Dream a Little Dream..

The mind is an enigma. It is known to exaggerate details and suppress the unpleasant. Whether a memory, knowledge or simply a feeling the mind is likened to a gigantic file cabinet, one which chemotherapy can have long term effects (chemo-brain). This post is not about chemo brain. At least I don’t think it is. We’ll see where it goes.

Last night I had a dream. Now to be clear I am an Ambien taker and have been for over six years, ever since cancer. I tend not to dream because of it or at least not recall any dreams I might have. A few years back I tried to switch to Restoril and it caused huge, scary, night terrors. Needless to say I happily went back to my low dose Ambien without complaint. As I was saying I rarely remember dreams due to the fact that I take a sleeper. I go to sleep then wake up and there doesn't seem to be much memory of what goes on in-between. But last night, as I said, I had a dream and I remembered it in vivid detail. 

As many of you know, I lost a dear friend to anal cancer just after Thanksgiving. Diagnosed just six months apart we met as part of the Anal Cancer Foundation’s peer-to-peer program about 3 years ago. We were “soul sisters” from the start. Our ages, families, and cancer progression were about the same. We both ignored symptoms for months prior to diagnosis. We talked. A lot. We loved and encouraged each other. I went to visit her once. We met in Houston once to see the doctor together. I loved her very much. I responded to treatment when my cancer recurred. She didn't. I have had 3 years worth of clean scans now and she has had 3 years full of failed after failed treatment. I have a stomach ache just thinking of it and the pain her family is experiencing this holiday season with the loss of her presence so raw and new. I wept in my husband’s arms after her husband called the morning of her passing. I knew it was coming but it was still a shocking blow to my heart. My “souliest” of soul sisters was gone. My heart felt the immediate void. I had company though. My parents, my children, relatives were all at my home. I pushed grief aside and forged on putting up Christmas trees and decorations. I thought I was coping. I thought I was handling it as well as, maybe even better than, expected. But as I said, the mind is an enigma. Call it suppressed emotion, survivor’s guilt, or a “visitation” of sorts, last night I dreamt of her. My dream, as I remember, went like this:

I was driving my car on a four lane street and all of the sudden my lane dissolved into grass and I lost control of my car nearly flipping it before I came to a stop in front of a house. I went in and there sat my friend in a wheel chair in front of a fireplace. She told me hello in that sweet southern accent she had. I felt slightly surprised to see her but I had to use the restroom...naturally. While I was in the restroom I found some really nice, clearly never used, hand towels which I decided to take because I reasoned that she would never use them because she had passed away. Then it dawns on me ‘she had passed away’! What was she doing here?! I snatched up a pair of white slippers and hurried back to the living room. She was still there, in the wheel chair, in front of the tall white brick fireplace. She turned toward me and spoke but her speech was heavy. She told me how nice it was that I brought her the slippers saying “You didn’t have to do that.” I could hear her voice perfectly. I stooped to put the slippers on her feet thinking this was crazy and imagined she was probably a spirit and spirits don’t need slippers. When I slipped the first one on it began to glow a little and when I looked up at her she had all white hair and it was long. She smiled at me and said “It’s all okay soul sister. I’m okay and you’re going to be all right.” 

When my eyes open from sleep. I don’t think of my dream. I don’t even know I had one. My husband quietly enters the bedroom and I say good morning in hushed tones. He replies with the same and enters the bathroom. I sit up and swing my legs over the side of the bed and click the light on. Total recall of the dream floods my mind. I shake my head a little to clear the cob webs a bit but the dream remains a clear memory. I can’t shake it. I’m a little teary eyed as I take my shower. I miss my friend. I miss her every time I think of telling her something in my life. We shared such a similar gratitude for the small things in life and such a hope for tomorrow. I used to always remind her that “We’re all one hundred percent alive right now!” every time we spoke on the phone. By the time I enter my kitchen I am ready to tell my husband about my dream. He acknowledged my grief and how painful it must have felt to see and hear her. I think about that for while as I prepare to leave for work. True, I felt grief now thinking about it because I miss her and long to hear her voice. In the dream I was just soaking it all in. As I drove to work I began to think how nice it was to hear that southern drawl and see her beautiful face. I thought I would never hear her or see her again. I suppose in some respects a person is never truly gone. They are alive in our hearts and minds. I always thought that was so cliche. You know, things people say to make you feel better after losing someone so close. 

