Friday, October 24, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1065 - Drugged

Obviously, thinking isn't my strength this week. Or writing. Or staying awake. Or being pain-free.

Thursday, just as the fatigue seemed to dissipate slightly, there was yet another side effect - an incredibly painful aching in the nether regions. In fact, last night was about the worst I can recall since 2006 when I was convinced I had a bowel obstruction during my radiation treatment. Extra strength Tylenol didn't even touch this pain.

Today was only slightly better, until I got a prescription for oxycodone, a narcotic I had refused to continue taking while recovering in hospital in September from the laparotomy. At the time, as soon as I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I had the most bizarre and disturbing nightmares. I recall thinking that the medicine was worse than the cure.

This time was different, though. The pain was far worse so I was strongly motivated. As well, I had no intention to go asleep right away. Now, finally, I'm feeling reasonably human again.

Still, the Community Care Access Centre has decided to have a special pain and symptom management team involved with my home care. This is probably a good thing given the complexity of my past treatment and the drugs that are part of my chemotherapy protocol.

I'm hoping to start reading and reflecting again soon, maybe writing something in my blog entries about more than a simple reciting of pain, fatigue, and medication. But this too is part of the journey...


Lorna Scott said...

Hi Don,

I sure hope you find some relief soon - you have had some nasty few days! I can relate, in my way, to the fatigue and some other side effects. I think Callum is still having some effects from the whole brain radiation combined with the last cycle of chemo. He starts chemo again this Wed and is still quite tired. I see him have some good minutes which are almost a tease that it will be a good day, only to be followed by fatigue, nausea, and/or heartburn.
I hadn't previously heard of the pain issue you are experiencing and I really wish for you a speedy exit from that- sometimes I wonder what will ever be enough to endure - why do you need more? I just don't get it.
I know you are surrounded by love and support from may family and friends - may you all find some peace, for a few days at least, in the near future.

Take care,
Lorna Scott

Don Spencer said...

Hi, Lorna.

Pain management continues to be problematic, now with an additional urinary voiding difficulty and accompanying pain.

Even though Callum and I have similar diagnoses, we are different enough that comparisons are difficult to make.

Please convey my best wishes to him for minutes, hours, even days when things are better. I hope he can get restful sleep too. Whenever I have difficulties with pain, losing sleep just seems to make it all so much worse.

My wife and I were commenting on just how important it is to have a partner who cares. This journey with cancer stresses everyone, but I can't imagine how much tougher it would be if marital partners didn't really like each other in the first place. In our case, we truly enjoy each other's company. We can say so much in just a glance, a brief touch, or even a hug or kiss.

Thanks again. I'm sure Callum is thanking you everyday too.