Vivid dreams or acid flashbacks?

Okay, I’ve never actually dropped acid so I’m going to have to go with blaming the AC for my nightly forays into the most bizarre mind twisters that you can imagine. I blogged about this phenomenon after my 2nd treatment but at that time it was not a daily occurrence. Though I have always dreamt, most days I wake up with only a vague memory of the dream and by the time I have had my first cup of coffee I’ve already forgotten it. Once in a blue moon    the dream will stay with me for part of the day if it was disturbing in some way or very pleasant and I want to hold onto it. I rarely have nightmares.  This is different. Since my final AC on 2/28 I have woken up every morning between 4 and 4:30 a.m. I fall asleep between 10 and 11 every night and sleep soundly until that time. Once awake it will take me as long as an hour to fall back to sleep and I will sleep until 7 or so, but I will have vivid and such detail oriented dreams that I can remember all of them.  Some feature Disneyesque animals, family members, locations that are all recognizable but morph from place to place so that it feels like I am in several places at once.  One had me in the hospital. I was in room 407 and could clearly read that on my wrist band, along with my name, dob and medical record number, which sadly I have memorized.  I was wandering around, sick and confused and begging for help.  I could not get back to my room and no one would help me. Stairways would turn in to fun house slides and elevators were actually large rooms revealing hospital personnel doing God knows what behind the scenes.   Turning a corner brought me to Downtown Disney (the Disney theme is recurring for some reason.. I guess I need some Magic). The dream went on forever and I never did make it back to room 407.  I have had dreams about babies and dreams that caused me to wake up laughing.  Dreams that were so real I could smell flowers and grass and taste things.  One dream was about a 4 year old girl (that to my knowledge does not exist) an old family house and some mysterious family secrets. I woke up worried about her.  

Clearly the dream about the hospital doesn’t take a genius to figure out.  Being a cancer patient (or I imagine any patient with a life threatening or life altering disease) leaves you feeling at the mercy of people who don’t know you and don’t have an emotional interest in you, only a clinical one.  That’s not a bad thing, except it can sometimes make you reluctant to ask for more.  I do find myself sometimes minimizing the effects of my treatments. After all, I’ve memorized all the possible side effects, taken measures to treat them as they occur and know which ones require medical attention, so they hardly seem worthy of a mention at my visits if they’ve  already resolved.  It’s like I wouldn’t  dream of bothering anyone. Especially after my thwarted nocturnal wanderings back to room 407! 

It’s gotten so I am alternately curious about my next dream and dreading it.  When my eyes snap open in the wee hours I know the next few will be interesting. I also know I will likely be exhausted all day. 




  1. Susan · March 9, 2012

    Wow I wonder where all that is coming from. The only dream that stayed with me was my daughter won the lotto, and I think that was more wishful thinking!! She is still waiting…..
    Used to be the dreams would stem from actual things you saw or read about during the day. When some of mine do linger I often wonder where on earth they came from but don’t usually take it any further.
    Are any of your dreams actually recurring or are they different every time?


  2. Misifusa · March 9, 2012

    I have gone through periods of time where my dreams are much like yours ~ so very real ~ I think it’s the effects of the chemo…write them down so that you don’t forget them!


  3. suzeq740 · March 9, 2012

    You really should write them down. When this is all over, you could publish a book of short stories. Something like…”Short Dreams From Chemo Land”…….. well, I never said I was a writer, but you get the idea LOL. Sheryl


  4. playfulpups · March 10, 2012

    I agree about keeping a journal of the dreams~ It will be interesting to go through the journal later on…Crazy dreams!


  5. The martini effect · March 14, 2012

    I have a recurring dream about being lost in a maze-like building not able to find my way back to where I’m meant to be – usually a college building or office complex never a hospital. Think it’s an anxiety dream. Yours sound positively psychedelic!!


  6. It's Just About The Hair! · March 31, 2012

    Love your post about dreams! I was also on the AC Chemotherapy but ended with 3 months of TAXERE. My dreams were so vivid and terrifyingly real that I opted for sleeping pills! Going to give those up now … It will be interesting to see just how the nights go …
    Thinking of you …


    • mainelyhopeful · March 31, 2012

      I’m a few weeks in on the weekly Taxol now and still dreaming! Not as vivid or crazy. I kind of miss the wild ones 🙂 I stumbled across your blog this morning. I’ll be thinking of you, too, and following your journey.


      • It's Just About The Hair! · March 31, 2012

        The AC Chemotherapy I was on was is actually: Doxocrubicin and Cyclophosphamide … probably not the same as yours … I find it interesting that these both have the abbreviation “AC” and are different Chemotherapies (maybe I should google that, or not :))… but then there are so many different Breast Cancers!


  7. mainelyhopeful · April 1, 2012

    Adriamycin and Cytoxan are different names for Doxocrubicin and Cyclophosphamide, Taxol is Paclitaxel. Generics? not sure. I guess ACT is catchier and easier to remember than DCP 😉


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