Did you ever have one of those odd dreams where you are trying to talk, but your words come out in slow motion? As you’re trying to speak you can’t and some part of your mind is fighting back and telling you that there is no reason why you can’t speak, but still you fight for each w o r d t o o o o c o m e o o o u u t t.
It wasn’t too long ago that I figured out that this slow motion moment was actually me trying to speak in my sleep. The wires are crossed, though, so I struggle to speak “for real” at the moment I speak in my dream. It was particularly unnerving for me this time because the dream was about back pain. I was sleeping on the couch (in my dream) and I couldn’t reach the cell phone that dropped to the floor. I finally grabbed the phone and tried to answer the person on the other end. It was my boss telling me that I was losing my job because I haven’t been at the office enough. I protested–or tried to–but I couldn’t speak. And the back pain was intense and I just couldn’t speak up to defend myself and he was about to end the call and . . . I woke up.
I fell asleep on the couch and I woke up in pain.
The oncologist hypothesizes that this pain is of a dual nature: the lesion causing a bulging disc or pressing against a nerve. We won’t know more until the PET scan is completed and, probably, followed up with an MRI. (The PET scan delayed because the facility, a block away from the dangling crane, is off limits.)
I marked the last day of October by getting my first shot of Xgeva, a monoclonal antibody. This is a result of the lesions in my lower spine and sacrum. It should help to stabilize the bone by preventing fracture, strengthen the bone, and perhaps (no guarantee) prevent further bone metastasis. And, I hope, help us to get to the heart of what hurts and how to stop it. I’ll be getting one of these $1,650 doses once a month indefinitely. Feel that monoclonal antibody goodness.
The thing about pain is that not only do you have the acute discomfort which is a . . . a pain. But if it has been disruptive enough to cause loss of work and general productivity it can lead to feelings of helplessness and depression. I don’t consciously feel those things, but the fact that I’m dreaming of being powerless in the face of this pain is enough to convince me that I need to find a way to channel this into something professionally productive.
But the practical benefit of doing this while not feeling particularly productive is in itself a challenge.
What a pain.