Log in

No account? Create an account
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2013-10-05 07:30
Subject: [cancer|personal] Last night I shit my bed
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
Yup. What it says on the post title.

The details aren't important. Suffice to say that at this point in my Regorafenib cycle, my lower GI is in a state of profound disruption. I awoke from sleep moments too late for an urgent demand from my colon. Everything was eventually cleaned and dealt with, but I felt disgusting and filthy, and experienced a very depressing loss of my sense of agency and self control.

This is what cancer does to you. This is what years of chemotherapy does to you. This is what powerful drugs do to you. They strip away your basic control of your body, and reduce you to an infantile helplessness.

I sometimes complain about feeling broken, about feeling compromised and foolish and unlovable. I'm here to tell you, scrubbing shit out of the sheets at 2:30 am is about as unlovable and unsexy thing as a human being can do.

So, yeah. There's a lot of love, laughter and fun in my life just lately. But there's a lot of fear, distress, pain and just plain nastiness as well.

Post A Comment | 6 Comments | | Flag | Link

Debbie N.
User: wild_irises
Date: 2013-10-05 15:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't know how to phrase what I want to say here. It sounds unbearably awful for you, and I get that, and I support it.

At the same time, having cleaned up after, and changed adult diapers for, a friend much younger than myself before he died (yes, of cancer, this time brain cancer), I was and am genuinely grateful for the experience, and it does not diminish Pete in any way in my eyes.

I thought you might (or might not) want to hear that.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: shelly_rae
Date: 2013-10-05 18:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ehh, it happens even to those not experiencing cancer and its friends. As a father you no doubt cleaned many a foul diaper, washed crap from hair, backsides, sheets and did it with love and calm. Yes, it sucks but--and I'm speaking as someone who's been there done that--it's just crap. Buy a lining sheet for the mattress. Wear a diaper to bed if you fear it happening again, and keep on going.
Chin up buckaroo. Carpe diem.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-10-05 19:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
that is an extrapolation of "its not always gas" to the vivid dreams of getting up and going to the bathroom, only to find you never left the bed.

Some of my more disabled friends have taken to wearing the Adult pampers to bed just for that reason. By the time they could get up and to the loo, it wasnt worth the time or effort, and much easier to clean up.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: capnmubbers
Date: 2013-10-06 01:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Any time of day it is "unlovable and unsexy" to scrub shit out of sheets. Because of cancer treatment, I woke up recently to an hours-long clean, shower, and wash session after a massive dose of antibiotics. Nightclothes, sheets, mattress, bedroom carpet, throw rugs in bathroom, toilet, and treacherous body. Disgusting and filthy, yes.

The difference between a one-time or once in a while "accident" and post-cancer diagnosis surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy? Being worn down from days, weeks, months, and years of spending precious hours every day waiting for the body to painfully perform its necessary function, and cleaning up, many times a day, failure of control. Urgency and frequency of bowel-dictated interruptions to any and all activities of daily life detract from the quality of life I strive to maintain.

I am sorry for the fear, distress, pain and just plain nastiness you experience. I'm not sure if it helps to know that others have similar issues; I hope so.
Reply | Thread | Link

Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-10-06 01:32 (UTC)
What I wish is that no one had similar issues. Sigh.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: fledgist
Date: 2013-10-06 01:31 (UTC)
Subject: Er, well, oh dear.
Welcome to the club, Jay. It's a conditional hazard of having no colon. I take active measures, and I wake up in the middle of the night almost every night to void my bowels. The problem with that "almost" is that I still shit my bed every few weeks. It is not fun. It's fucking embarrassing. What Shelly Rae said makes perfect sense. I'd add, get two or three bed pads to put on top of your sheets (use one at a time).
Reply | Thread | Link

my journal
January 2014
2012 appearances