Anne Shewring was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. At the time she wrote about her treatment and her life in a blog called ‘Anne is Keeping Busy’.

In a special new series for Live Better With, Anne looks back at that time and shares her thoughts and experiences once again. (Read part 1 here and part 2 here.) In this instalment, Anne tries to look at the upside, and struggles to sleep…

September 19 2011 – The Upside

The start of a very occasional series, The Upside of Having Cancer*

*Just to be clear, there is no upside. Really, there is no upside. Here we have a person looking to talk about the upside which, as you will see clearly turns into general complaining

Realising that I haven’t seen enough of people I like over recent years, that what’s going on encourages friends to be in touch and for me to give them news back. It’s a nice thing. They help me to keep busy.

And, it turns out, keeping busy is actually much easier when you’re tired. You need less to have happened in a day in order to have been busy. At the moment, one week in, tiredness and feeling like I have indigestion up to my ears, are the main post-chemo issues. Tricky to say how much the tiredness is due to chemo and how much to sweaty nights: probably a little of both.

Lack of sleep is new to me, well, new since AD (the son) started to sleep through the night, which in some ways feels like only yesterday. Now I am waking up three and four times, and then not falling back to sleep.  It’s not the end of the world because I’m not going to work so there isn’t a pressure to be up, and smart and thinking.

Probably not good for RMD (the husband), all my tossing and turning, covers off and on, not to mention the horrific alien odour my body is producing – fresh pjs every night. As always, he is being very stoical and maintaining it isn’t bothering him which I can’t believe.

Discussing with friends, however, I realise that a barely know a woman over forty who is sleeping. I wish I’d known this earlier as I’d have been more appreciative of my solid eight hours. Now, I wonder if the days of waking up and feeling that sleep has done its job – i.e. refreshing, energising, repairing – are gone for good. Next step, old person up at 5am to Hoover the house and do word searches.

Sorry, this was more about not being busy than being busy. Will be busier next time.

Also, RMD has a bite on his leg. Lest we forget.



Part 4 of Anne is Keeping Busy will appear on the Live Better With blog soon. If you would like to talk about any of the issues raised in Anne’s cancer diary, why not share your thoughts and experiences with the Live Better With cancer community.