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Beating Bowel Cancer Community

Life with bowel cancer


Can’t sleep!

I’m new to this forum, been reading all the helpful info and seeing all the incredible support everyone shows each other. So helpful. Haven’t been too comfortable posting anything, not so great at chat rooms, forums etc! I was diagnosed November 2017, and MRI staging has me T3N1b, I’ve been through a six week course of chemoradiation and now waiting to have follow up this week from that to see how effective it’s been. I’m nervous as hell and so anxious, not able to sleep. For the first time since my diagnosis I feel scared. I’ve tried all the recommended things to work through this, but I just keep thinking about my child and how unfair it is that our families are so impacted by this disease.


@Laura74 it is unfair, really unfair!!! My husband was diagnosed after no real symptoms at stage 4 last July, we have two little boys, had just signed the contracts on a new house, we had no stress or problems. I spent weeks feeling angry and upset, and asking why us, why now. But now 7 months down the line it has got easier, not 100% but definitely better than it was. My hubby had 1 weeks intensive radio and it worked great on his tumour, so fingers crossed yours has been blasted!! Maybe a chat with a counsellor may help? i`ll keep everything crossed you get good results :x::x:


Hi @Laura74 welcome to the forum! I’m new myself and wasn’t really comfortable posting at first either, but the support on here has been fantastic. It helps to talk to others that are going through the same stuff and can give good advice and share experiences. I know I don’t always want to share the real lows with close family as i try and stay strong and put on a brave face for them, so I need this forum to let it out!

I also have little boy, only 7 months old, so I know exactly what you mean. My first thoughts on diagnosis were “I’m not going to see him grow up” and “how can I leave him without a Mum” it’s the most heartbreaking thing about all of this. All I can do is take one day at a time and cherish every moment. I still have moments/days when it all falls apart. I did only find out late January and I’m stage 4 incurable. It’s a lot to take in.

All I can say is there are some great people on here with amazing stories, really inspiring. Keeping everything crossed that you get some good news from your follow up :x::x:


Thank you @charleyb and @DMR700
Your words are so very comforting. And this is such a great place to let it all out! It’s so true you know, speaking with people going through the same/similar journeys. I am mostly positive and strong, and people are always telling me they admire my strength, however as this review approaches I find myself laying awake at night with all the uncertainties that a cancer diagnosis forces us to face. The hardest part of it all is when I think about what all this does and means to my son. He’s been my whole life. I’ll be fine once this review is done, it’ll be another destination reached on this journey, then the focus turns to the next one. I guess I’m having “moments” and we’re all entitled to them! I wish you both love and strength as you each face your own challenges, and I look forward to sharing our stories and supporting each other through the good, bad and ugly of this hand we’ve been dealt 😘


My thoughts and best wishes @Laura74 . I can’t add much .... just little bite size chunks at a time :x::x:


Hi, Ive just finished chemoradiotherapy yesterday and i understand how you feel. I can feel my anxiety rising again, almost like i felt safer in treatment but now im back in the unknown. I dont see my oncologist till the 19th april and im guessing i will get a scan prior to that. Hope you get brilliant results. Hugs :x:


Hi Laura think everyone goes through this and more it's what makes us stronger. You have done extremely well so far Just stay positive. Don't think I am into things like web chats etc but it does help talking with people who are experiencing similar things, treatments.

Good luck

Gavin :x::x:


Good morning @laura,

Insomnia is a fairly common theme on this forum and I’ve been there too and will again I know! I think it’s particularly difficult before reviews as you say as well as scans and results. On occasions I’ve had the most horrible morbid thoughts in the wee small hours.

There will be previous posts about this too if you want to use the search icon.

I use Mirtazepine anti depressants which I believe help with sleep too (as well as stimulating appetite 😩!) I wouldn’t dream of stopping them now. I’ve also used the various relaxation and meditation sessions on YouTube (with headphones of course!) There are loads and some much better than others!! Some people use sleeping tablets.

