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Insomniac


Nana Jane

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Hi everyone...I'm new to this forum. I'm an oncology nurse who was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in July of this year. I'm in the middle of Taxol and Carboplatin therapy, finding it very difficult. Insomnia seems to be a pretty regular aspect of my daily life. Fortunately I am on extended leave of absence during treatment, so have the luxury of time to take care of myself. Today is a good day, but there have been some pretty dark and scary ones along the way, as you all know. I'm learning new skills since switching from nurse to patient: accepting help from others seems to be my biggest challenge. Would love to hear from other nurses or health care professionals in similar circumstances...how do you make the transition?

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Hi Nana...and welcome!

I recently finished 18 weeks of chemo, and I know my sleep schedule was really out of whack for a while......i'd sleep more during my chemo weeks, and then be up all night in between; I'm just now returning to a normal schedule.

I worked as an LPN for 15 yrs.....had recently moved into the Real Estate field (3 yrs ago). I had worked on an oncology floor of a chronic hospital a while ago, and most recently had worked in a nursing home setting where CA was pretty common in the history of my clients.

I find good and bad sides to having the (albeit limited) knowledge that I have. It's an advantage to be able to read and understand the medical "lingo" and "shorthand" that's tossed about; but it's also kinda scary when I can recognize the seriousness of certain symptoms, procedures, etc.....i tend to read more into things than most, I guess.

I understand what you mean about accepting help from others....so many times I am tempted to flush my own IV and change my IV bags when one goes dry....:) But, I let my oncology nurses do their thing; it just helps that I can talk to them in their "language" (besides, I have no real experience with administering chemo, which I know you must....that must be kinda hard on you).

One thing I do stress to my Onc is having him tell me new developments in "english---lay person's terms".....sometimes when I'm worried or stressed, it's a lot easier to understand than having all that medical jargon thrown at me. I'm an excellent caregiver to others, but when it comes to ME, I dunno....I tend to block some things out, especially at first....I need time to come to grips with my situation, then I'm ok.

Hope your treatment goes well, and hope to hear from you again......best wishes to you,

Mary

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Welcome Nana Jane:

Sorry you have the need to find us, but am glad you did.

I'm not a health care professional nor a nurse, but I honestly can relate to what your talking about when it comes to having your life turned up side down and in side out. I was a very take charge, independent person before I became a Lung Cancer Survivor. :shock: I don't think this is an easy path for any of us, but, we learn to roll with the punches and we learn how to hold on tight in this roller-coaster ride we are on. It's a new way of life for ALL of us. I'm only sorry you had to join in with us.

I wish you well, and hope you stay with us. You will find much support and comfort here. You may now add one more professional title to your list, and that is, Lung Cancer Survivor. This may be the hardest job you have ever had, but I just want you to know, your not in it alone. We all understand and we wish you didn't have to be here.

And for the record, I have a wonderful lady in my Lung Cancer Support Group who is a 4+ year Stage IV Lung Cancer Survivor and she is doing very very well. :):)

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Jane,

I am an LPC in the mental health field. I can remember a woman who came to see me for counseling, shortly after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She wore a wig, and looked so phsically beaten. The thing I remember most, was the anger that poured out of her as she spoke about the cancer. I offered her every possible way that I could think of to deal with her emotions of shock, anger, depression, and denial. When she was in a place to finally accept it, she began to move forward, have hope and even fight. I never saw her after that. Did I cure her of cncer? Probably not, but she again saw herself among the living, and began to fight. Nobody is responsible for your happiness, but you. In my own make believe story, she gets to live happily ever after. I myself lost both parents within two weeks of one another. I use to have difficulty treating cancer cases, because I would over-relate them. We base our knowlege on personal experiences. I'll never know what happened to her. It is not good for her to develop a dependancy on me, hopefully has moved on and is cancer free.

It was really hard to change modes, and go from a caregiver to a recipiant of care. I still would rather help others, wouldn't you? I is an ego thing I guess. Cancer can actually be a gift if you let it. It can teach you many things about youself. I am challenging you to find what God is teaching you from this experience. I would be interested in your take.

Being trainned to deal with trauma doesn't prevent it from happening to you. I mean, being a doctor doesn't stop cancer from happening to them either. It is hard to practice what you preach. I do my best. I graduated top in my class, but, that hardly makes me a good counselor? And book learning is not what helps people with their problems. It does however,give me the resources to help others. Everyday I learn something new. Just please, don't let this disease teach you something,and not make you into the "victim!" We have to talk sometime, PM me if you like.

Welcome!

Cheryl

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You did find us! Welcome. Several of us are nurses here at this site. I think you are the first one that is specialized in Onocology. I have been a nurse for many years but boy I never knew much about lung cancer except that pain was not an early sign. Wouldn't you know it was pain that took me to the doctor and when he told me I had lung cancer I fell apart, I just knew it was over for me. Guess what, nearly 7 yrs later here I am , good friends with NED. Welcome abourd. Donna G

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Nana Jane,Welcome to our family.I am not a health care employee but was a recipient of the carbo & taxol.It is very hard to contend with ,however worked well in my case.The insomnia effect I had was day after treatment then went away til next day after treatment etc,etc.You will find lots of people here who have been there & done it.Keep us updated how you are.

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Nana Jane,

Welcome! I am also a nurse although I specialize in patients with diabetes. I thought I had somewhat of a grasp on self-managment of chronic illnesses (my research interest) because of my work with diabetes patients and caring for my own Addison's disease but let me tell you - self-managing the effects of cancer was a whole new ballgame. I can't imagine what it must be like for you after being an oncology nurse. I'm working part-time now and I'm still trying to figure out a balance of taking care of myself and working.

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