July 24, 2013

The Bathroom Chronicles (otherwise known as TMI)

Here I sit at 10:30 pm …. WIDE awake! I can't blame anyone, this is unintentionally self inflicted.  I drank green tea at 7pm only to find out that yes Virginia, there is caffeine in Green Tea. DOH! Plus, my not so friendly bowels are in an uproar. I was supposed to be on a liquid diet for the past two days and in a moment I'll explain why.

Let's see, day one of the liquid diet I made it a whole six hours before I caved and ate half a baguette loaf with butter. You would think I'd be bound up to Timbuktu after that! A couple hours later I ate a banana and a DELICIOUS Publix brownie, the best brownie on the planet! Then for dinner two lovely chicken thighs. I breezed trough that day and didn't have a problem until today.

Today I went to lunch with my oldest son, Alex, who is visiting from New Mexico along with his darling girlfriend, Katie, who lives in St. Louis. They asked me to lunch and I can't pass up time with my boy and his girl! So we went to Frenchy's on Clearwater Beach. I adore Frenchy's shecrab soup, it's the BEST. Then I had chicken salad with fruit for my main course. Half way through lunch Alex asked why I wasn't on my liquid diet. I said I did fine for the past 24 hours, I think I'm OK now. Well about an hour later I could tell I was back on the highway to stomach hell. To top it off, Greg took Katie and I to dinner tonight at a Greek Restaurant. Again, I tried to eat blandish food so I ordered Pastichio that came with fresh green beans.  Now here I am at 10:30 PM - wide awake and running to the bathroom every 15 minutes. 
THE Cutest Couple at lunch (Alex and Katie)

Frenchy's SHECRAB ..... MMMMmmmmmm

Tropical Chicken Salad 
Alex is turning into a squid billy with his Char grilled Octopus lunch

my boy! love him!! 

I'll start at the beginning of cycle 6. Last Wednesday I blacked out. I woke up that morning and went about my business in the bathroom, brushed my teeth and then went into the kitchen to make some coffee. As I'm making coffee I start to feel very light headed, so I go to put my head down on the counter hoping the feeling will pass. The next thing I know, I woke up on the other side of the kitchen floor. Luckily I didn't hit my head on the counter. It was an uneasy, freaky feeling.

When I went to get my portable pump removed that morning I told my Oncologist what happened. He looked at me very perplexed like he never heard of such a thing. They ran blood work thinking I was dehydrated but my electrolytes were fine. He said I need to see the Cardiologist. So I did. The Cardiologist looks me over, talks to me, checks the blood work and says he believes I'm a bit dehydrated regardless of the blood work, but still wants me to schedule an ultrasound of my corroded arteries and of my heart to make sure nothing unexpected is going on. Great. I make my appointments and wait. 

The next few days are awful. I spend my time floating between he bed and the porcelain throne. It seems I can't eat without living in the john for several hours after.

By Saturday I know I'm hitting rock bottom, so I call the Oncologist. He says it would be more stressful to go into the ER to get fluids on a Saturday and tells me to wait it out till Monday. He ups my dosage of Imodium, advises that I start pounding the Gatorade and then stop by the clinic Monday to get IV fluids.

Monday I got pumped with fluids. I also spoke to the doc about living in the bathroom. He suggested I try the liquid diet to try and give my bowels a rest. They rested one day and are now back with a vengeance!

Meanwhile, I had the ultrasound of my carotid artery on Tuesday and all is well in my neck. I had a visit with my Endocrinologist today. It's important to monitor pre-existing conditions while on chemo and I've had an under active thyroid since Hannah was born. My Endo doc said my T3 was low so we're upping my dosage. My fingers are crossed in hopes that THIS is part of the reason for my zapped energy levels. 

It's an exciting life, isn't it?! Not everyone has the same reaction to the chemo drugs. My chemo nurse said it's likely the 5FU drug catching up with me. Now I get to enjoy some of the side effects more than ever! SOoooo, here I sit … now 11 pm at night, I am awake from caffeine and taking my "runs" to the latrine every 15 minutes (pun intended).

The moral of this story … gosh, I wish I had one. If I had to come up with one, I guess it would be "keep taking it one day at a time". There really is nothing you can do to control your body and it's reactions to those nasty chemo drugs. You just need to experiment at home with what works and doesn't work. And just when you get it figured out, your body throws you a curve ball and BAM, you're dealing with a whole new set of issues. 

On a side note before I sign off, remember my Angel Lee? Her daughter, Annie, turned 12 years old today! I've come to learn a lot from my angel and a lot about her and her family as well. I'm especially enamored with Annie. She's a hockey player- which I think is SO cool! All my Minnesota and Michigan friends will appreciate the dedication and skill that takes. Plus, she seems like quite the funny girl and is sweet as can be. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANNIE!! xo

Princess Annie. Isn't she SO cute!

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