If I do have a bad night, I’m able to sleep pretty well the next night as I’m so tired. I try not to sleep during the day although it’s very tempting! I guess you need to cut yourself some slack. Of course you’re worried about your review.....who wouldn’t be? You’re hoping for the very best news possible but dreading the worst. When our minds go into overdrive we think beyond this and imagine how we’ll cope with the various scenarios and how these will impact on our families. I know you’ve tried everything to help with your sleep pattern so perhaps a chat with your GP would be an idea? Maybe until you have your review appointment, you’ll come to accept that insomnia is part of the overall anxiety felt before such appointments and go with the flow. It is very difficult to keep going during the day especially with a little one when you feel so terribly tired. My heart goes out to you. There’s just no magic cure is there?

Sending you lots of love and my very best wishes,



Like @Baxter2 i also take mitazipine, i was initially given zopiclone( sleeping meds) but now im on mitazapine for anxiety. :x:


Hi @kitti

How do you find it? Did you notice a difference after a few weeks of taking it? I think without it I’d be struggling emotionally each day but I’m certain it’s had a very positive impact on my mood and outlook.



Hi @Baxter2 I was initially on 15mg a day but that was increased to 30mg after a panic attack. I can sleep reasonably well and decided to come off my zopiclone ( sleeping med) as the mitazipine seems to work! Ive just finished 5 weeks chemoradio yesterday and im a bit worried my anxiety levels will start to increase again but hopefully the mitazapine will stop that happening. Im not sure of maximum dose but think some are on 45mg so i know thats always a possibility if i need it. Hugs :x:


Oh that’s good to hear that it’s been effective for you @kitti

I’m on 45 mg (the maximum dose) as I just thought if the lower doses were helping, why not ask about it being increased and my GP was in full agreement.

Well done on completing the 5 weeks of chemorad! What’s the next steps?



Hi Baxter2 its hopefully surgery if its shrunk to get good margins, is that the same for you @Laura74 ? Its all the waiting, im quite a impatient person and all the waiting and lack of control sends my anxiety through the roof! Before all this i was a working mum juggling kids etc and felt quite in control now.... i feel i have very little control of anything anymore and the unknown is so scary. Hugs :x:


@kitti I found when I was getting anxious post chemo & radiation that it helped to remind myself the radiation was continuing to work on the inside even though my treatments had come to an end, for me that took away some of the fears of being in limbo and feeling like I was doing nothing to help my journey along. My next step is surgery and yes the review this week will help plan it all out, I’m not sure the exact size of my tumours but the dr did say they were quite large and sitting quite low.

As @Baxter2 mentioned, last night I was caught up in hoping for the best and dreading the worst. @Baxter2 thanks also for the info on medication, i’ll discuss with my GP as I do think lying awake all night full of anxiety and unable to sleep isn’t good on any scale.

So much helpful stuff and I had a much better day after reading the advice and support from all you lovely people. God bless :)


Hi @Laura74 mine is 6cm so by no means small, just hoping its no longer 6cm and the chemoradio has acheived the margins they need. Keeping my fingers crossed for a brilliant response for you. I dont think id survive without my mitazapine, and if thats what makes this journey a little easier then so be it. Hugs :x:


Had my review, good outcome. Tumour reduced from 6cm to 5mm, highly possible it will be completely gone by time of surgery, scheduled for May. So nice to have good news to take into the next challenge. Sleeping better since the review :)




Great to hear your positive news @Laura74. Now you can concentrate on getting your fitness levels back up ready for surgery. Hope you had a good night's sleep for once. :x::x:


Fantastic news!!!! :x::x:


Sorry you find yourself here. I was T4bn1m0 (1node) in April last year. I have two kids 9 & 12. It's so scary and very unfair!! I had surgery and 6 months of chemo and was given the all clear in Dec 17. I'm now being closely monitored. Life does get back to sone normality. Hang in there, we are all here for you. Annie :x: :x:


I’m so pleased at your news, onward and upward now. Keep health! :x::x: