Sleep does not come easily to me right now, in these short days after surgery.  I’m up and agitated for hours in the night, unable to get comfortable (I have stitches 3/4 of the way around my chest), unable to stop thinking about it (there’s fluid literally sloshing where my breast used to be), unable to rest (there’s so much to plan and do now, and so much that I didn’t think I’d get to do, that it makes me rather giddy).  Now that the drains are out, I am finally able to put Widget down to nap and to bed again, and I’m doing that each opportunity I can, but then I lie awake for hours, fidgety, not able to let go and get the rest I need.  Or, worse, I nap with him in the afternoon and then find myself up late again without sleep.  The pain is nearly gone, however, and that is wonderful news.  I simply am uncomfortable and am having trouble sleeping.

33 Responses to Sleeping

  1. Paulette says:

    Hello Susan.
    I have been out of pocket for the past several days but have managed to come by and check on you, so I thought I would post and tell you I have been in prayer for you everyday. I will pray that you will be able to get comfortable enough to sleep.
    Your life i s so miraculous I would be so excited I couldn’t sleep either!! Like a whole life to look forward to!!!
    I am so excited for you,and you are on my heart and mind alot.

  2. Margaret R. says:

    Maybe it’s a sign of how much you’re coming back to life again. Maybe when your body gets used to its new state and you get used to your new life possibilities, you’ll go back to sleeping. In a way, you’re like a child on the night before Christmas!

  3. Maggie says:

    I hope you are letting yourself rest. I mean, you seem like the kind of person who does everything full force. I hope you give yourself permission to heal, not just time. If you know what I mean.

    (Is it completely annoying to hear this from a complete stranger? I’m sorry.) 😦

  4. Susan,

    I guess the nurse in me has a different approach. I would call your doctor and let her know that you can’t sleep. It’s okay to ask for help. Ambien would be a good choice.

    You need your rest to heal properly. Our bodies heal that way. Don’t overdo it physically or mentally. You want to heal completely. Inside and out.

    Lots of prayers and cyber hugs,


  5. De Anna says:

    That’s what I was thinking…your body needs to sleep to heal.
    Ambien, taken in low doses and under much supervision of whydaddy – would/could do you wonders.

    The reason I mention supervision by whydaddy is because once taken – a person could get on the internet and email ridiculous things to people and fully regret it the next day.

    I’m just sayin’ 🙂

    ….thinking about ya. Be well. Be well.

  6. Dawn says:

    ugh. I sleep (or don’t sleep) the same way 😦

  7. Lauren says:

    Have you tried sleeping in a reclining chair. It limits the amount you can move/roll so that you are not wanting to sleep on your stomach or side.

    Hope you get some good rest.

  8. Amy says:

    Don’t be a hero, for heaven’s sake! Ask your doctor for something to help you rest. If s/he won’t give you anything, try a couple of Benedryl.

    Hugs to you,

  9. I was thinking the same thing that was posted before–sleep is probably crucial to healing. But I also understand that when your mind is active with so many things to plan, its hard to settle down and sleep. I know you’ll do everything you can to heal well and quickly, so I will just say I hope you get some rest soon!

  10. So very glad the pain’s gone. But rest is essential in speeding up the recovery process, so I hope you can figure out how best to get some.


  11. Try drinking some camomile tea before bed, it helps you to sleep.
    It calms you so sleep will come easily, and its harmless.I use it ALOT!!
    I am so glad you can now play and hug your babies again.

  12. Oh, yes, absolutely… this is something your doctor can help you with. I can appreciate that after everything you’ve been through, the last think you might want to do is take MORE medicine, but something to help you sleep would do wonders for your healing, as well as your good emotional health.

    Do you have an ipod? Every night before I go to sleep, I have about fifteen minutes or half an hour of just listening to good music. It is amazingly soothing. There are also some very good relaxation cds on the market, to help to “quiet your brain”. The women in my family are plagued with insomnia, and I find good music to be very helpful.

    If you like, I could send you a cd… Drop me an email if I could be of help!! I’d love it.

    I also love the idea of sleeping in a reclining chair! There are some wonderfully comfortable ones on the market– and they don’t have to look like the dickens, anymore, either!!

    Wishing you much love, and much-needed rest…

    xo CGF

  13. Krishawn says:

    I sympathize with you about the sleep thing. But I have to tell you, it is so great to read about this healing process and to know that the cancer is OUT of you now.

    I want to tell you quickly that your story inspired me to do a breast self-exam. I found a small lump but it didn’t show in a mammogram or ultrasound. I went to a surgeon anyway who told me he was “pretty sure” it would be benign and to “wait and see”. I pushed hard for a biopsy anyway and will get one in 2 weeks.

    Thank you for inspiring us to be assertive–even aggressive!–about our own health.

  14. cousin - in -law says:

    Hi Susan
    I am so happy you are doing better. Surgery and a hospital stay will mess with your sleep.

    Try to rest physically and mentally. Remember you have your time to make plans !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cousin in law

  15. Linda Lawrence says:

    If it is around 5:00 a.m., feel free to call me. When you are “old” it seems that is the time you start waking up.

    I will think of you when I wake up.

