Monday, March 30, 2015

Too much cancer before bed causes nightmares

It is important to be well informed about your cancer and also a challenge to strike your own balance of knowing just the right amount.

I am somewhere in the middle, wanting to know what I need to know but not any more. I used to talk about this to my friend Patricia, who knew everything, down to the which genetic mutation she had on which chromosome. Several times I thought of asking my doctor, but something always stopped me, and I am not sure why. It would not change anything.

Sometimes the universe (actually of course an algorithm on the internet) puts information in front of me. For example, the other day when I read the New York Times on line, a story headlined Trying to Fool Cancer came up under "Recommended for You." It was about the complexities of treating AML and a related blood cancer, myelodysplastic syndrome.

I’m sure it resulted from the many times my searches included the word cancer. The fact that it was my own former cancer was just coincidence. Still, it was strange. I read every word.

Which brings me to Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,  the three-part Ken Burns series starting on PBS tonight (9 to 11.) I am interested in watching it, but I'm unsure of how it will affect me.  Judging from the restless sleep I had the night I saw the preview, I decided to DVR it and watch it some other time at an earlier hour.

As I said then, too much cancer before bed is not a good thing.

Last night I disregarded my own advice. My Surviving Cancer post was due this morning, and since I had been busy with other work up until last night, I wrote it then. I focused on information overload.

I paid for it in my nightmares.

I dreamt a doctor told me even though I was done with leukemia, I had a different kind of cancer.

I needed surgery the next day and therefore could not eat after midnight. I was in a hospital. A nurse brought me food (horrible meatloaf!) which I was just about to eat when I caught the mistake after taking one mouthful. I was worried that I would not be able to have the life-saving surgery.

Switch to another dream-frame based on fact. The fact is that when I opened the car door in the driveway for Maddie to get out the other night, although she usually trots into the house, she raced into the woods after a deer that was running through. In the dream she caught the deer and got her teeth into it. I called for her to come back but she wouldn't move. Then an army of angry deer surrounded her, and...

I cannot even bring myself to write it.

I woke up and I did not have cancer and my dog was still alive.

Every time I take her out of the car now I put her on the leash.

From now on I am going to stick with my resolution of no cancer before bed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a student of mine, 49, was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer -- your blog is quite inspiring to him...

thank you, Runder-Woman