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[Cancer]

[cancer] Death march continues, downgraded to a dire march

I am mortally tired of being a human river of shit.

Lower GI distress continues heroic, rather than epic, though I nearly upgraded it again last night. I did make it out to The Hobbit yesterday, along with most of the usual suspects. By the end of the movie, I was incredibly uncomfortable but I did make it all the way through.

Under cut for medical and digestive TMI

Still on enough medicines to constipate an entire marching band, still experience diarrhea nonetheless. It is somewhat controlled down, hence the downgrade. We’ve realized that this is probably viral rather than a direct chemo side effect. Insofar as it goes, this is good news, as it means I probably don’t need to look forward to a week+ of diarrhea for all six of my forthcoming chemo sessions. The evidence for this is twofold. One, as of Friday everyone else who lives at Nuevo Rancho Lake has come down with a stomach bug of moderate intensity, in one case severe. Two, we’ve sorted out that the nausea is vestibular rather than being caused directly by upper GI distress. I’ve never had vestibular nausea as a chemo side effect, but it’s not a terribly uncommon aspect of GI infections.

The incipient nausea grows stronger and more high risk as the day goes by. This means I’m reasonably flexible in the morning, but by the afternoons we have a whole long list of things to do in order for me to get out of my chair. It’s become ludicrous, and looks something like this:

  • While still reclining, draw my legs together in a half lotus just below my buttocks
  • Take several deep, slow breaths, checking for potential nausea
  • With a helper, draw torso into an upright position, being prepared to quickly lower it to prone again if nausea strikes
  • This repositions my torso, so again, take up to 30 seconds of deep, slow breaths, again checking for potential nausea
  • Raise the powered chair from its prone position to its normal sitting position
  • Again, take up to 30 seconds of deep, slow breaths, again checking for potential nausea
  • Carefully unfold legs from half lotus and slip slightly forward until feet are flat on the ground
  • Again, take up to 30 seconds of deep, slow breaths, again checking for potential nausea
  • Slip forward in chair until ready to stand
  • Again, take up to 30 seconds of deep, slow breaths, again checking for potential nausea
  • Reach out with a helper’s hands on each wrist and slowly stand
  • Again, take up to 30 seconds of deep, slow breaths, again checking for potential nausea

One can imagine this takes a while. One can imagine the delight of following this extremely sloooooooooow and ridiculous process while dealing with crippling intestinal cramps that are demanding an immediate visit to the facilities. One can imagine the joy of the possibility of stimulating both vomiting and diarrhea in the same moment while balancing nausea and said cramps.

I am mortally tired of being a human river of shit. Which I have been since last Sunday.

Until chemo releases its grip on my immune system sufficiently for me to fight off this viral infection, this is my life.

In other news, I am now down to the weight I was when I graduated from high school in June of 1982.

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