An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-05-20 05:45
Subject: [cancer] Chemo, almost a week later, Shedding Day
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, child, dreams, family, food, health, personal, work, writing
For those with memories of my last go-round, yesterday was pretty much Shedding Day. Not nearly as nasty as the same event in the prior chemo sequence, but then early on I hadn't been smart enough to be careful about milk products.

On the whole, I felt pretty good. Managed strong productivity at the Day Jobbe, lunch with my parents, some (unusual) overtime at the Day Jobbe, a helpful visit from [info]joycemocha, wrangled various data backups and whatnot, got a certain amount of writing done, had a delightful dinner with [info]amberite and a fairly productive series of dad-daughter conversations with [info]the_child to cap off the evening.

The discerning reader will observe that I actually consumed two meals yesterday. This in addition to my hourly consumption of small amounts of food, which much as last time is the most effective nausea control. Once I can choke it down in the first place. I did nearly backslide yesterday morning by eating a bit of hummus. Apparently last weekend's reverse peristalsis swung a quick bit of operant conditioning on me with respect to a novel food aversion.


But most importantly, I have felt myself as of yesterday. Basically, that's a week to really get over chemo number one. Insofar as I am over it. I'm hoping like heck that the lack of Vicodin in next week's festivities will help curb the bicameral digestive complications.

In other news, overnight I dreamt about the (so far as I know wholly imaginary) Japanese practice of eggshell farming or nacre farming. When one wishes to grow moss or lichen or tiny, Arctic flowers, one uses eggshell or nacre fragments as trainers or climbing frames, as well as borders, pavers, etc. Think of it as a bonsai garden, entire little Heligans in a space the size of the palm of your hand. It was very strange.

Meanwhile, a bit more about Shedding Day and how chemo works, for them what wants to know.

In simple terms, chemotherapy works by attacking fast-growing cells. Cancer cells are among the fastest growing in the body. Other fast-growing cells include bone marrow, hair follicles, mouth lining, and stomach lining. Hence the classic chemo symptoms of immune system compromise, hair loss, mouth sores and nausea/indigestion.

My experience last go-round on FOLFOX-Avastin was that a few days after chemo I'd have a series of loose, watery, strangely-textured bowel movements — almost sandy — which were, essentially, my stomach lining letting go and heading for exits. This is as distinct from the ongoing chemo-induced loose stool, diarrhea, gas, et cetera. I called that Shedding Day, because it seemed to mark a turning point in my biweekly digestive health cycle. I'd sort of been wondering where Shedding Day came in on FOLFIRI, as the digestive effects have been rather different for me than on the previous regimen.

Now I know...

Thankfully, the olfactory effects are so far not reaching the weapons-grade intensity they did last time.

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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: fledgist
Date: 2011-05-20 13:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This definitely fits into the category of experiences that are not fun.
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