Tag Archives: gas

Feb. 19.

The Blahs Hit

The photo for today involves fog because right now I’m feeling a bit foggy. Today I was focused on the day job and got a lot accomplished. The problem is that when I was done with the day, I suddenly realized I wasn’t feeling all that great. Nauseous, tired, and completely unmotivated to work on anything—even this post. HA!

But then I realized one beautiful thing … I’ve been going through chemo for 4 months now, and tonight I’m more nauseous than I’ve been the entire time … and it’s manageable. I was able to have something to eat (nothing fancy, a helping of mashed potatoes) and I have not become one with the great porcelain bowl. And I’m starting to feel a tad better. Not great, but not as lousy as I was before.

I saw my doctor yesterday and she mildly chastised me for not sharing all my symptoms with her. (Ironically, yesterday I felt great.) And I told her my journey was so relatively light, I don’t really think of the negative symptoms as negative. Yes, after every chemo session I go through a few days of turning into a gas factory … I take the anti-nausea medications she prescribed and keep it in check. Yes, every treatment cycle means I’ll retain water like a camel and it takes a couple weeks to get back to normal. Yes, the injection to boost my white count gives me a headache and backaches, sometimes more severe than others, but these are known side effects, and none of it is beyond my ability to deal with. Yes, I get tired after the treatments, but I’m encouraged by how much better my energy is getting in between treatments.

So the bottom line is, I don’t talk about feeling poorly because I really haven’t had a bad time of it. I know many others who have had a much rougher time, so I feel blessed. But since I am not feeling the swiftest tonight, I am not working on things (other than this post) will probably watch a movie or read a little and get some rest. Oh, and I absolutely attribute my ability to stay well to keeping myself isolated most of the time, and being diligent about wearing a surgical mask when having to go out in public at any time.

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Nov. 22.

How We Forget

My Status: Feeling Good
Mood: Content

Last night I was finishing up some work stuff and trying to figure out what my evening would look like, when I smelled a waxy, unscented, burning candle-like smell coming from downstairs. Denny was downstairs puttering around in the kitchen getting ready for work (he worked graveyard last night). Next thing I know, Elsa (my little blonde pup) is upstairs, plumping both paws on my left leg, giving me the full pick me up treatment and panting hard. I told her no and gently pushed her paws aside. She then ran around to my right leg and repeated her performance. I again told her I wasn’t picking her up and asked what was wrong. Usually, she takes my no and curls up at my feet. Not to be denied, she squeezed past my legs onto the small desk shelf and crawled up my legs into my lap.

She was distraught and shaking, so I cuddled her for a few moments and set her down… she crawled into my lap again after running out to the landing to peer down the stairs. I couldn’t figure out what had her so excited and unnerved that she needed to be held.

Until Denny came up the stairs, rack from the toaster over in hand and said, “You know how you always tell me to put a plate under my food …” and showed me how the plastic plate had melted onto the rack. *sigh* He’s right, I have told him once or twice to make sure he puts a plate under whatever he’s heating up … in the microwave.

Why am I telling this story (other than the fact that it is funny and the house didn’t burn down)? It certainly isn’t to make fun of Denny for making a mistake. Or to point out how on the ball Elsa was in trying to alert me to something be wrong down below. The reason I am sharing this story is it so aptly illustrates how Denny is handling the journey with me through cancer and chemotherapy. As I mentioned before this journey is not mine, and mine alone. My health and well-being affects my family and friends, just as theirs affects me. Truthfully, Denny has been having a tougher time of things than I have. Forgetting things (like my 1st chemo appt.), being more tired, making mistakes he would never otherwise make. Like this one.

It’s not like heating things up in the toaster oven is a foreign activity for him. We use the toaster oven on a daily basis … and I mean we and not me. And yes, I recently had to remind him to put something under the food in the microwave—which he also already knows. So why is he so forgetful? Do I think he’s starting to go into early Alzheimer’s territory?

No. I don’t think dementia is setting in. I truly believe he is suffering from worrying too much about how things are going to go with me, and pushing those feelings down instead of talking about the fears. When you suppress so many feelings, and force yourself to be strong, there are negative side effects. He’s suppressing so much right now, he’s close to suppressing everything, so things that you know and take for granted that you know? Gone. One moment you know you need to take your keys to leave in your car… the next, you’re walking out the door without them. Why are you so forgetful? Because your mind is so occupied with keeping those things from you that you’re afraid to deal with or reveal.

