Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In the words of Shakespeare...To sleep, perchance to dream

I continue to have sleep and headache issues. First of all, as I think I stated before, I can't sleep. Ever since I had my surgery, I just physically cannot sleep. It's not nerves or anything like that. I will be wide awake, fall asleep for about 40 minutes, and then be wide awake for hours again. However, although I'm awake, my body and mind are tired. It really took its toll on me yesterday. As the day drug on, so did I. And although I could not sleep, I also could not think or process information very well, no doubt as a result of not sleeping. I read a blog about someone else who has brain tumors, and she too could not sleep. She takes Ativan so that she can sleep now. I do this occaisonally, but I hate to keep taking a sleeping pill, along with all my other pain meds.

The biggest problem I have when I don't sleep is that my headaches worsen, which of course makes it even harder to sleep. It's a ridiculous cycle. Once the pain starts, which is incredibly unbearable, it won't go away, even with Percocet. I had an appointment with an internal medicine doctor today for some slight sinusitus that the MRI showed...which I don't have. (And the entire time the doctor is talking to me, he's mumbling in between his sentences, "Oh God bless you. God bless you," in his Saudi Arabian accent. He makes me smile.) After I told him about my pain and sleep issues, he immediately sent me to see a neurologist. (Thank you to nurse Sara for driving me down the street to my appt while my mom had the kids at McDonalds).

I was go grateful to get in to see the specialist immediately because I was in so much pain at this point I was almost in tears. Plus, last year when I was making an appointment for Cameron with a neurologist, it took me over a month before the neurologist had an opening. This is doctor was also very kind and concerned about my pain and just very concerned about all that I had been through. He actually took my hand and asked me how I was doing with all this, and I told him that except for the pain, I really am okay with everything. (He also had this big gold ring that said, "Dad" so I imagined anyone who'd wear a ring like that must really love his kids, which made me like him even more, as a person).

For the pain he gave me a shot of Imitrex, which is what they give to people who have really bad migranes. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything for my headache. And the doctor didn't have an answer as to what would be causing this pain. Quite the medical mystery I am I guess. He sent me home with another prescription that may work to take away the headaches, but overall, I have no idea as to why I'm having these. I don't want to keep popping a bunch of pain killers. There has to be a reason for this. But not even my neurosurgeon, who my husband called last night, had any ideas as to why I'm having these headaches. Maybe someone at Mayo can shed some light next week because I'm really tired of this dominating our lives. I couldn't even go to Cameron's football game today, because of the pain, and he was really sad about this, which in turn made me really sad.


On a completely different subject, a couple people have asked me about some messages that they sent me....messages I have NO recollection of. The first two weeks after surgery, I was so drugged up, or so filled with anxiety, that there were a lot of e-mails that I think I read, but never actually processed or remembered. So if it seems like I'm ignoring you, really, I'm not. And I apologize sincerely. If you pop me a note again, I'll try to answer it this time...if my head doesn't feel like it's in a vicegrip! (I'm only able to write now because my Vicodin has kicked in quite nicely).

Football season has begun for Cameron. That is a post in and of itself, but for now, I'll just say that HE is loving it! Thankfully I have WONDERFUL neighbors who told me that they will take him and bring him home from every practice and game, so that I don't have to worry about that at all. I still try to make at least his games (which are 2, sometimes 3, times a week), but I know I won't be making all of them...like tonight's game. Now I'm not trying to buy forgiveness from my son, but I know that he'd be SO excited if I got him something to wear from his favorite team....the University of Minnesota Gophers. Plus, my husband just called and said he got a touchdown...his first one...so now I'm really bummed that I missed his game. But anyhow, I'm looking for a Univ. of Minnesota fall ZIP-UP jacket for him to wear. He's about a size 8. So if anyone happens to come across one, can you please let me know. I'm going to go online tomorrow and see what I can find. THANKS!


Moreover, let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance develops maturity of character. And character producs joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation! Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

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At 8:52 PM, Blogger AnnD said...

Sorry you are facing all this pain - I cannot imagine but do hope something will give soon.

You have wonderful neighbours. Three games a week - what a season - football isn't a big thing in my neighbourhood so can't even imagine such a little one with all the gear.

Take care, someone will find a solution to this latest hurdle.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Angi said...

I used to be a HORRIBLE insomniac after breast cancer - my doctor rx'd me trazadone and now I get up once to use the restroom, but otherwise I knock out and stay out. Also try Opana ER/IR for your pain, with or without Lyrica (which is for like nerve type pain) this combo of meds is the first to really work for me in 3+ yrs!
It's worth asking about.
Good luck.

At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pain so very tough to live with. It can pull you down. I know right now you are on a lot of pills but all are to keep you healthy. Adivain to help you sleep is ok. Your body needs the time to rest. Till you get to Mayo and get help with these h/a's use something to sleep. Please!! I care for you and i know you are feeling pain in your heart for missing the kids activities and the physical pain. Try to not worry about all the pills you take. It will not be forever just till we get you cured. When you can not make it to the boys activities have someone take pictures so you can still share the event with your son. Take life moment by moment. God has a plan for you and we all Beleive you will be cured and live a long time. God bless you and your family.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Marsha said...

I too am so sorry that you have to experience all this pain. I continue to pray for you and will add a specific prayer for you to be pain free and able to enjoy all that life with 3 young children has to offer!

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:29 AM, Blogger JJ said...

I just read an interesting blurb in Consumer Reports about headaches. I get migraines that can last for days so the headline caught my eye. Rebound headaches can be caused by overmedication. They suggest stopping all pain meds which seems counterproductive but it helps. Granted you're not the typical case but you can read about it on http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/rebound-headaches/DS00613

Hugs to you.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm new to your blog, I acutally landed on your blog through a runners blog. I am truly uplifted by your words and faith in God. I have had tragedy myself, we lost our 16 year old son, Joshua, Nov 15, 2003 in a car accident. Even though I struggle with this daily, your faith is the one constant in your life. I am not a wizard with words, I only write from my heart. Please accept my offer of friendship. I have never "blogged" before so I'm not familiar with the politics of it but can only ask directly if you would like to email me?

At 1:33 PM, Blogger kristin said...

I found a few items on this website.

Not sure about kids' sizing as I don't have kids. :)
Thank you for sharing your life. It is inspiring.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Undomestic said...

Thanks everyone for all the information on the different medications. I'll be bringing this info when I see a different neurologist.

Kristin, Thanks so much for the Minnesota apparel info...I found exactly what I needed in my son's size....THANK YOU!

Cindy, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your son. That to me would be the hardest thing in the world to have to deal with. Let anything happen to me, but not to my children. I will pray that you continue to find peace and amongst your struggle. I think there's a direct link on my profile, but in case you can't find it, my e-mail address is minnashford@yahoo.com.

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is breezy and cool at night now. Sit in a chair outside with a blanket over you and let the air wash over your face. Close your eyes...you are running and relaxed...and loved...
Connie M.


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