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I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1119

There haven't been many days in the last 1000+ that I haven't been tired, but lately my fatigue is at a whole new level.  If I wasn't so tired, I would probably be really worried.

This is me at work today:

I'm not kidding.  
It probably didn't help that I took a muscle relaxer at midnight last night.  But what are you supposed to do when you go to sleep, then wake up fifteen minutes later with serious jitters and restless legs?  I needed help - fast.

I'm a night owl.  I always have been.
Mornings are not my friend.  My mother wakes up at 5am (or earlier) every day.... without an alarm clock.  Seriously?  That's practically the middle of the night for me.  
Lately I've been fighting some kind of cold with a migraine or allergies or SOMEthing, and have been staying up way too late working on softball stuff.  So last night I went to bed at 10:30, determined to get a good night's sleep.

It didn't work out for me.  I fell asleep fine, but staying asleep was the problem.  How can I be so incredibly exhausted and yet unable to sleep?

It doesn't really matter if I go to bed at 10pm or 1am.  It doesn't matter if I go to work, or if I go back to bed after the kids leave for school and nap until 11am.  I never feel rested.
Is this a post-cancer thing?  A menopause thing?  A life is so busy I just need a hundred naps thing?
Or is something else going on... something possibly scary and worrisome that I don't even want to think about?

I'm blaming it on Tamoxifen, which has been proven to cause symptoms similar to chemo brain.
In fact, Tamoxifen has been linked to symptoms like being unusually disorganized, confusion, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, impaired verbal memory (e.g. remembering a conversation), impaired visual memory (e.g. recalling an image or list of words) and other similar problems. 

I'm like a toddler with ADHD.  I'm exhausted but can't sleep, can't pay attention, can't stay on task, etc.  There is hope, though.  From WebMD:

For the study, Mark Noble and his research team first sought to identify whether brain and central nervous system cells were sensitive to tamoxifen. They found one type of cell that was particularly vulnerable to the drug. After just two days of exposure to tamoxifen at levels similar to those someone in treatment would receive, 75 percent of these cells died.

"AZD6244 is being studied for cancer therapy. It protects normal cells, but it doesn't protect cancer cells. It may even make cancer cells more sensitive to some types of therapies," Noble said.

I don't know how soon the additional research on this AZD drug will happen, so it's probably years away from being a viable option.  But considering I have to take Tamoxifen for ten years.... maybe eventually I'll get back to being sharp, smart, organized and energetic.

Maybe.  But looks like that's not happening today.

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