Hello; I know I last posted 5 days ago…but a funny thing happened… not really, but I’ll tell you about our days anyway.
Friday was my last day of work and not a moment too soon. The stress of juggling everything was greater than I realized and by Friday the veneer was cracking. I literally couldn’t handle anything at work except for handing parts of my job over to the lucky gals who will do the tasks in my absence. I was exhausted by the time I got home. Literally and figuratively and was also emotionally wiped out. It was very hard to leave my work; it isn’t my nature to do so especially when it is one that I love doing. I know I couldn’t do it any longer but it was still so difficult to leave.
I dozed off and on until about 3 am. Then I wandered our hall, restless but unable to go back to sleep. Looking for something to do (I guess, no other way to explain it) my eyes lit on Ativan. Everyone else in our home has a stash but me. It can be used to help sleep if necessary and after John’s first attempt at taking it I was curious about its effects. Remember I popped 3 of them into Mathew back when he had his bone scan in May? So I thought…why not?
Next thing I knew I really wanted to eat that chip dip in the fridge but knew the chips were long gone. The Pepperidge farm goldfish crackers were in the cupboard so many of them drowned in the dip while I chomped away. I remember going back to sleep and I think it was in my bed (between Mathew’s chair and our room I never know where I am going to wake up!)…and that is about it until Sunday morning. I know John tried to get me moving a few times on Saturday ~ ha ha ha, good luck with THAT! and I must have gone to the washroom a few times. But overall I don’t remember much from the time I took that teeny, tiny pill and dissolved it under my tongue at 3 am Saturday morning until about 9 am on Sunday morning. I don’t know how Mathew walked after I gave him 3 of those little suckers!!
It’ll be a long while before I mess with Ativan again! On Sunday I travelled up to Fredericton to visit my favourite girl. We did some Christmas shopping and ate lunch at a pub. John had texted her in advance about my grumpy state of being. Fortunately for her and I it turned out that Sunday was “2 for 1” “Daiquiri special at the pub. Kristen wanted a milkshake which the pub didn’t offer so we settled for the Daiquiris. My, my, I surely enjoyed mine and had a great day once I relaxed compliments of the drink. Kristen tutors her younger cousin on Sunday afternoons and after shopping we headed over to Denise and Alistair’s so Kristen could shine her math brilliance on my niece. I visited and toasted by the fireplace (I want one of those!). After the tutoring was done we were treated to a great spaghetti supper. I had to wonder though…when we first arrived the table was nicely set up with lovely xmas plates set for a party. As soon as we settled, dear brother-in-law Alistair started removing everything! Before we had our first bite the extra pretty plates were gone, the spoons were gone and he tried to take the fancy drinking glasses!! Talk about eating on the run! Don’t worry Sarah; I loved the effort you made in presenting such a pretty table for us. As for your Dad, well…there’s no hope there! Next time you come to my place I will fancy up my table for you and we’ll leave it out for the whole meal!
Once dinner was done I took Kristen back to her residence then drove the hour or so back to Quispamsis. It’s always lonely after I drop her off. She is so much fun to shop with and visit.
From Wednesday to Sunday night Mathew didn’t want any company in his room. That’s a first; he was worried we would be offended but we weren’t! Believe me we weren’t! John and I prepared a medication schedule to keep ahead of the nausea with this last cycle since it is brutal on Mathew. It worked well and so Mathew was spared another visit to the hospital for IV fluids. By Sunday night Mathew wanted me back in his room.
It was wonderful to see some success with maintaining medication and keeping Mathew at home for a change.
Now we are dealing with another, yet familiar, problem. Bathroom and “plumbing” issues. There has been no significant emptying of bowels in 12 days now although yesterday it seemed like Mathew’s luck was changing. He had a very small amount of diarrhea last week which I think I posted about then nothing until yesterday morning. Immediately after that bathroom excursion however, Mathew complained of stomach pain and what he thinks is a blocked bowel. Last evening he stopped drinking after I gave him an anti-nausea pill that he promptly spewed back worthy of the Exorcist. In fact, I think whoever made that infamous scene once saw someone puke green bile and that gave them the idea for that iconic scene. After cleaning that green mess up last night I was unable to eat supper or anything until this morning and even now, the ol’ stomach is rocking a bit.
Although Mathew hasn’t eaten anything to speak of for the last 10 days, aside from one or two Ensures, this obstruction can lead to serious problems. This morning I rang the doctor’s office and we just returned from there. I took him there because the oncology department lectured me about suppositories the last time Mathew’s bowels backed up. The doctor checked Mathew over and the poor fellow, he has tears everywhere and this is causing considerable pain and he’s terrified of going to the bathroom now.
We are following the doctor’s recommendation.
Guess what it is?
A suppository! Yeah, me! This is going to be fun all over again!
The difference this time from the last (besides having the doctor’s blessing) is to put Emla cream all around the rear end and after it numbs, insert a Glycerin suppository. The numbing action of the Emla cream (god bless whoever made that stuff) should help prevent pain if the bowels move. If nothing happens then I call the doctor tomorrow and Mathew will have to go to the hospital for further help.
Mathew had a shower this morning before we went. The chemo drugs ooze out of every pore and they have a strong, distinctive odour. I’m always one for the clean and fresh feeling after a shower. The last two showers drained whatever was left of Mathew’s strength. He shivers so violently that we are now covering his back and legs with towels in the shower and soaking them in hot water to keep him warm. He sits on his shower chair (in the bathtub) and we work around the towels to wash him down. After he is so weak he has to go directly to bed and lie down while we dry him off and cover him up there.
He missed the last 2 blood work appointments. The first, last Thursday, was too soon after chemo and he wasn’t feeling well enough to get out of bed. The second was yesterday but due to ongoing bowel issues we cancelled that.
Today he bundled up in his wheelchair and wore a mask today at the doctor’s office. I don’t know what people are coming in with; I figure the other patients thought his mask was to keep his germs from them – if only they knew! As usual the world isn’t made for wheelchairs; exiting the exam room into the waiting area kindly people moved chairs and stood up to let us by. The alcove to get outside the office is shared with another space and construction workers had a big flexible hose running in there that I couldn’t wheel the chair over. Again, people opened doors and they held the hose up high enough for me to wheel him under it and over to the truck.
It’s awesome that people help so much. It must be the obvious physical disability being in a wheelchair and being so pale (his hat hides the bald head that’s a giveaway for cancer treatment). Sadly however, the same is not true with Mathew’s invisible disabilities. No one cuts him any slack when he is normal and going about his daily activities.
So, Mathew is resting and the Emla cream is doing its job, numbing important areas. When the timer goes off I will insert a suppository and we’ll see what happens.
Update to follow…