The longer I think about it the more it makes me happy. I saw her again even though it was just a fleeting dream. What more can anyone ask when life and death are not in one’s control? I hope someday when I have left this world that someone, somewhere will dream a little dream of me.

Lenaecpht sent you a prayer.
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It's all in what you believe in your life.
To you it was a dream. To me, I would call it a visit. I don't take any sleeping assists, and I think ambien, has some effects on the brain, know for people even sleep walking.
3 times, I have had experiences like this, with the 3 parent like people in my life.
1 time, I was called out of sleep by her (no phone call, just thought) to assist her, to pass (death).
2 times, I was at work and left because I just knew my mother was in trouble. I found her both times in dire trouble. Then finally, assisted her as well to passing.
1 time, after my father died, he came to me while sleeping(?), with a message, and I got up and showed him what projects I had been working on.
I have treasured these appearances, and used them in my life to grow and change.
I would hope that you might try sleep without the ambien, and see if you can try to sleep normally, just once. See what happens.
It's comforting to know they are here with us.
Love Jean
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I have tried many times to sleep without the ambien. I hate taking medications. I have tried melatonin, benadryl, herbal remedies, acupuncture, meditation, diet change. I just cannot fall asleep initially. I just lay awake all night long and then have to work all day. I tried to stop for a week once to see what would happen. Worst week ever! The low dose ambien helps me fall asleep initially. Once that happens I am able to fall back asleep if I am awakened in the night or get up to go to the bathroom. I have spoken to my doctor many times about it. I have had no ill effects from the ambien, but I know some people do.
Beautifully written once again, Michele. I believe that people can still be with us in spirit, but of course we would all rather still have them with us in body. Death is such a great unknown and I wish there were some way to figure it all out. In the meantime, enjoy your dreams! You and Tammie were lucky to have each other, and I'm so sorry for your loss.
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I am so sorry for your loss Michele. I'm truly grateful you got the visit from her.
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I believe such dreams are our lost loved ones' and friends' way of staying connected to us and reminding us of how special we were in their lives. They are a way of never letting us forget and encouraging us to go on, despite their absence. I do not usually remember my dreams in detail, but sometimes I wake up and have, for example, my dad on my mind before I even get out of bed. He passed away suddenly in 1979.
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Michelle, you are so fortunate to have had this experience of a "dream". My view is I can't know if there's more to this experience than just being a "dream", but I like to believe in the possibility it is more. I choose to believe in the possibility that Tammie was indeed comforting the soul of her sister through this dream. Your dream gives me hope. And, I'm so glad Tammie was able to bring you this happy experience. Thanks for sharing this intimate experience.
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Michele, here is a quotation from a book I read during my first post-treatment year, when I also began to lose friends: “I thought how, though he had died more than six years ago, my father was still not really dead, because someone yet remembered him. Then I thought that perhaps it was not me remembering him, but rather that my father had attached himself to my memory so that he would not completely die.”

And this is what we do for those we loved here who are gone, and others who will leave – remember them, help them stay here with us. And hope that others will do that for us someday, so that we have a chain of memory to hold back that final darkness.

