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[Cancer]

[cancer] A little better, some notes on sleep

Last night I dreamt about intense negotiations regarding the price of shipping corn and beans by barge. One of the financial analysts from the Day Jobbe was involved. I also dreamt I moved into a squalid apartment behind an enormous comics shop that also carried my books. A very strange church in a converted gas station with boarded up windows was across the street. For some reason, I had no bathroom in my squat, and had to wash up and change in the comics shop bathroom, which was challenging.

This week infusion session ten of twelve looms large. As I am no longer driving at all, everything will be a hassle — checking my mail, getting to my therapist on Wednesday, getting the needle set on Thursday, and so forth. will come down Thursday evening, is having logistical issues stemming from her ongoing illness and may not be here at all.

About that driving, what’s going on is that last week’s significant drop in functionality has stabilized, but my fatigue levels are persistently even deeper than before. My alertness and reaction times are such that I would continue to be a danger to myself and others behind the wheel, so I’ve hung up my car keys for the time being. Likely the next 5-7 weeks, as I don’t foresee me gaining energy until I’ve tapered off chemo. I’ve not been driving after 4 pm for quite some time now, for these reasons. It’s now a 24×7 restriction. Self-imposed, rather than doctor-ordered, because I’m sane enough not to be in denial about my poor functionality.

Other than that, my spirits have recovered somewhat. Slept a fitful 8 hours last night without pharmaceutical intervention. Re my comments about resenting all this sleeping time, several folks have taken me to task over it. Please be assured that I am not fighting my body’s need for sleep, I sleep as much as I can. My resentment is at a higher level, part of my overall resentment at the losses of energy, productivity and focus that chemotherapy forces on me. That’s not negative energy, that’s me fighting to keep what’s important to me active in my life. I know a lot of people counsel acceptance in times of trouble, but the only way I know to go forward is by fighting for what I want and need. That’s why even now I’m still exercising every day, for example.

So when I grumble, please believe I’m not undercutting myself, I’m reinforcing myself. This is my coping strategy.

And it’s not a waste of time to sleep. It’s a waste of time to sleep excessively. I’ve already spent close to 300 hours sleeping this year that in a normal year I would not have. At 2,000 words per hour, I could have written three first draft novels with that time. That’s what I mean by waste, that’s only a fraction of what chemo has stolen from me.

So please don’t be alarmed if I don’t accept my limitations. Pushing my limits is the best way I know to stay sane.

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