This post comes with a few disclaimers. If you are easily offended, if you do not like potty humor, if you are my mother, do not read the text below. I am mildly embarrassed that this is on the internet but…to not share is to leave out a huge part of my cancer experience. So, to heck with it!
I need to start by finishing the story from last Thursday. As if the day wasn’t going badly enough, I started throwing up late in the afternoon. I then found myself at the cancer center hooked up to an IV getting fluids and pain medication and nausea meds. I got three doses of morphine and was still in so much pain that my teeth were chattering and tears were rolling down my cheeks. Not one of my best moments. My favorite nurse, Nancy, came to see me and told me not to be brave. To ask for help sooner. To take more medicine than I have been and that is ok. They ended up writing me a higher dose of narcotics and that did the trick. I was feeling a great deal better. I actually got sleep that night.
All of this has a purpose I promise.
Pain medicine works by doing something to your nerves so you don’t feel the pain. Even the nerves you want to feel- like the ones in your intestines. Nausea medicine works by not letting anything come up and out of your stomach but it also stops things from coming out of the other end. ( Do not take my word for any of that, I could have totally made it up. I am not a doctor.) Having said that, I found myself in quite the situation on Saturday…if you know what I mean.
After having so much medicine on Thursday and Friday, I woke up Saturday with a very sad stomach. That annoying and unwelcome bloaty, crampy feeling. I tried it all. Apples, hot coffee, apple juice, prunes, prune juice, gatorade, drinking lots of water, actual stool softener, a heating pad. Nothing was working. I.Could.Not.Go.
The time came. The final destination, last resort, plan Z. Imagine the big red button under the glass box that Mr. President presses when aliens have invaded and the whole world is exploding.
If you don’t know what these are…ask your mom. Why are they shaped like bullets?! (No one answer that) It went 0 to 60 very quickly. Funny story actually. Later than night I went out with some friends for a birthday party and I brought a spare change of clothes with me because I was almost guaranteed to need them.
Every thing all worked out in the end. Just FYI.
It is one of the worst side effects of cancer I have experienced. It’s something I didn’t really ever think about being an issue. There are actually a great number of things I didn’t think about. Every ones sees cancer as throwing up and losing your hair. But what about my inability to fight infections if I got a sinus infection? Bad tastes in my mouth? Mouth sores from chemo? My worsening allergies? Acid reflux? Constipation? I have my normal prescriptions that I call my “pharmacy”. Pain medications, nausea medications, and steroids.
But then there is my supplemental pharmacy to fill in the gaps that my body can’t handle on it’s own right now or to combat the negative side effects from chemo or related medication.
I am someone who barely ever even took Tylenol for a headache before all this. I am also someone who will barely ever even take Tylenol for a headache after all this.