Open up the sluices

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You'd think I'd be able to predict my chemotherapy side effects fairly well by now. After all, I've been at it for three and a half years. I thought so too. But oh no. (This post will officially count as Way Too Much Information for some of you, particularly if you're squeamish. You've been warned.)

A week ago Monday, September 6, I had my first chemo treatment after a six-week break, and as expected, I felt like crap for a few days afterwards, then started to recover. I had a few random episodes of vomiting, as well as intestinal cramps, but again, those were nothing new. Then, a couple of days ago, more than a week after my treatment, I was suddenly hit with tremendous diarrhea, coupled with puking up my entire lunch into the downstairs bathtub, and violent cramps that extended from mid-afternoon well into the evening. Eventually things calmed down with some medication and time. But even yesterday I was still a gassy, wincing mess.

Today seems better, and there's no indication I'll be in the bathroom for hours again. I've even been eating well. The intestinal chaos is, unfortunately, an expected side effect of irinotecan, but the week-long delay before it happened was a total surprise to me. I'll have to see if there's a similar pattern next time, and I also have to make sure that I keep anti-diarrhea medicine handy at all times if it remains unpredictable. Unfortunately, I've also lost about ten pounds since before the chemo, and I have to try to keep the calories in to maintain my weight. Wanting to avoid the horrible Boost and Ensure drinks I've occasionally had before, I'm just working on eating good, substantial foods I can tolerate.

There was one funny consequence, however: near the end of the ordeal on Tuesday evening, as everything was clearing out and I was lying sweaty and exhausted on the bathroom floor, I had a single fart that lasted at least 30 seconds, perhaps 45. Despite my horrible condition, it made me laugh out loud.

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Derek,

As always, my thoughts are with you and your family, and hoping these side effects subside quickly. Glad you're able to laugh at the ordeal. You're a role model and an example and I'm glad and proud to call you my friend.

On a side note, perhaps that fart was LOOOONG overdue, my friend :) (hence the duration?)

Ugh. I really feel for you. I've had a similar experience (though not for the same reasons, and certainly not multiple times), and it's just so awful.

But I must congratulate you on the epic flatulence. I'm uh, glad you got to enjoy it?

Dude! Those 30-second farts are the REASON smartphones have audio recording apps. What ringtone that would make; you could sell it and become a billionaire. Every 9-year-old boy will want it.

there is something mentally healing about a good long fart that scares dogs and makes old ladies return to church. You are a unknown hero to thousands of 10 year old boys.

Thanks for keeping us updated, Derek, even if the news isn't always what any of us want it to be.

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