Friday, August 31, 2012


This has been another busy week of appointments.  I met with my oncologist on Monday.  He was extremely nice and drew lots of pictures for me, which as a visual learner is much appreciated.  We made a plan to begin chemotherapy on September 11th - although that might change since I have an appointment with the dentist the day before.  I hope I can make it work.  I want to get started.

I also met with my surgeons who were also super knowledgeable and compassionate.  At this point, I am beginning with Neoadjuvant chemotherapy - so I won't be seeing my surgeons again for a while.  My cancer is triple positive - Estrogen positive, Progesterone positive, and Her2 positive.  The positive thing about this is that there are targeted ways of treating this kind of cancer.  Of course, this means that I will have a port for a year so doctors can give me Herceptin- and I will be taking Tamoxifen for the next five years.  But at this point, knowing that I will be around to take something for five years feels like a blessing.

I have seen a lot lately about sleep and breast cancer in particular.  My mother even called me to tell me she saw a clip on the news about the connection between a lack of sleep and breast cancer.  This of course is of significance because I hate sleeping.  I find it to be such a waste of time.  Of course, I would love sleeping if I could do it from about 2am till about 10am... but it is hard to hold down a regular job and not be somewhere earlier than noon.  So, my normal schedule involves going to bed around 1am and waking up at 6am.  Five hours a night has always felt like plenty.  Sure, I get tired at around 2 or 3pm, but I look around my office and it seems like everyone is tired around 2 or 3pm.  And I get so much done in the wee hours of the night!  I can paint, read, write, plan, without my beautiful little ones expressing every need imaginable.  The studies do show that the correlation is only in post menopausal women, so perhaps this isn't the reason for my own breast cancer.  But just to be safe, I probably should get more sleep.  I hate cancer.

A big problem with trying to make changes around sleep now is that worrying about cancer keeps me up at night.  It is in the stillness that my mind wanders.  My dark thoughts are given a stage to wreak havoc on my psyche.  I lay listening to my partner's breath.  I move from side to side trying to find the elusive comfortable position that will allow me to peacefully fall asleep.  I focus on my own breath and remind myself of all of the techniques I have taught my own clients for the past fifteen years, but come up empty.  My brain is moving fast and furious- and although I try, stopping it feels impossible.

So, I thought perhaps tonight before I go to bed, I would draw a picture of what is going on in my mind. Of course this drawing only scratches the surface.   I drew myself without hair- because I am trying to acclimate myself to this soon to be reality.  My daughter has already started drawing me without hair as she prepares herself.  (Maybe I will share some of her artwork later).  So here is my latest attempt to heal.


  1. You will make it work! Thanks for sharing the sleep connection. Good information to know. For me too it seems that late at the night is the best time to get things done. This is something I really need to work on, too. May you enjoy healing sleep tonight.

  2. I know I always see you up late at night too:-) I remember a neat quote, but can't remember it about how night belongs to artists. I think a lot of creative people tend to love the night. Oscar Wilde has a quote “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

  3. Aye, my dearest sweetest Deann. I find sometimes if I take my mind to a place where I want to be or what I call my happy place, I sleep. I do this by imagining each element at a time appearing. Like a beautiful meadow with a weeping willow tree, etc.. N I keep adding your mind with n relaxation...although I know you know this I also know how hard it can be....I too know you will be around for many you girl