So today was the day that I put the Lions, Tigers & Bears website live – eek! I still have lots more products to add to the site, so keep checking back to see what’s new.
It was also the day when I went back to the hospital to get my boobs checked again, because despite having been told I am now cancer-free, I am now paranoid about it returning and having felt a lump last week it put me in a right old tizz of doubt and worry. I think this is something that until you have heard that dreaded phrase “I’m sorry, but it is cancer” you can’t possibly understand. The presumption is that because you have been successfully treated, everything should now be good in your world and you should be getting on with “living life to it’s fullest”
And this is true, and I really am trying – some days I even succeed. What they don’t tell you is that having heard those five little words once, it so totally tips your life upside down that I don’t know how you are ever supposed to go back to normal or if this should even be a goal. How once you lose trust in your own body, you are constantly on the lookout for when it may turn on you again, and this really gets in the way of enjoying life – which sucks, because cancer sucks!
I’m glad to say that after a couple of hours with the fabulous NHS staff, who squeezed me in to check everything out and were very reassuring that it is always best to get checked than to sit and stress, it was established that my boobs are just fine, so why, why, why am I sat here wide awake when I should have been asleep in my bed several hours ago!?!
Insomnia – this has been one of my most prevalent side effects of cancer. I’m about 50% nocturnal these days, and at least 3 days a week, I find myself wide awake in the wee hours of the morning. My family have joked that I am regressing to my teen years, in actual fact, my teenage daughters sleep far more than I do. I know that I’m not alone with this, the cancer forums are littered with posts that are at their most active at about 3am, lots of posts entitled “Can’t sleep” or “Awake”. I personally feel like I have pumped my body with enough drugs over the past 8 months, so getting prescription sleeping tablets isn’t an option for me, although I know that many people go down this route, and I totally understand why. For myself, I have been looking at natural alternatives.
So, natural solutions that I have/will be trying…
- Valerian is a traditional herbal remedy to help relax and induce sleepiness, proven in numerous studies, although about 10% of people react in the opposite way! So use with caution!
- Hot milk & honey/Camomile tea – can’t say I’ve tried either of these as I’m not a fan of either, but so many people swear by both that I have to include them on the list, and will give them a go
- Lavender has been proven to help sleep, whether you go for a pillow spray, essential oil diffuser or pop it in your bath
- Yoga or Meditation – 10 minutes before bed focused on breathing (not dynamic yoga!)
- Reducing screen time before bed as the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythms
- Writing a journal to get those thoughts onto paper instead of buzzing around your head (we have some gorgeous ones in the gift section of the site!)
- Reading before bed (have found this works for me until I get a book that I just cant put down LOL)
- Establishing a bed-time routine
If you want to try any of these for yourself, we have some great products in the Managing Side Effects-Sleep Issues section of the site, with more being added all the time.
Alternatively, let me know what works for you in the comments section
For me, for now, it is (finally) time for bed. Wish me luck!