    Love ya,
    Aunt Linda

  16. Susan K says:

    Get a mug of boiling water.
    Add a bit of lemon and a bit of honey
    Add a shot of whiskey (I prefer rye)

    Drink in bed.

    Assuming you are allowed.

    And even if it doesn’t help you sleep, you might not mind so much! 😉

    Good for colds too – just not with Nyquil

  17. SuzyQatHome says:

    So sorry you’re so restless. I can imagine that your brain is in hyperdrive right now – being relieved, making plans, and just rejoicing.

    I think a discussion with the doc is definitely in order – sleep is so important for both physical and emotional health!

    I’d definitely try to cut the afternoon naps though – that is a surefire way to guarantee I’m up and about come bedtime.

    And if all else fails there is always diet coke and Captain Morgan’s. 🙂 (J/K)

  18. Alison says:

    I’m so sorry you’re having issues sleeping but I am so happy to hear that the pain is going and you’re making wonderful plans!!

  19. Miz S says:

    Hi WhyMommy, you don’t know me but I found your site through Kim at Petroville. I just wanted to weigh in on the sleep thing (although it seems as if you’ve gotten lots of good advice already). I had major surgery this past summer and it really, really screwed with my sleep patterns. A nurse friend of mine online said that the effects of general anesthesia can last for quite awhile and really screw up your sleep. I wish I had asked my doctor for Ambien.

    So glad to read the other day that your margins were good.

    Rock on, honey.

  20. karen says:

    I agree – camomile tea, green tea, benadryl (if no contra-indications – I am not aware of any), gentle yoga, music, spa visits, walking … etc.
    All can help us to rest!

  21. milkmaid79 says:

    Hoping you get a little rest tonite 🙂

  22. Sarah S. says:

    I am sorry you are having trouble sleeping. I am too. It is ok to take something. I have been having trouble sleeping too.

    I am so glad the drains are out. I am sure it makes everything easier. I go in for my surgery on Thursday. Can’t wait for it to be over. Then onward to chemo!


  23. Stimey says:

    That sucks, because sleep is so important, but giddiness for life is about the best reason I can think of to be kept awake.

    I’m glad the pain is going away.

  24. Your oldest friend, Adam says:

    Perhaps you could try counting how many trees you could cut down with a herring.

  25. So glad to hear the pain is subsiding!!! YEA!!!

    Sleep… ah… precious, isn’t it? I don’t get much these days, either. I think about two hours altogether last night. (mine’s chronic pain related, so I can ‘kinda’ feel ya 😉 )

    Here’s wishing you a good nights rest. I’m with the others… sleep is when I think the body works it’s magic. Maybe your’s has just been doin’ overtime and wants to par-tay!!?!? (Sorry, I’m horribly un-witty these days :p)

    I will send lots of zzzzzzzzz’ing thoughts your way tonight 🙂


  26. Angela says:

    Hopefully sleep will come sooner than later.
    I am sure you are loving all the special little things you can do again

  27. angee says:

    Dear WhyMommy:

    I have been following your blog for about 2 weeks and am simply amazed by your strength and optimism. Amazing would have to be the word for you. You have an amazing (there’s that word again) gift for inspiring people. I wish you all the best and am thankful for your reminders to enjoy the little things in life.

    One of my favorite things about reading your blog is that I can feel how much you love your family. I am the same way and am very glad that we can be with our families forever. I would be happy to share what I know about forever families, or feel free to visit

    Thank you once again for sharing your amazing spirit. May you rest well one of these days…

  28. sandrift says:

    Sorry to hear you’re having trouble getting rest. On the whole though, it sounds like every day is better than the last, and that’s the important thing!



  29. JoC says:

    I was without comment when I first read this as I stayed up late reading blogs last night instead of sleeping. All I really wanted to say was this,
    1) I love naps with my son. I have him sleeping in his own bed at night time and that is best for all of us but my word, it is lovely to sleep next to him sometimes.

    ?? Call me naive but wouldn’t the sleep begets sleep rule for children work for adults too (unless of course caffeine or bright lights at bedtime are screwing with sleep/wake cycles).

    2) I too love listening to relaxing music on my IPOD. My husband hates music when he is trying to sleep. So, I read a book and listen to my IPOD as a way to unwind. Happy ZZZZZs, JoC

  30. I signed up for the Avon Walk yesterday. You gave me the push I needed this year. I was procrastinating left and right and making up excuses. Then I met you and got to know your blog and realized how can I not walk?!

    I’m sending good sleep vibes your way. Please rest, take it easy, and know that you give me inspiration and courage on a daily basis.

  31. Gill says:

    I’m hoping the sleep problem goes away really soon and that you feel better and better each passing day.

  32. lauren (diva65) says:

    Have you tried Sleepytime Herbal tea. Works like a charm for me.I can’t take too many medicines do to a liver problem and this works like a charm. As always sending good thoughts your way.

  33. nanakats says:

    Hello Susan –
    I’m a bit ahead of you – had my double mastectomy last year at this time. I found sleeping in my old comfy recliner a lot easier than sleeping in bed. It was easier to get up and I wasn’t as stiff. It’s just a thought ….
    I have followed your brave journey for months and cheered you on from the sidelines. Heal well, Susan, and live long –

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