Gotta sleep tonight


I’m done with counting up. It’s time to count down. Woohoo!

As of tomorrow noonish, that’ll be SIX, then next week five, then four, then three, then two, than one, than ZERO. Happy new year!

While discussing scheduling with my boss, he said to me today, “I’m not going to stop you going home for Christmas, I don’t think anything could stop you.” 🙂  He’s mostly likely right. The juices are flowing between Canada and England, connections still need to happen but things are looking good. I don’t want to jinx anything by delving into details before they’ve settled – so let’s just say it’s looking good. Will discuss more later.

And speaking of later . . . after chemo come radiotherapy.  My oncologist will be setting up a meeting with my soon-to-be radiotherapist (is that a real term?) At which point they’ll let me know how many treatments I can expect. Because I don’t want reconstructive surgery I should be given less as opposed to more radiotherapy. Fingers crossed that’s true, because I hear it burns.

Way back in July while meeting with the surgeon, reconstructive surgery was brought up in conversation.

“That breast is rotten, it’s got to go. Good news is we can build you an ever better breast.”

No thank you, sir. It isn’t his breast sculpting abilities that I question, it’s my patience level. When given the choice (a choice that doesn’t involve life-threatening growths) I always choose NOT to have surgery. I’m a ‘just say no’ kinda girl. Though I sympathise with women who want to have the reconstruction. Losing a breast sucks and the chance to get another is appealing, but the idea of more scalpels and drugs and pain is not.

So far in this post I’ve talking about counting down, going to Canada, radiotherapy and breast reconstruction.

I’m rambling.


Because it is nearing bedtime in the Samson/Brunelle household, which means if I don’t spill my thoughts now they’ll keep me up tonight. Two nights in the past week I haven’t been able to sleep. There is tossing and turning and attempts at meditation – useless! The only cure for my insomnia is writing. It helps the chatty part of my mind deflate, and after I’ve written three or four pages of ramble, drifting to sleep becomes easier. Poor Zsolt gets woken up by the light and the clicking pen. But what can I do? I’m a writer with urges.

Apparently Paxlitaxel can cause insomnia. I’m not sure if that’s an official side effect, but I’ve read about it on the message boards. Paxlitaxel strikes again, another women has a sleepless night. And then comes morning, by the time I’ve finally drifted off and entered ‘log’ like sleep, well the neighbour babies start crying and the sun starts shining and Zsolt wakes up to wash the dishes.

Frankly I’m getting more tired as each week passes. The night is still a blessed time of calm, but when my mind refuses to shut down it turns into a game of patience. Can I be patient enough to not flip over, to not blow my nose, to not kick my legs. The answer is inevitable: No. I must flip over and blow my nose and kick my legs. I might even do it all at once.

So despite my mounting fatigue, I’m having trouble sleeping. It doesn’t make sense.

Please excuse my rambles, but they won’t shut up without expression. Writing is my preventative medicine to a sleepless night, so hopefully this works. But to be sure I’ll stop typing now and turn to my journal – that’s a whole other sort of expression . . . the page and the pen and the ink, they’re so physical. My fingers ache from the uncomfortable pen shape, and unlike the keyboard, the journal page actually resists my scribbling – writing is an effort in my journal. It’s an exercise. It’s a workout.

Maybe that’s why I’m able to sleep.

Anyhow – to the journal. See you on the other of SIX.

P.S. Oh my word, I almost forgot, tomorrow is my last Zoladex shot.

*Sigh* What a freaking relief. I’m so sick of needles in my belly, if I never have another needle in my stomach I’ll be a very happy woman. After this shot I’ll have one more month of menopause, and then – fingers crossed – my period will come back. Please let my period come back. Bring the flow, bring the inconvenience, bring the PMS if it means that one day I can be pregnant. One more month of menopause . . . until actual menopause, which is hopefully still a long way off. These hot flashes are positively melting me! Sweat drips down my bald head, and I’m forced to strip in public. Off with the jacket, off with the head scarf, off with the sweater, off with everything! Or almost.


Off to write!

3 thoughts on “Gotta sleep tonight

  1. Hi Catherine,

    I enjoyed your ramblings since I could relate to much of what you said.

    a) Good energy flow between Canada and the UK… no doubt about it!
    b) My mom says that the radiation feels like a sunburn. They gave her some cream to put on it, and the burn went away in a few days after each session, just like a sunburn does. It didn’t bother her much.
    c) I’m with you regarding not wanting reconstructive surgery. Although I haven’t lost a breast, I’m proud of my other scars. I try to avoid surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary.
    d) Writing is a great creative release for a sleepless mind.
    e) When I get hot flashes, I say to myself, “Let the Qi flow.” To me, my hot flashes represent energy flowing through my body. I wrote a song called “Let the Qi Flow,” so I sing that in my head whenever I get a hot flash, or when I’m working out, or when I just feel great and happy.

      • Hi Catherine,

        Here’s my song. I sing it to the melody of the chorus from the Bellamy Brothers “Let Your Love Flow” (

        Let the Qi Flow

        Let the Qi flow from the mountain tops;
        Let the Qi flow from the ground on up;
        It’s the season for waking up;
        There’s a reason.

        Let the Qi flow from your shining crown;
        Let the Qi flow, all the way down;
        It’s the season for feeling love;
        There’s a reason.

        Once, after a really good Qi Gong workout about a year ago, I sang this song in front of JP, Marcelle, Tony and a few other participants. Yup, my song does make my Qi flow, puts me in a good mood, and makes me think that my hot flashes are nothing more than an indication of some heavy-duty Qi flowing 🙂

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