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Ever since my husband started having health problems that lead us to discover his lung cancer, he's had problems sleeping. It's been a month since his lobectomy, he is now off all pain meds but is unable to sleep without taking ambien. I imagine that this is common. I'm wondering how long people continue to take sleep aids. Thoughts on becoming addicted to them vs the desparate need for sleep? I'll also post this in the alternative/complimentry forum for suggestions on herbs ect that may help. Thanks

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I have had sleeping problems from the day of my diagnosis. Doctor prescribed Restirol (sp) but it doesn't help much. I am not in any body pain, I know it is all in my mind. I do have nightmares and I wake up between 10-15 times a night. Not very restfull at all. I am not concerned about addiction, I just want a good nights sleep.


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I lhave experienced cancer three times in the last 11 years. The first time through I did not sleep for months. This time I got smart and lived on tylenol PM for a long, long time. Am I addicted??? Don't care. My body needs it's rest, and without it, I wasn't getting any.

As time goes on, I am seriously weaning away. It hasn't been a daily occurrence anyway, but it is there.

That's just me---but I tried it without anything too and that definitely did not work.


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I began to take Ambien (and Xanax) upon diagnosis and continued through at least the first month after surgery. One precaution is that after long-term use, the dreams when stopping use are VIVID, very, very vivid...

The first month after surgery was horrible psychologically and any time my body quieted down, the negative little voice in my mind would start in loudly with statistics and the threat of not living until the morning if I fell asleep... Pretty hard to sleep with all THAT swimming around in the head... I did wean off the Ambien/Xanax nighttime ritual, but still take them on nights that the numbers start spinning around.

Rest is needed, as long as the doctor knows that he is taking the medication as NOT prescribed (and the doctor must know if he's refilling the precription), he IS under the doctor's care and okay. My warning, again, is the dreams when going off the drug - mine were an x-rated "Fantasia"...

Sounds like all is "normal" - welcome to the new normal. Breakup should be soon, spring is heading in!


aka Snowflake

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During the diagnosis time of both my cancer incidents, I couldn't sleep. Xanax was what worked for me. How could a person go thru that kind of agony and uncertainty and expect to sleep? Everything seemed worse at night, and believe me, things seemed bad enough during the day.

Strangely enough, with the lung thing, I was a worse mess after surgery than before. I was taking an anti-anxiety drug, tranxene, and an anti-depressent, Effexor, for several months following surgery. I am now off the tranxene and have been since October. Am weaning myself off the effexor--was at 150 mg per day, now at 25 per day, and working my way totally off it. I still have xanax in the drawer but haven't used it for months. Won't be throwing it away though, and won't be shy about getting another prescription from the doc if need be.

I have a really great family, friend, co-worker support system and still needed drugs and the help of a therapist. Still see the therapist--not as often as before, but I have no plans to quit that either.

Sleep and attitude are so terribly important with this disease. If you need the drugs, get them. Doesn't have to be forever, but you have to want to get out of bed in the morning.

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I have been on Ambien for a couple years now. I don't take one every single night.....and my body doesn't seem to have any ill effects, with or without it. I'm not advocating the use of any sleep aid for long periods of time....particularly Ambien....which is contraindicated for a time period more than three months. But this is how my doctors chose to treat my other ongoing conditions.......before, during and after my bout with lung cancer.

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