First chemo after : NO Sleep

Is this normal ?
I'm having very, very tough time sleeping at night and even at day time, I don't feel sleepy or I do fall into sleep......

I got very first chemo on Monday and today is already wednesday, the most trouble/difficult/nightmare thing for me now is - why I'm not able to sleep ?

Will this go away in few days ?

Doctor gave me

Dexamethasone
Ondensectron

Prochlorperazaine
Lorazepam

I think the last one is only for sleep....it is 1 mg, for each 8 hrs......

seems like not enough for me ?
Any suggestions/advise/experience ?

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20 replies. Join the discussion

I have a very difficult time sleeping and have since my May 08 surgery. The chemo has made it worse I think.
I take Antivan(sleeping med) or Xanax(for panic attacks/sleep). Both work for a short perid of time, but the Xanax is addicting. I've been trying to get off of it but it has caused me withdrawal side effects including very vivid nightmares.

Sometimes reading or watching a movie in bed helps but never for long periods.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you but I think this is a common issue. I'm interested in what others have to say.

Take care and maybe a warm drink before bed will help! : )

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I had this same problem. Not sure if it was the steroids or the chemo but I was unable to sleep. I went to my doctor and asked for a sleeping pill. We tried Rozerum which is supposed to retrain your sleep cycle but that didn't work. Then he gave me Ambien and I slept like a baby.

The lorazepam is more like a nerve pill to relax you.

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Hi...I have heard of many others say that the steroids they give you with the chemo can interfere with sleep. I always took a lorazepam an hour before bed and I slept extremely well. Good luck. :)Kim

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i! Jan here. I have had the same problem and especially during chemo and after. I still have sleeping problems most of the time. I never took anything for it but there must be something to help. When I think back it was a fear of going to sleep for me the fear I would not wake up. You know...scared as there was so much going on with the cancer and all. A very emotional time for sure. Remember....I am going on 14 years now and I am cancer free with no recurrence to date. Only thing that helps me a bit with the sleep thing is......I watch late movies on TV and drift off after a while. Gosh I know alot about mexican soccer and gads! those infomercials. lol. Crazy late night TV. I do love my old classic movies though. Oh yes...forgot to add when I really cannot sleep well....here I am on the computer at 4 in the morning. Geesh! Be well my sisters . Jan

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The steroid could be doing it. If it is the one in your chemo infusion, the effects should wear off soon. Steroid causes insomnia. And your anxiety level is probably up too.

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I have been getting chemo for the last 18 months and experience the same thing. It is the steroids. It will wear off in 2-3 days. I always use the energy to get things done before the inevitable fatigue sets in.

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Yes, this does happen. It is usually the steroids they give you in the pre-chemo drip bags, or sometimes by pill form too. I know on chemo nights I can never sleep, no matter which chemo I have been on. I just started Avastin recently and it was the only time I was able to sleep on a chemo night (probably because no steroids were given). Of course, it sucked all the energy out of me for the next week, but that's another story!

You are not alone.

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I'm on Carbo/Taxol for my first recurrence and due to the steroids have a difficult time sleeping especially during the first week. On the bad nights I take Restoril (temazepan (sp?). These nights I go to bed knowing that I do not feel tired at all. Once in bed I just lie awake for a long time. Finally I give up and take the Restoril. Other nights I take Lorazepam - it works for me especially if I fall asleep on my own and wake up at night. It is nice having some sleep-aids because I know I can take them if I need them. As the days go on, I sleep better until I have chemo again and the cycle starts again. I just know to expect sleep troubles now and more or less roll with the punches. Best wishes to you.

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Hi

I had the same problem especially on the 3rd night. It got better for the rest until the next one. I had chemo on Friday and Mondays were very had-still are on new chemo. However if it persists for many days you may want to talk with your doctor to get some medication. Do not hessitate to use whatever is availlable to help you through
regards
GEPI

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I always felt like I was on speed the night after chemo and the day after too. It went away after a couple of days. I took trazeadone a non addictive sleeping and relaxing pill my Dr. prescribed. Not sure of the spelling.

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I have allergies and postnasal drip and Benadryl has a sleepy side effect so I have taken that on occasion for the sleep problem.

