We’re back from our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean! The drugs did their best to trash the vacation for me, but on balance I had a good time. At many levels it was an uneven cruise. If you interested, my review can be found here.
Day before yesterday the drugs managed to give me another set of thrills with dreams. The first one started with my wife having cancer instead of me. We were all seated in a circle talking at a hospice like facility. We all knew she had only a few hours to live, but everyone was in very good spirits. Then they wheeled out a bed. Somehow we all knew this meant she had minutes to live. My wife jumped up and started running around the room screaming and crying. I was absolutely blown away since this was so unlike her. I started chasing her around the room, but could never quite catch her. I kept asking myself what I would say to her if I caught her. What do you say to someone who has only minutes to live? I couldn’t think of anything, no words at all came to mind. Then for the first, and I hope last, time in my life, I woke up crying and calling out.
After an hour or so I was asleep again. This time I was the one with cancer, and I was being wheeled into a room to start my first chemo session. My wife was there and the nurses with me seemed very considerate. I noticed the TV in the room was playing a medical soap opera. Some guy was laying face down and they were starting to inject a yellow chemo solution into his ankle (God only knows how the shrinks would interpret that). As soon as the solution started flowing, the guy let loose a blood curdling scream. I asked the nurses repeatedly to turn off the TV, but they just smiled pleasantly and continued what they were doing. Finally my wife jumped up and turned off set. I woke up then.
That was enough “sleep” for me for the night. I got up and promptly took my daily dose of the same drugs that caused the nightmares. How ironic!
It took most of the day for me to recover from dreams. My emotional reaction seemed to activate the casodex big time. I had a hot “flash” that lasted over 30 minutes and several hours of casodex depression.
In the early evening I started to feel a little better and decided to have something to drink, a gimlet my wife mixes up a special way. Within minutes I felt fine and a great evening.
Looking back over the last few months, I’m amazed at how often a simple, single serving of alcohol works better than all the antidepressants, etc. at improving my mood. No, it’s not because I’m an alcoholic and need it to function. I’ve talked with the docs about this and, quite frankly, they aren’t surprised at all. They’re quick to point out the downsides of consuming alcohol, but none of them discourage me. I’m sure that’s due in part to the two months I was off alcohol altogether and my depression never got better.
Does it always work for me? No, but it helps most of the time. I do draw a line of not having anything to drink before evening. I’m not sure why, really. It just seems like a good idea.
(Should you consider this? Not without talking it over with your docs. Alcohol interacts with tons of meds and you want to be sure you’re not putting yourself in a bad situation.)
That evening when I went to sleep, night before last, my dreams were odd, but not bad. I slept about eight hours. What was odd was that I was exhausted from the moment I got up. Within four hours I was back asleep – for twelve more hours. So yet again the drugs have screwed up my sleep schedule. This happens about every 3-4 days. The docs seem to think it’s the antidepressant cocktail possibly interacting with the casodex in some manner. Hopefully, this and the dreams will “resolve” before long.