Dealing With Anxiety - Colorectal Cancer – Jayme W

Click here to see more colorectal cancer videos from Jayme W

Video Transcription

I suffer from sleeplessness. I used to be one of those 8 to 12 hour a day gals; I had to have my sleep. I had to go to bed early. I never knew what was on TV at night because I was in bed, and oh, if we did something on Friday night with friends, I was usually sacked out by eight o'clock on somebody’s couch somewhere. I always traveled with a blanket and a pillow so I could, you know, sack out. So the fact that sleeplessness became one of my major life issues going through treatment was really, really difficult for me. I wanted to sleep, I wanted to be able to get rest, I knew I needed rest, I knew that I needed to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning to be able to do my job, to teach kids, to be effective and it got to the point where I tried melatonin to see if that would help me regulate, and that didn't work and I had to eventually swallow the whole bitter pill, literally and figuratively, of taking something to help me sleep. After I took the first one, and I got a good night’s sleep, I was like, sweet; this is great. I finally slept but that was a really hard thing because it makes you grouchy and it makes you irritable and it makes everything like magnified so much worse than it really is when you're going through treatment. The restless leg combined with the sleeplessness at that point, I think I thought I was literally going to lose my mind. It felt like I had bugs crawling inside my legs and I know that my room must have smelled horrible because I tried everything - Ben Gay, Blue Goo, Emu whatever that Emu stuff is. I tried Icy Hot; if it was a cream or a rub or something I could put on my legs to help make it go away I did, and it didn't work, so finally being able to deal with sleeping and getting the restless leg stuff taken care of, that was huge because like I said, I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind before I got a good night’s sleep. I still struggle with sleeping. I don’t sleep very much at all anymore; maybe like a 4 or 5 hour a night girl, instead of an 8 to 12. So probably I’m grouchier and more irritable than I would be if I could sleep. It just, I don’t know, what it is about the treatment that kind of set my rhythms a little bit different, but it’s something that I’m still dealing with three years out of treatment, so I take the melatonin like I’m supposed to and every once in a while, I take another one of those happy sleepy pills so that I can get a good night’s sleep. My advice for someone who is going through it is to try to stay on a routine as much as possible. The more routine you keep, the better off you are. Not only for the sleep, but also just for the fact that routine is the closest thing to normal you got and you strive for as much normalcy as you can get. I know nothing is really normal when you're going through treatment, but sticking to a routine is the closest thing to normal that I was able to maintain so that's my advice.