Colon Cancer Sucks Ass

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sleeping, Trying to Sleep, and Studying

That is all my life is right at this moment. Tomorrow marks the beginning of finals week for the Winter quarter. I only have one traditional final, but then there are papers and take home tests and papers (did I already say that?). I've been working since 8:30 this morning which is really early since I stopped working at 4:00 am. Now I'm just taking a brief break to write this update.

Insomnia and fatigue alternately hit me like a Mack truck. I'm dealing with the cumulative fatigue of two and a half years of either being in treatment or recovering from major surgery. I can't really explain what this fatigue feels like, but when it hits, I need to rest - I can't just work through it. If I was sleeping regularly, I don't think that it would be as bad, but my insomnia is back with a vengeance. During my undergraduate years I pulled one all-nighter. That's right... one all-nighter in four years. In the last three months I have had at least six nights when I didn't sleep at all. I have found that I can be extremely productive in the middle of the night, but I'd really rather be sleeping. I've tried Ambien - it doesn't really work for me and it gives me a headache. I occasionally take Ativan, but it doesn't make me drowsy anymore. I recently tried Lunesta - it didn't do anything. I'm just going to keep working to get back on a regular sleep schedule.

Finally, I have a cancer update that I should have posted a couple of weeks ago. I had an MRI to see how the chemo was working and to see if I would be a candidate for RFA on the tumor in my liver. Well, it turns out that I'm not a candidate, but for a really good reason. One the MRI, there was no measurable disease. There are still a couple of areas that don't quite look normal, but nothing that they could measure. So my oncologist is giving me a two month treatment break. After two months, I'll have a CT scan and if there aren't any changes, I'll get another two months! I am very excited to have this break. The last round of chemo was so hard on me that I really didn't know how I was going to handle it and school anymore. I really thought I was going to have to consider a break from school. I am still thinking about taking the summer off and postponing my internship until next summer and then not graduating until December 2009, but I think that it is probably not a good idea for me to push through until next June without a break. Plus I'm worried about handling a full time job without a lot of absences since I've had to miss so many classes. School is a lot more flexible about that than an internship would be.

Okay, I have to get back to my Health Economics take home final. Wish me luck in getting all of the work done by Friday!

6 Comments:

  • At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Christine,
    Sorry you are so fatigued. I hope you are feeling better soon. The MRI news sounds great. Best wishes.
    Wendy

     
  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger One Mother with Cancer said…

    That is wonderful news!! I hope everything goes well for you, and enjoy your break you deserve it.

     
  • At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe the luck of the Irish will be with you tonight....and you'll finally have a long night sleep full of rainbows, Lucky Charms, pots of gold and little, green, glowing butterfies! Sweet Dreams! -M.

     
  • At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Don said…

    You might try flipping your mattress the simple change in sleep surface contour might help. When events conspire with my thoughts to fight off sleep Lorazepam has helped in the struggle. But you dream much better without it. The fatigue… I’m thinking is a cumulative consequence of everything and that’s what is so different about it… it’s not just “fatigue” it’s more like metastatic narcolepsy.

    Hold Fast
    Don MacLeod

     
  • At 10:20 AM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    Congrats on the scan! ...does that mean you can come visit me now?

    Insomnia sucks. Perhaps Tim can record some baseball stories for you, like the ones he tells me when I can't sleep. ;)

     
  • At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Amanda said…

    Christina
    You sound amazingly strong. I was 26 when I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer and you are making success even though it may feel like a day to day struggle. I've spent the last two years feeling scarred mentally and physically. It's really good to know you are fighting. It's really good to know there are other people out there like you.

     

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