Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sleepless and Confused

I've had my first restless night since being diagnosed with cancer over a month ago. Even the savage back pain that followed my recent surgery didn't cause me to loose appreciable sleep.

But I awoke from a nightmare at 2:30 this morning, the images from the dream already faded, but a feeling of dread still lingering.

Awakened suddenly and completely from a restless sleep that had been hard to come by in the first place.

Perhaps in was the lingering dull ache, still left over from the back pain, that disturbed my sleep. An ache not strong enough to require medication but annoying enough to wear on my nerves. And infuse my dreams with dread.

But more likely it was the unexpected phone call from the surgeon's office, early yesterday evening, telling me of still another appointment with still another oncologist, booked for me on May 7th. A distant two weeks in the future.

Linda had taken the phone call. Why two oncologists, she asked? The oncologist I'm seeing this Thursday is my radiation oncologist. The one on May 7th is a medical oncologist who will assess me for chemo.

Two oncologists? One of them not available for a further two weeks? Would they need to confer? Would this delay the onset of treatment? Delay it a further two weeks! Having giving the cancer a full month to spread further?

Or would I begin an immediate course of radiation, alternating with chemo in two weeks time? Were the two appointments deliberately booked in a staged pattern set by some evidence based protocol?

Linda was inclined to think the latter. But I became fixated on the former. And went to bed with my mind in turmoil for the first time since this all began.

The word "delay" spinning round and round in my brain. Like a scythe in a nightmare.

Curled up beside me on the couch, Lindsay too has just begun to dream. Her nose twitches with remembered scents and her feet gallop in a running pattern. The tip of her tail brushes against my leg. In her dream she is likely off in the meadow chasing squirrels on a sunlit day and is at one with her world and overjoyed.

I write my blog and worry. And hope for more peaceful nights in the future.

Now Linda is up and wishing me a "good morning", a puzzled look in her sleepy eyes. Lindsay rolls off the couch and goes to greet her, tail wagging with pleasure.

Perhaps by the time the sun rises and chases away the gloom, I will be feeling better.

But for the first time since this began, I don't know.