretty well for awhile, hopefully that will soon be the case again.
By the way, keep your fingers crossed for me, this coming Monday is Pet Scan and CT Scan day and my next visit with one of the cancer doc's and his staff is next Wednesday. I am hoping that they do not call me on the phone on Tuesday, that is how I got the bad news the first time round and just feel a phone call from them would be almost sure to bring bad news. Likewise, I am hoping that come Wednesday, they are all smiling from ear to ear when they see me because they have only good news for me. I have been scared before, maybe even worse than this, but I can tell you, it is some scary stuff all this waiting and wondering. It is hope inspiring too and I am trying my best to go with hope right now.
Enough of my rambling on this subject, I have places to go and things to do and interesting people to meet.
All the best,
Claret Cup Cactus Flowers
2 hours ago