Insomnia - is this normal??

i had my first round of chemo on Wednesday.  So far so good, no sickness at all, I mostly feel perfectly well apart from my sleeping.  Is insomnia a side effect?  I don’t feel stressed so don’t think anxiety is causing it. Any tips or advice on how to get through the next 18 weeks would be good too.  Do I need to,go,on house arrest, am I ok to go,out, terrified of catching an infection and going stir crazy at home.  Thanks in advance xx

Hi Dizzy

Are you having steroids? If so, that’ll do it every time. I had them to take for 3 days after chemo and once I stopped them I was ok.

I carried on as normal apart from not going to work. You don’t have to stay at home. Just be sensible about staying away from people you know are ill and not travelling on really busy public transport. I’m guessing it’s fec-t you’re having? It’s the T part which usually lowers your immunity. xx

Hi Dizzy,

I would echo what Ash says. I don’t sleep the night after chemo and I’ve found an audio book to be a good way to pass the hours at night. I also use mindful meditation - not for everyone, I know, but it does relax me. Wishing you all the best on this journey, xx

Ditto but would add that my chemo nurse advised blood count is low from day 7 after chemo for a week meaning susceptible to infection. Good luck.

hi Dizzy,

The steroids can cause insomnia, try not to take them to late in the evening if possible…talk to your onc nurse re timings of doses, rest during the day or catnap if need to catch up with sleep. It can become a bit of a vicious circle as anxiety and being over tired may also affect your sleep. I had similar issues at first but that soon settled and have slept relatively well otherwise.

Usually your levels drop between days 7 and 10 of your cycle with FEC,…be mindful of these periods…plus take usual precautions with food prep, good hygiene standards,avoid dodgy takeaways, avoid busy places ie cinemas,transport, etc and go during quiter times…ive been out and about nearly everyday - always carry a hand gel with me, also been regularly to cinema, restaurants that i know are reputable, out to pub etc…just listen to youre body, be sensible re infection prevention and avoid folk who are ill.

Its difficult getting youre head around all thats happening at first…try link in with one of the monthly chemo threads…theres an August one you may find helpful, there you’ll find ladies who are going through the same schizzle as you but we’re all here to help each other and can support and offer advice, which ive found invaluable at times. Hope things settle down soon

xx