"Change does not lie out there, it starts and lies within us. "
EVERYTHING changed the moment I got diagnosed. I knew my life was never going to be the same again.
Cancer erodes you. Through and through. It challenges everything you have ever learnt, heard, read or said. In a moment, your whole life crumbles.
And then starts your feeble but bravest, desperation-filled attempts to Heal. You clutch at anything that you think will be of any remote aid. You suddenly want to eat better, exercise more, reduce your stress and basically do everything which is going to get you to believe that you’ve regained some control of your life.
And through the midst of this all, what is the one thing that gets affected the most? Your SLEEP.
I am no different from you. In fact, as I write this, it is 2am. Another night of waking up on a cold winter night due to a Tamoxifen induced hot flush. But, what was a daily (or rather nightly) event previously, has become a rarity these days.
THIS DIDN'T HAPPEN ON IT'S OWN.
I dug into my ~17 years of experience as an ENT Surgeon who always had a fascination for Sleep. I tried recollecting all I learnt from my patients in the Multidisciplinary Clinics I would be part of. I thought hard about all those Presentations and Posters I would peer at at the numerous Sleep conferences I had attended. I remembered the research I had conducted on my medical students and their Sleep habits. I remembered the amazing pregnant women I would wire up for their sleep studies to see how their sleep problems could be affecting those miracles they were giving birth to.
I also drew on all the tools I had learnt over time for some deep deep soul cleansing. Words like ‘Forgiveness’, ‘Peace’ and ‘Gratitude’ were not something pretty to adorn my walls…I actually had to slowly and painstakingly work my way through it.
If you have just been diagnosed, your Sleep is going to be your secret weapon to help you cope with the onslaught of your upcoming treatment/s.
If you are currently under treatment, your Sleep is going to help you turn up in a better way for your anguished days filled with nonstop appointments at your doctors office/hospitals/chemo centers/……
And if you can finally breathe again with a bit of ease as a survivor and/or a thriver, your Sleep is going to be your best friend to help you get back your life - at work, at home and everything else that was actually the reason you chose to get treated for cancer.
If you resonated with any of what you have just read, let me help you.
BY INVESTING IN YOUR SLEEP, YOU ARE INVESTING IN YOUR LIFE.