Question about chemo and not being able to sleep

I started chemo therapy last Monday 4/7 (and radiation therapy on Tuesday, the 8th). The latter therapy is irrelevant, but I’m throwing it in for the sake of completeness.

So today was my last day of chemo, for this go around, anyway. It ran Mon thru Fri last week, plus today, 4/14. Before we started, the nurse ran me through the questions, any pain, allergic reactions, etc. I volunteered that I hadn’t been sleeping.

I mentioned this off handedly, because I’d begun to secretly wonder if I was going nuts. I hadn’t slept since we started chemo. Perhaps I’m over wrought. Hell, maybe I’m off my tap altogether. No one stays awake for 7 straight nights and then doesn’t feel sleep deprived during the day. But this is precisely what I’ve been experiencing.

I take an Ambien, go to bed, Im up all night. Next night I take two pills, same result. Nothing works. I stop the pills and stop going to bed and read or watch TV in the den. Nothing changes.

Then today the nurse clues me in. It’s the steroids in the chemo that are preventing me from nodding off. Not only that, the steroids stay in the body for 2 days. The first Monday dose kept me sleepless on Monday and Tuesday, and so on through today’s administered steroids. There’s a chance I’ll crash on Wednesday. Oh happy day!!

Has anyone ever heard of something like this?

My wife sat through the Nurse’s explanation today , and was delighted to learn her husband wasn’t out of his skull with all his night long insomnia misadventures.

BTW, the nurse also mentioned that the husbands of women on this therapy tend to complain their wives talk non stop. Jabber. Women whose husbands are on this therapy bitch that the hubbies get cranky, unreasonable. And like me, they don’t sleep.

Anyway, am I living in a B movie? How can I lose so much sleep and not feel the least bit drowsy during the day. My appetite’s excellent. BP today was 98/60, when I’m usually 110/70 or so.

I’ll be interested in your inputs.

Turning off the computer.

Going back to bed. Maybe, just maybe…

Mods, you may close this thread.

Thank you.

My Uncle has aplastic anemia and is currently taking steroids as part of his treatment. He can’t sleep at all at night either, though he nods off a lot during the day.

Barnowl, good luck with the chemo and radiation treatments. I went through chemo myself and i know it’s intense. I felt very vulnerable, often overwhelmed, and often frightened. I can’t imagine not sleeping for 7 straight days. Even though you’re not drowsy it must be affecting your emotional state to not get any proper rest. You didn’t ask for advice on how to get any sleep, but I’m gonna tell you what I did anyway. I went to a hypnotherapist and got a tape recording of the session. It was mostly for anxiety, pain relief and sleeping. It worked for me. Even if I didn’t stay asleep after listening to the tape, (though I often did), just that hour of deep rest was very therapeutic. Exercise is helpful, a walk for instance. A hot bath, some hot tea, some quiet relaxing music. I wish you luck and good doctors!

Turns out I actually slept last night - from midnight to 6am!! On a flier, I took an Ambien and a tiny little pill the hosp prescribed for anti-anxiety and sleep.

My OP sounded so carzy, I asked the mods to close it. But everything I said in it was true.

Thanks for your reply, pool.

So nice of you to take the trouble, maladroit!

But ss you can see (above), I did get some sleep.

Now, I’m through with chemo until May 5, and today. I did just radiation. Had to show up early for my first subcutaneous shot of Amifostine, aka Ethyol. The nurse did all she could to prepare me for this unpleasant medicine with its longish list of side effects. So, watching me like a hawk for any negative signs she let me have it.

NADA!!! ZIP!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

No discomfort, no nausea no nothing. In fact, instead of dropping, my BP rose. She was buffaloed. The drug protects my healthy tissues (esophagus, e.g.) from radiation burns. So right after, off I went to Radiation Oncology for my daily dose. Only 26 more to go. :slight_smile:

Feeling quite good. Took a 2 hour nap this afternoon.

I’m glad to hear you’re not having too many side-effects from your treatments, BarnOwl. Hope it stays that way, and is effective for you. I have nothing to add to the thread, just wanted to say that. :slight_smile:

Thank you, TroubleAgain. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: