Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] And the humiliation continues (whinge alert)

Last night I went to sleep around 8:45. Woke up around 10:30 with a series of pretty violent lower GI events that kept me out of bed for about 30 minutes. Woke up around 1:30 am ditto. And never could go back to sleep.

That marks four nights in a row that the GI has interrupted my sleep pretty consistently. And this is with me doubling up on the Lomatil per instructions from my clinic. I'm trying to shake this ragtail edge of a cold, which is pretty damned hard to do when you can't sleep or take nutrition. (I don't think I got 1,000 calories yesterday — this experience is producing a pretty deep food aversion.) I'm trying to sleep, just for the sake of my overall health, and the chemotherapy session I'm suppose to start on tomorrow. I can't even take Lorazepam to help me sleep, because the GI events are so abrupt that I'd wind up waking up in a pool of my own shit. As it is, I've had some version of that problem three times in the last three days, even when fully conscious and prepared for a 10-second bathroom sprint at any moment. I'm so worn this morning that I skipped exercising, which I never do without a damned good reason.

Thanks to the bowel control issues, I'm going to have to pick up some pads today and start wearing them. This feels like a profound abrogation of both my dignity and my adulthood. I debated even mentioning it here, but my policy on narrating my cancer experiences is to be as honest as possible. Being honest about the difficult stuff is where the most work needs to be done.

I've never in my life had this problem. I mean, the odd blowout two or three times over the years due to a critical misjudgment, or the classic gambled-and-lost fart, but not consistently. Not every day for three days. I made it through colon surgery without having to wear diapers.

I hate this disease. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate what it does to me, how it makes me feel emotionally, how it tears down the people around me, how it poisons my daughter's childhood, how it impairs my writing career. But this business with the pads? This is an exquisite, deeply personal humiliation that somehow feels worse than all the others.

Tags: cancer, child, food, health, personal, writing

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