Friday, January 8, 2010

Sleeping Isn't Everything

I had an oncology appointment today. Dr. Sweet was running late, which was a not problem, unless you are hungry. The nice part was that we were his last appointment before lunch and he was generous with his lunch hour.

Dr. Sweet asked what seem to be the usual questions - how am I feeling? how am I handling my symptoms? I have to say that it felt really good to go to the doctor with minimal complaints. Chemo is going well. I am managing my symptoms well, and I had fewer side affects this past time around than the first session. Not that I feel perfect...but most people do not. (Unless you are 25 or younger and even at that age, you are too naive realize how good you are feeling.)

The one thing that I did complain about was my ability to stay asleep at night. I have a prescription for Ambien...but it gives me nightmares. As it turns out, Dr. Sweet feels the best choice for me is to double up on my Adavan at night - not to take an additional narcotic. He says that there is no "magic drug" that will help me sleep. Adavan is old fashioned, but I am getting the feeling that Dr. Sweet is too. Dr. Sweet further explained that chemotherapy is so disruptive to the system that even a oncology physician who suffered from cancer at one point, reported that she knew every television show that aired between midnight and 6:00 a.m. I have to assume she had access to several different types of sleeping pills and tried several options.

Dr. Sweet joked that maybe I need to do more. "Do some laundry!", he exclaimed. "Maybe even a dish or two. Cook dinner." Now, I know he was mostly kidding but part of me knows there is a lot of truth in his words.

I have great respect for Dr. Sweet. I trust him. If he says not sleeping is normal, I have to believe him. As long as this cancer thing keeps working its way out of my system, I guess sleeping isn't everything. (And I do sleep...just not as soundly as I would like.)

On another note, he suggested I see Dr. Duree, my surgeon, next week. I have an appointment on Wednesday. I like her too. I am hoping that her examination and/or any tests she orders will confirm that chemo is working, thus postponing surgery until Spring. I will keep you posted.

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