Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sleepy but otherwise fine

I have been so sleepy these days. I don't understand why (I really don't). I'm more than 3 weeks past surgery, and while both the bilateral mastectomy and the oopharectomy may be considered major surgeries, they didn't knock me off my feet for very long. In fact, the nurses had me up and walking almost as soon as I woke up from the anesthesia. (Well, maybe they made me wait an hour or two. Once I could prove to them that I could walk to the bathroom and wheel my IV drip machine along without tripping over it, they pretty much let me get up as I needed.)

But I digress. I was talking about being sleepy. I felt pretty energetic for a while. I surprised my neighbors when I showed up at the busstop one afternoon, not long after I came home from the hospital. I even went to my jazz class that week (but didn't dance, don't worry. I waited until the next week. Don't tell my surgeon.)

About 10 days ago, the sudden drowsiness began. With no warning at all that it was coming, my eyelids would feel heavy and I'd be out. I could fall asleep in a chair, doing a crossword puzzle, just like my dad. Kind of like that 1st-trimester drowsiness. (No, I'm not! Are you crazy? With 4 kids and no ovaries? Impossible!)

And can you believe, my children think nothing of Mommy's sleepiness anymore! Yesterday I dozed off on the sofa, and little Frances just curled up on me and rested too. Sometimes she even takes a blanket and tucks me in!

I had read that Femara can make you drowsy, but this fatigue started before I took my first Femara.

My husband thinks that maybe it's all catching up with me. Maybe I'm too active, I don't know. I did drag my dad all over Lowe's last Friday, looking for the perfect rhododendren. We left with a carful of them. And perhaps I shouldn't have driven Leah to her t-ball game before I was ready to drive. I mean, I could drive....I would never put my child in danger....I just couldn't close the trunk (which I realized after I opened it) or shut the (non-automatic) door to the minivan. Not enough reach or strength. That was exhausting, not to mention embarrassing, tracking down someone to help me with my own vehicle.

Maybe I'm tired because I couldn't sleep on my back (I'm a tummy sleeper), and had way too many 3- or 4-hour nights before I finally found a comfortable position on my side (last week, yay!)

Since I wasn't sleeping anyway, I would get up and putter around. I'd unload the dishwasher so I could stretch my arms a bit. I reached up for lots of things, any excuse to stretch. I was so afraid if I didn't start using my arms right away, my shoulders would freeze.

So I guess I've done this to myself. I've made my own bed, so to speak. I can get through the fatigue, and my afternoon cup of tea is a great pick-me-up. So far, it's not disabling. And the bright side: if I do need to take a nap, at least now I can sleep comfortably on my side! Be grateful for the little things, right?


  • At 10/19/07, 9:48 AM, Blogger Sherry said…

    PTS...Katie it's post traumatic stress IMO. You didn't do this to yourself. It's not about pushing yourself too hard or too fast. Your DH is on the right track. It's catching up with you. It's the psychological/emotional part of your body catching up with the physical. You had to get through this surgery, you had to face a second go-round with this, you are battered and bruised but not've fought a big round in the arena with breast cancer...and you are on top.

    Just think of the emotions. Add to that being a busy mom of little ones...and you have their best interests at heart, their well being. Maybe you aren't able at the moment to be as physical with them because of the recovery...but emotionally/psychologically this is heavy with you (think of your recent posts about the children and how this affects them).

    I went through's normal. I would be surprised at some who don't. It hits us like a brick wall, seemingly out of nowhere. The fatigue is pervasive and takes a long time to fully get over (some never do). This is your precious body, your temple saying to you "yoo hoo princess..we're having a little shut eye right now...we just need to recharge these batteries and we'll be back in a flash". Go with it...allow it to happen, embrace it and enjoy it.

    Be kind to yourself.
    btw..I was going to talk about fatigue today so I'm going to link up to you with mine.

  • At 10/19/07, 4:50 PM, Blogger KT said…

    Hi Sherry, thanks for confirming John's suspicions. He likes to be right. I had the same fatigue with radiation this spring. It took me from April until August to regain my energy, just in time for the second cancer ;-)

    I'm hoping I bounce back faster this time! Katie

  • At 10/19/07, 4:57 PM, Blogger Sherry said…

    Don't push on the bouncing back KT...take it one day at a time...when you feel you have more energy treat yourself to something you know you'd love to that on the days you don't have much energy you don't feel you're "behind" or losing ground. I had a great response on my blog to this topic from a 6+ year survivor...who is still feeling fatigue. Just something to keep in mind! Have a great weekend...pamper yourself! (and btw...all men like to be proven "right"!! We have to give them that once in awhile! Hee!).

  • At 10/22/07, 12:58 AM, Blogger Jill Aldrich said…

    Dang. i think I wrote you a long email and forgot to actually push the "publish this comment" button. Katie, I think you're the real deal. You are genuine, compassionate and strong. Your fatigue won't last, but your authenticy, kindness and courage will. You'll get your "reach and strength" back. Until then, I'll be sending you all my best healing vibes :) Jill

  • At 10/22/07, 2:30 PM, Blogger Crooked Eyebrow said…

    Don't worry about bouncing back so fast!! I would mention it to your doctor as well at your next check up.


    and you went to a jazz dance class afterwards? Wow, that's impressive.


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