Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dreaming the Nightmare

This blog entry’s title is somewhat a play on words for a phase I keep thinking about, “Living the Dream.” I thought at this time in my life, I’d be “living the dream.” After all, I’ve had a good life. Unfortunately, that’s not what has happened. Instead, I began taking an antidepressant, Mirtazapine. Here’s the interesting / funny part, one of the potential side effects is nightmares. An antidepressant that gives you nightmares! Think about that. Believe me, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. So, instead of “Living the Dream,” I’m “Dreaming the Nightmare.” In low doses, this drug acts as a sedative which in turn helps one sleep. That’s a good thing as sleep is an issue for me. But, the mind doesn’t stop while one sleeps. Now, this part I’m making up, or if you give me the benefit of a doubt, taking an educated guess. Since those that are depressed or anxious can have dark thoughts, this drug helps you sleep through them, but the result is a forced sleep while having dark thoughts. If you put the two together, you end up having nightmares. Since I just began this drug yesterday, I don’t know yet how I’ll react or what side effects it may produce, but whatever it is, I’m looking forward to the experience in some inexplicable way. It may be that I like trying new things, even those with unknown outcomes.

Stay healthy and take care.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Think?

I’m usually pretty sure of myself. But, I’ve written a number of “I think and I don’t think” statements in this post, which means, I’m not really sure. I think I have become a bit depressed. I’m at the cancer center today. I will receive round 8 of chemo cycle 9. I will also be seeing a doctor that may prescribe a mild anti-depressant. I don’t think my state of mind is unusual given my circumstance. One may assume it could be due to my low-level chronic pain, the not feeling well at times, or my disabilities. I think those are contributing factors, but not the main factor. What I’m most frustrated by is the short term “not knowing.” Not knowing how I’ll feel in the morning, not knowing how I’ll feel in an hour, and not knowing how I’ll feel tomorrow. I’ve given up on a time horizon further out than the here and now. As such, planning and committing to any activity, whether social or otherwise, is very difficult. This results in a desire to plan “absolutely nothing.” If you stop and think about that, the ability to not plan anything is depressing. I don’t think I’m depressed by not knowing my longer term prognosis. Every day I wonder if my cancer is back. I have a new pain in my left jaw that feels suspicious. My oncologist is a bit concerned by this as well. He’s scheduling me for a CT scan in 4 weeks. But, I’ve learned to live with the reasonable possibility that my cancer may return. So, I think it’s really the shorter term aspects of this situation that are depressing me. In the long term, as the saying goes, nobody's getting out of here alive… and that I can live with.

By the way, I began this blog just over a year ago and this is my 100th posting. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it (and learning from it) as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Thanks for checking in. Stay well.