I am sure that Tammie will live forever in your heart.
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That has happened to me after a friend past last year. I never thought of it as a gift to hear his voice and have a conversation with him again. Now after hearing your story it just made me think of how lucky I was to have a dream I remembered about him. I usually do not remember dreams, even though I had just woke up and like a light switch it turns off and the dream is gone. Happy New Year Michele..
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What a beautiful message Tammie relayed to you, "I'm ok and you're going to be alright". I believe it was a dream and that is the only way she can contact you. I have had many experiences and I truly believe. I will share just one that confirmed it was from our friend. Ricks best friend from grade school, fun loving, great guy, he embraced me from the moment we met and was our best friend. He was uncle Byron to Shawn, that's how close he was to us. Back in 80's we loved to go out on the weekends and party and then bring the party home. That's where played album after album and discussed everything imaginable. I remember not long after my sister passed, we got into a really deep conversation about what happens when we die, can we come back, can we be seen, heard, etc. We made a pact between the 3 of us, that whomever passes first, will come back and let us know they are ok. Every now and then we would reiterate our pact. Unfortunately, Byron was the first to pass at a very young age. We were heartbroken, his mother refused to have a service for him, had him cremated and placed him on a shelf. That is not what he wanted, he was a people person who lived life, so we rallied our party gang for one last party. It was bittersweet remembering all the crazy things we all had done over the years, like every Monday morning we would go to the local KMart, go to the wig department, put one on, go to plumbing and put a toilet seat around our necks like a necklace, and add different items as we saw them, the employees loved us, we would leave laughing and everyone had smiles on their faces. The nice of our last party, when Rick and I finally crashed, at the moment we laid our heads down and that second right before you drift off to sleep our telephone would go DING, just once. We did not think much about it, we must be hearing things. The next night DING, every night DING this went on for 3 years. Of course we thought it was our phone, then we went to visit my mom and same thing DING, if we stayed in a motel, same thing DING. No matter where we laid our heads at night DING, we just accepted it and thought maybe, just maybe he was sending us a message, never did we think to answer the DING. Another friend was in a terrible accident and spent a week in the trauma center, he was recently divorced, and asked us if anything ever happened to him to take care of his 2 daughters. We said sure, not thinking anything was going to happen, but it did. We kept the girls and did as he asked, I took the oldest girl to see him and we prayed. He still hung on, Drs said that they could,not believe that he was still with us, I thought maybe he is waiting for someone, then it hit me, his baby girl, she was too young to go in and see him, so I came home, grabbed my tape recorder and she sang Jesus Loves Me, and said I love you daddy. Whew that tugged at my heart. We went back with the oldest and we played the tape for him. He shed one tear, moved his finger up and down twice, and his daughter said that meant thank you. Later that night we got the call that he had passed. If all this is not heart breaking enough, telling a 10 year child that her daughter has gone to heaven, is the most difficult thing ever. Of course, she hated her mother because of the divorce, and Rick and I had to do what was right and reunite their relationship, we spent a lot of time with them, they did reconnect and last I talked with them the oldest daughter Kat, graduated and was very happy. That was wonderful. i know this is long, yet it explains our DING. Randy had no insurance or money, so we had him cremated, that's what he wanted. He was a janitor in a church, so we had a service at his church. The night of the service, we were beyond exhausted, we got into bed, we talked a little,,we had so,much on our minds, as we finally decided to dose off the phone went DING-DING, I got up to answer it and it was not a ring tone, just silent, calming no static. I hung up, get back into bed and said, It was Byron all along, Randy joined him, they are both OK. That is one of many experiences we have had, I only share them, when I feel someone has had a similar experience, so they know it happens. Tammie must have been a beautiful person, I regret not knowing her, sounds like she was a shining star with a southern drawl, I think we would have related, or at least understood what we were saying, I too have a southern drawl. In addition to what she said to you, you putting the slipper on it started to glow and her hair was long, that confirms to me what I have believed my entire life. When we pass and go to heaven, we are whole again, we are the fittest of our entire life on earth. No pain, no suffering. Thank you for sharing your dream, it reassures my belief that we can come back somehow and communicate. She is OK and you're going to be alright. What a beautiful message. She is at peace and watching over you. ((Hugs)) Ann
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What great stories you share with us Ann!
I love it!
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What a pleasant experience in the grand scheme of things. Christmas is a time for miracles - and how well you were able to recall the dream- apparently you have a photographic memory. I too rarely dream, but thanks to vacation time, I've been able to get more sleep and actually enter REM sleep land again. Women's intuition is the real deal, and guys are clueless, myself included, so embrace what good comes of these situations. MGBY, John
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Beautiful story Michele. I have had the experience of dreaming what surely could not be a dream, as it was so vivid. Dear friends and family appearing in what was disguised as a dream. It brought me great comfort, I hope it did you as well. They never truly leave us.
Bless~
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What a beautiful dream and such a nice way to remember Tammie. You were fortunate to have her for a friend and she to have you. Life is more precious with people that care for us and us for them.
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Vital Info

Posts

October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3

No

As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp

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