I picture his mind much like the picture above. He will have a clear, almost sunny stretch, where lucid thought is easy, and he has his usual firm grasp on the essentials, but then something will trigger a thought about me, and the clouds come rolling in trying to bury the fears by hiding them in the mist. What are his fears? I can only guess. Fear that I will need more care than he feels capable of. Fear of losing me. Fear of my being in pain. In some ways, it is much easier to be the patient. I’ll deal with the hell when it comes, and I won’t be dealing with it alone. But Denny feels like he is alone in what he has to deal with. How can he possibly burden me with his fears? In some respects, he’s right. At the moment, I’d be able to deal with his fears just fine, but depending on how my journey continues, things may reach a point where I wouldn’t be able to help him deal with his fears. (And I’m hoping that won’t happen, and expect that it won’t—so far anyway.) But he’s not alone. And I hope to help him see that. BEFORE the house burns down. 😀

So how am I? Pretty good. Trying to get the sleep disruption under control. Still. Better night last night, but the night before that was pitiful. I have been taking the time not writing to do a little reading. Something I love and need to make more time for. I almost started writing last night. The characters (Tim and Tom) were willing and I had opened up the WIP (Work In Progress), but then I closed it. After getting better pain-wise, my right hand was hurting quite a bit after the full day’s work. The past few days have been a lot of coding work and I have not been wearing my compression glove because it was causing too much pain after removal. Which means I have to take extra care in not wearing out my hands with typing.

I tried to get a hair appointment for tomorrow to get my hair cut off (yes, I’m going short), but my stylist is getting over a cold, so the shearing will happen on Wednesday. Today is better pain wise, but I will also not work tonight for the same reason. By the end of the work day, my nerves in my hand, wrist, and forearm are tingling. Not only that… the tingles are migrating to the left. With the bloating and water retention and the little white cells running around and giving all the other blood cells the pep talk, it would sincerely be nice if my body would allow me a chance to write a little. I think my characters have settled down, and they are starting to talk to me again. But tonight, I will be good, and read.

Tomorrow—I write.

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Nov. 19.

An Evening of Rest

My Status: Feeling Good
Mood: Cranky

Yesterday I thought I’d try an evening of rest. I’m back to work, albeit from home, knew I wouldn’t be writing, didn’t really want to do anything, so rest seemed like a good idea. Here’s the thing—I don’t rest well. I never have. Even when putting my feet up, kicking back and relaxing, my mind is usually working on something, in one way or another. Sooooo the rest thing … didn’t go all that well. So I tried going to bed early.

The sleep thing wasn’t happening either. *sigh* I’ll be tired, and as soon as my head hits the pillow … it’s not that my mind won’t turn off—my body won’t. Since having the chemo treatments, every time I hop in bed my stomach turns into a bubble factory. Literally. I am manufacturing so much gas, that if I could take what’s inside me, distill it, and convert it into fuel form, Denny and I would never buy another tank of gas. It’s ridiculous. And on top of that, my legs go into hyper-restless gear. It reaches the point where I want to give up and just stay up … forever.

But last night, after tossing and turning and keeping the dogs awake for two hours (or more), I had a brain wave. I haven’t been nauseous, but what if the same home remedies worked… a piece of toast, a few crackers to soak up whatever is burbling around inside me. And for the restless legs, a hot bath. Things like Gas-X were proving woefully inadequate against my bubble factory, so it was worth a try. What do you know? It worked.

In a very short time, I’m going to try the same thing (without the tossing and turning first) and see whether I was simply so exhausted anything would have worked, or whether this is a viable answer. I’ll let you know. Hopefully rest will come easily tonight… I need it.

Today has been a somewhat cranky day. I don’t have them very often, but today, it jumped me from the very start. What caused the crankiness? *shrugs* It could be the trouble getting to sleep. It could be simply what my body is going through and to be expected from time to time. Or it could be the increasingly unbearable silence in my head. My characters still aren’t speaking to me … not in the way they need to. I’m not writing—and this is bad. I need to write, but in order to do so, I need my characters to tell me what needs to go down on the page. Yes, I have an idea, but without them, it is only words, and has no meaning. No heart.

I did see the doc yesterday and all my blood work came back as being on track, and the doc is pleased with how I’m doing. So those are positive things.

If any of my fellow writers see my characters gallivanting about—tell them they are needed at home. Pronto!!

The picture at the top of the post is symbolic of my bubble factory. 🙂

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