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Dear uju99; if you are getting your chemo every 3rd week like all new patients I know of, your steriods and antibiotic bags are first and that steriod bag will keep you up and like the energizer bunny for day 1 chemo and 2 days after then comes the crash ... 2 days and by the 3rd day of crash you start getting back more and more engery so that by the week before you go again for chemo you are feeling very good. It is just how it is. When I am edgey and cannot sleep I take the Lorazepam. It is more for "taking the edge off" and I also take it an hour before I go for chemo as I otherwise get too nervous while they are accessing my port for setup. It works for both for me. I take nothing else. Sometimes when I nap during the day I know I am going to be up all nite because 7hrs sleep is my norm. I never used to nap before cancer but I also am 60 and some of that attributes to age. Take it slowly and it will work out. Glad you joined our group.

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Dear favoriteaunt: So are you just getting the Avastin without any chemo? and without the "goodie bag" of steriods/antibiotics? Was this your first month for Avastin? I get the Avastin every 15 days but with Taxol and the mid of the 3 weeks straight treatment I get Taxol alone. That goodie bag weekly is a godsend for me because I can erase "fatigue" from my list of "crap issues from cancer" LOL. It sustains me for the next week. My only problem in feeling so good is that I am eating more and gaining weight from those same steriods so have to exchange those potatoes/pasta/bread for fish/fish/fish. I am not losing my hair from the Taxol this time but lost my eyebrows again. There is no neuropathy in my hands/feet anymore but the Avastin leaves me constantly with horse/largingitis and sometimes sore gums which the Magic Mouthwash really does just fine. My CA came down another 31 points month 2 and after my next chemo we will scan early for a 3month period on Avastin to see what EXACTLY is the results. You are my role model!

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I did not sleep for the first three weeks after my first chemo. When I went in for the second treatment, I complained about the lackof sleep and how it was making coping with the side affects very difficult. The perscribed ambien and then I slept like a baby. Getting a good nights sleep helped me cope during the day. I was not worring, i just was not sleepy. Talk to your Dr.

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My wife had the same problem when she first started treatment. Finally Ambian worked for her, but now, 5 years later, she doesn't need it. We both prepare for sleep by turning off the TV 1/2 hour before we are planning to go to bed and lower the lights and just rest or read or listen to soothing music. At times we also take a hot shower about 1 hour before going to bed. All these things trigger the system to get sleepy. I wish you peace when you go to bed.

tomd

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Hi songbird49,
I get Avastin every 3 weeks and have only gotten one treatment so far (I go again next week). Along with the Avastin I take a daily Cytoxan pill. The only prep bag I get is Benadryl - no steroids this time. I can't figure out what side effects I might be getting from Cytoxan, if any. I did have a low grade fever last week but it seems to be gone now; the doctor thought it might be viral since my blood counts were fine.

I was exhausted the first week, but better this week, so I'll see if there is a pattern there. My appetite was kind of neutral but is a little better this week. I'm trying not to lose any more weight since I have lost some. The nurses laugh and say they never have to search for my port - it just sticks out because there is no padding around it!

I've had some very minor nausea but nothing to talk about. I have a little hoarsness, but that could be from a ticklish cough I've had for 6 weeks (pre-Avastin). Given all the things that could be happening, I think "so far, so good." Naturally, I know that could change and I'm watchful, but I take it as it comes. I don't know how long it will be before I get a CA125 since I'm obviously curious to see what's going on. My guess is they'll wait for another treatment to pass.

It's great that Taxol didn't get your hair this time! Always a plus. You can manage without eyebrows again, I'm sure. You sound like you are off to a great start and I certainly hope your next set of results are even better. That's good encouragement for me!! But, we've got to get through this and we'll do it together!

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My doctor suggests Ativan for sleep. It seems to work for me.

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Dear FavoriteAunt: I had some nausea the first time of Avastin and was told by the nurses that it happens only the first or second time and I never had again. My second Avastin treatment brought out the boil and sore throat and aching gums but also never had again. The horseness/largenitis is every treatment. We do the CA the last of each month's treatment. And I will be having an "after 3month scan" around 10/10. For the entire past year each scan has been worse than the one before it but I still bank all my hopes on the upcoming one being better! Wishing you so well on this new drug. They were considering that pill for me with the Avastin as well but changed to the Taxol because it had kept the acietes dried up the first 6 months of chemo and I had that major problem at this time. KIT how you are managing on this.

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Songbird49,
I'm thankful I never had a problem with ascites since my initial surgery. Taking a daily pill is a first for me and I have to make a real effort to remember to take it the same time every day. I'm going to ask my doctor more about it next week, since we never talked much about it prior to my taking it. Fingers and toes are crossed for both of us. Let's hope we get good news on all fronts!

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FavoriteAunt and Songbird49
will you mind telling me the pill name you took for your ascites or what ever you mentioned in that last thread.....

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