Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vivid dreams and nightmares...

One of the things I noticed at several points during my treatment was my propensity for increased frequency and vividness of dreams. I generally wouldn't say I have frequent memorable dreams, and of those the majority aren't nightmares. However during both induction and consolidation, I have frequently had multiple dreams per evening, and many of them were slightly disturbing, actually. This might be of interest to those going through the treatment -- it was a noticeable change for me. It's temporary -- it probably goes away as soon as the chemo has worked its way through one's system. Or perhaps only a few people experience it. Or maybe I'm the only one.

The vivid dreams stopped for me about three days ago. The final three dreams I had weren't nightmares but they also weren't free of disturbing elements. In the first one, I was involved in a car chase for some reason and the car I was driving (which corresponded to my real-life car) was demolished. I made it out alive, though, and the silver lining was that the car was going to be completely replaced by my insurance company. Since my real-life car needs to have all four expensive tires replaced, I viewed this is as good outcome.

The second dream was even more peculiar. Brad Pitt (whom I don't know), some unknown dreamworld "friend of mine" (not a friend in real life) who looked a bit like the actor Forrest Whitaker (whom I don't know), and I had gone to some location for a golf weekend. We were late in getting to the airport and were waiting in line at our hotel for a cab. Brad got impatient and violently threw a cab driver out of one cab and instructed the Forrest Whitaker guy to drive to the airport. We got in. Sadly, the pseudo-Whitaker was a bad driver and was crashing into things left and right on our way. By the time we got to the airport, the cab had lost both side view mirrors and was smoking. He pulled up to the skycaps and left the car on the curb. At this point, Brad urgently explained that we all had to take the fall together. I pointed out that this was pretty crappy, since it was his idea, and if Whitaker had only listened to me we'd have left the cab in the rental car return lot, thus being anonymous by the time we got to the airport (hey, it's dream logic, okay?) Somehow I got on an earlier plane than them. Brad had also accidentally packed his expensive watch in my carry-on bag (it was even inscribed on the back by Angelina, which I made sure to point out to my wife). And that was the end of that.

The third dream was simple and short. Tiger Woods and I were members at a golf club and he was asking me for wine advice. A much more pleasant dream than the others! Of course this is the one that I woke from before the plot could develop...

I had a dream prior to the ones noted above and it was more distinctly unpleasant than the ones I broke out. I think this was also the case during induction -- I remember dreams that conveyed very low self-worth, in particular. Happily these seem to be decreasing in both frequency and moroseness as time goes on.


  1. I'm not a professional dream interpreter, but the theme seems to be consistent of going through some kind of crisis and coming out of it - although not as you were - at least intact. The watch would suggest a concern about "time"... your involvement with H'wood gives you the rare opportunity to cast your movie with characters you recognize... mine usually have low-budget and more vague characteristics!!!

  2. I too have vivid, intense and some nightmarish dreams. It seems to be worst on the 4th to 7th nights after chemo ... I think it's a withdrawal from the steroids and chemo drugs.