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Can’t Sleep

WonkWonk BrisbaneMember Posts: 61
edited November 2018 in Newly diagnosed
Hi, I was diagnosed Thursday after a routine mammogram screening call back.
So hard to understand and everything has moved so fast. Booked in for surgery on Wednesday next week. Had to make the decision yesterday about mastectomy or breast conservation. Still have to tell the children and other family members. Booked in my work sick leave and trying to get housework done before I go in. Trying to remain positive for everyone but now I’m lying here awake at 2.30am and I’m scared. I know you have all been at this starting point. I’m guessing the overwhelming thoughts in the middle of the night are common. Any advice on how to get through these early days and waking nights would be appreciated. Thank you.


  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,956
    I still can't sleep and it's been nearly 12 months!  Has your GP given you anything to help?  Medication is probably the only thing that will turn your brain off at this stage.

    There's a spot on this forum called "Night Howls" for this very reason.  While it's best not to turn to the computer when you're trying to get back to sleep, when you've finally given up trying, you can chat on Night Howls.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,308
    Hi @wonk sorry you find yourself here.
    It sounds like you are another of the super organised (there are quite a few of us) Getting some plans in place is great, but be prepared for things to go a bit pear shaped. It happens. That manic planning, worrying, juggling and second guessing phase is common. Its hard to sleep when your brain is doing a gazillion miles an hour, day and night.
    I think once you get your head around an extremely frustrating lack of control on one hand and a fairly regimented treatment plan on the other, life gets a bit easier. Or maybe we just become so exhausted by the whole performance we just accept it.
    Good luck with telling your family and your surgery. There's a post called 'night howls' which acts like a chat forum for those who are sleepless in the dark hours. Mxx
  • Kiwi AngelKiwi Angel Sydney, NSWMember Posts: 1,952
    Hi @Wonk sorry u have to join us. Like the other ladies said there is the “night howls” thread for the non sleepers - we have all been there. I haven’t slept well since my surgery in February - probably due to chemo and tamoxifen. The loss of estrogen causes hot flushes and impairs your sleeping. Like u, I was super organised but don’t try to be superwoman and accept help when u need it xoxoox
  • WonkWonk BrisbaneMember Posts: 61
    Thank you all so much. Must have finally got to sleep and woke to find you all had come to talk to me, now I have morning tears 😊 Thank you for pointing me in the direction of Night Howlers, that is so good to find and know I’m not alone. You are all so right, when you are a highly organised person it’s hard to accept that you are not in control anymore and that something else has taken control of you. And I always fix things - from work problems, to lost school hats, to leaking taps! But I can’t fix this. In the last few days I have met amazing health care professionals who are going to help me. You are also right in saying I have to accept help now. Sending you all a big hug 🤗 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    Wonk, sending you the biggest hug right now. Whereabouts in this wide brown land are you? K xox
  • WonkWonk BrisbaneMember Posts: 61
    Hi kmakm I’m in Brisbane. Sorry about the odd user name. ‘Wonk’ is a childhood nickname.  It appears that Susan is a very common user name among women on this website (obviously a generation thing!) and every variation I tried was taken 😊
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    Wonk is just fine! At one stage during chemo I toyed with the idea of changing mine to @shineyginey! I was urged to do so by some forum members but I restrained myself. Let's just say the name would no longer be accurate... ;)
  • WonkWonk BrisbaneMember Posts: 61
    😂 OMG I had no idea that is what happens!! Not sure if this is my path yet but I’ll keep it in mind. You cracked me up.
  • CathyMacCathyMac Canberra, ACTMember Posts: 65
    Hi Wonk, I too was diagnosed on Thursday. Big hugs to you ❤️. I haven't got into to see my surgeon yet. My anxiety levels are through the roof so understand where you are at. I'm bloody terrified of what lies ahead. Happy to connect with you if it will help. ❤️❤️
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    edited November 2018
    @Wonk  And mine grew back in a very peculiar pattern, much to the amusement of many, but especially @JJ70 who ribbed me mercilessly! It's a good job she's such a fabulous chick, we've got a lot of them round here. K xox  ;)
  • ~Millie~~Millie~ Member Posts: 61
    @Wonk for me, sleep has always been a variable thing. You can get some prescription tablets. But, a couple of things from the chemist have also worked for me. Chemists Own Sleep Aid, or Phenergan, both available without prescription. A glass of milk can also help. I also try just to focus on my breath, in, out, in, out. All other thoughts are not necessary when I'm trying to sleep. If they are, then write them down, and try to move on, google those random thoughts tomorrow! I slept terrible in the hospital. If you have noise cancelling earphones, take them with you. I had ear plugs, but there was machine noise they didn't block out. What did work though, was I put the TV on the music channel, just focusing my mind on the music, rather than all the other thoughts, was helpful in getting some shut-eye. Best wishes to you in your journey. xx
  • WonkWonk BrisbaneMember Posts: 61
    Hi Millie
    Thank you for your thoughts. I hadn’t thought about the hospital noise so earphones is s good idea. Making a list now. Also have to get some decent pj’s!! Will seek sleeping medicine after my surgery as it is too close now. Music is something I love so a good place to start.
     Thanks again and best wishes to you too.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    edited November 2018
    @Wonk Front opening sleepwear for convenience.

    I have a very nice blue and white nightshirt from a posh shop my mother went to; would you like it? It's a roomy 14 - 18, really nice.
  • WonkWonk BrisbaneMember Posts: 61
    Thanks kmakm yes I’ll go out tomorrow and get button up front style. Thanks so much for the offer but I’ll be ok. 
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,956
    @wonk Take some face wipes - I felt as if my face was continually greasy in hospital the first time around.  I took wipes the second time which helped.  The other thing I took was fizzy mineral water and some nice tea bags - there's only so much lemon cordial and hospital tea/coffee that you can take!
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