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[cancer] The less said about yesterday, the better - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-12-04 05:47
Subject: [cancer] The less said about yesterday, the better
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, family, food, health, personal
The less said about yesterday, the better.

Which according to my own stated philosophy of my cancer journey means I should explain myself.

I was very exhausted. More so than is usual for a post-chemo Monday. This inflected my mood and my affect, as well as ability to do anything. I've started taking the post-chemo Mondays off of work, knowing this is an issue, but yesterday was pretty dreadful. Also, I had not passed anything from my lower GI since the previous Thursday morning, and so my physical discomfort was becoming extreme. This in turn affects how willing I am to eat anything at all. (All three of my med cycles must be taken with food.) This in turn affects my energy and well-being. You can readily envision the cycle.

It didn't help that one of my family members kept bombarding me with email all day asking goofy questions that they could have Googled as easily as I. (Not to mention suggesting I, who have not been able to get behind the wheel of a car for two months, drive across town and take a picture of something for them. What do they think I do with my time on chemo?) Nor that another family member kept doing this in person, on a day when I can barely spell my own name. Finally I had to get snappy about that.

I know I'm inconsistent about this — I don't want to be set aside as useless, but there are days when I am useless, and anyone close to me knows that post-chemo Monday is one of those days. So I wind up feeling embarrassed and depressed and frustrated. It's a not particularly constructive mental space to be in, so I acquire another meta-layer of embarrassment and depression and frustration at my own responses.

Meanwhile, the GI situation was just terrible. Lisa Costello drove me over to the oncology clinic to get my Neulasta shot, which is its own special kind of fun, or will be in a few days when the bone pain kicks in. On the way back, my gut started acting up hard, which is what sometimes happens when I am in a car for any length of time these days. On the plus side, this loosens things up. On the minus side, I can't do anything about the agonizing cramps except hold it in while practicing my breathing.

We got home and I ducked into the bathroom, where I literally spent a continuous hour very slowly passing stool. Like the worst aspects of diarrhea and constipation combined. This isn't the only path my GI takes through chemo, but it's one of them. It's unpleasant as hell, but the relief is worth the trouble. I'll probably have to do it once or twice more before things settle at all.

At least after that, I could eat a little.

So hopefully, a better day today. At least I woke up decently and exercised.

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W. Lotus
User: wlotus
Date: 2012-12-04 15:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If they offending family members did not respond to, "Today is a very bad day, because of chemo. Get back to me in a couple of days, and I'll see what I can do," they are rude and selfish beyond belief. I have no patience for that kind of behavior.

I'm glad today started out much better.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2012-12-04 16:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope the rest of the week is far better, and the family member Gets A Clue.
Hug
Kari
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-04 18:17 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Have you considered?
The dysfunction is essentially permanent, as I'm missing my gall bladder and my sigmoid colon due to surgical intervention. Ie, my fat metabolism is more or less random, and my colonic 'brakes' are missing.

Add on to this the cyclical symptoms from chemotherapy (14 day cycle) including extreme constipation (days 1 through 4 or 5), lactose intolerance (days 3 through 5 or 6), severe diarrhea (day 4 or 5 through day 6 or 7) and it's like driving a car on ice. Every tiny change produces a potentially huge overcorrection.

I'm more or less dealing with this set of epicyclic symptoms through next June or so, after which it will settle down to my usual post-surgical issues.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-05 00:55 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Have you considered?
Yep, no booze, especially given that this round of tumors is in my liver.

I also forgot to mention the calcium contraindication in my am and pm medications, and the chemotherapy-induced magnesium deficiency which requires a third midday med schedule as the magnesium supplements are also contraindicated with my morning and evening meds, not to mention having potentially violent GI side effects in their own right.

Plus the heightened phototoxicity from the Doxycycline I take to offset the horrible skin problems from the Vectibix in my chemo cocktail.

It's often inducing of despair, but I have enough in my life to keep drawing me forward even so.

FYI, tonight's dinner: six triscuits and five pills, plus about four ounces of apple juice.

So, yeah, Job.
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2012-12-04 19:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
family means well, but, there are days when being an orphan and an only child is very very attractive.
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ladyblue56
User: ladyblue56
Date: 2012-12-05 07:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The bathroom issues are just insult to injury, as if chemo is not bad enough on its own.

Certainly can understand the frustration at family who don't get it, that some days are just lost. I have had chronic pain and fatigue for almost 20 yrs, and more recent gall bladder issues that are still unresolved - unfortunately it means more bad days than good. Some days I need a sign that warns family to 'approach w. caution.'

And in the TMI category, would the use of a bathroom stool to put yourself in a squatting position help or hinder you?

I've dealt w. IBS for many yrs, the stool is a more recent discovery but it is helping make going to the bathroom easier and faster. There is a diagram that shows how the 'colon is aligned correctly' by using the stool to raise the feet into a squatting position.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008G9B11E/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=AIEUZANEXEI7Q
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-05 13:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Unfortunately, given the absence of 35% of my colon, even the question of alignment is fairly moot these days. (In point of fact, my experience suggests there's a kink or constriction, but that's a topic for another time.)
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ladyblue56
User: ladyblue56
Date: 2012-12-05 17:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh dear. I had missed you had part of the colon removed. I do commiserate though w. the bathroom troubles, alignment issues or not.
The day after a good bathroom day is always better though, isn't it?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-05 17:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The day after a good bathroom day is always better though, isn't it?

Oh, heck yes.
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Grant Kruger
User: thirdworld
Date: 2012-12-06 05:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As always, Let Me google That For You is a fun way to respond to those not using Google themselves.

Aside from that, *hugs* to you Jay. You're in my thoughts.
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