After chemo: sleep and finding a purpose

3247214Yesterday I blogged about my experience going through chemotherapy. One large side-effect of chemo was that I had become extremely tired. In this post I will document the couple of days following chemo. It is during that time I decided to find a new purpose in order to help me cope with cancer.

As I noted in the previous post, chemo made me extremely sleepy. The two days after chemo wasn’t much different. It seemed I could only work until about noon and I then had to lay down for a nap. Luckily I am able to work from home and it is plausible for me to take naps during the day. Even when I wasn’t napping I felt very groggy and people around me would ask me if I had to lay down. The worse of this grogginess seemed to only last a few days after the chemo treatment. With all of the possible bad side-effects of chemo I can’t really complain about a little sleepiness.

It was during this time that I decided to find a way to better cope with my cancer. Researching online I had read about the many ways cancer patients cope with their diagnosis and treatment. I had also read that many people have problems coping with cancer and can often feel isolated. It was then I decided to draw upon my past experience as a blogger and start a new blog focused on being a cancer patient. My hope was that by sharing my experience it would help others in similar situations cope with their cancer. I also had hope that family members and friends of cancer patients could maybe get some better insight into some of the experiences a cancer patient has to deal with. Finally, I hoped that by sharing my experience it would give me a new purpose and better allow me to cope with what is actually a pretty shitty situation.

The first post I did, a short welcome post, was on the first day after chemo. I remember being so exhausted after writing such a short post with no real content. The grogginess was so bad that I wasn’t sure my post would even make sense. But, after publishing the post I felt like something had been accomplished and I began to mentally plan posts for the next few weeks. Focusing on what I could do with this blog gave me something to look forward to. Don’t get me wrong, my family also gives me something to look forward to and I plan to stick around to watch my kids grow and to share life with my wife. But this was different. This blog was/is giving me something different. It is hard to explain, but this blog makes me feel like I am attacking the cancer on my terms and has empowered me to be even more mentally strong in the battle against cancer.

My second post, which basically recapped the symptoms I was having for the last year, really exhausted me. But it also showed me the new blog not only gave me a purpose, but has helped others. Family members of cancer patients in particular have been sharing that post because it has been tough for them to understand why their loved one did not discover their cancer sooner. The emails and messages I’ve received from people reading this post have let me realize how much friends and family of cancer patients suffer. Getting those messages has helped me fight the grogginess on my bad days and focus on writing blog posts.

In this post I shared the grogginess I experienced the first couple of days after receiving chemo treatment and finding a new purpose. Going forward on this blog I plan to write about a variety of cancer-related topics. But at the heart of this blog I plan to always share any experiences I have in the hopes it will help others get through their cancer and help family and friends of cancer patients better understand some of what they are going through.

4 thoughts on “After chemo: sleep and finding a purpose

  1. As a chemo survivor take every chance you can to get your rest. Whether it be catnaps or hours long. That stuff just plain does a number on your system. Good luck and prayers.

    1. Yeah, I think I”ll take your advice. Days like today where I’m feeling really good I still seem to get tired as afternoon approaches.

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