Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hyper-real


Bouncing today. Simply far too much pent up energy. It's very strange.

The fog has lifted and I am me again, only hyper so. If this is week 2 on chemo cycles for me, then I'm not complaining.

Yesterday the hospital summoned me because shortness of breath and a constricted feeling in your chest can be a sign that you have developed a clot from the portocath procedure. They waited before I got to the hospital before telling me this, which saved me all day worrying at least.

They did some tests, which consisted of: more bloods (ow) to do counts of red/white cells and platelets; plus temperature (just under 37 degrees - my home thermo read 34.5 that morning so it must be callibrated wrong...); plus 'SATS' (oxygen saturation levels if you must know - getting to know the medical shorthand makes me feel like I'm starring in my own episode of ER...); and stethoscopes all over my chest and back and under my arms just to check my breathing.

Turns out I'm ok. No clots, no thrombosis, no death. Hurrah.

The shortness of breath is a normal chemo side effect (lack of red blood cells means less oxygen being carried around at the crucial moments when you need it... climbing stairs... having sex... etc) and the feeling of being constricted is actually nothing to do with my airways. It's my food pipe. I have oesophagitis. An inflammation at the bottom of my food pipe. Due to the excess acid caused by the steroids which are given to avoid nausea. This explains the heartburn, which is a symptom of the oesopagitis.

So I was sent home with a sore elbow from the needle and a bunch of new pills to take daily. Not even going to bother to learn what these are called. My brain can't cope with new pill names.

When you get to the stage when you are being prescribed drugs to counter the side effects of drugs which are prescribed to counter the side effects of drugs which are prescribed to counter... you just can't remember where you started. Oh yes, cancer. That was it...

It seems I've done more drugs in the last month than I have in my entire misspent youth.

Don't get me wrong, I've never really overdone things and haven't even tried half the stuff that's out there. But I've dabbled.

Lord knows when you work in advertising it's virtually part of the job description at certain levels and in particular agencies.

Drugs for me, when I did indulge, used to be a naughty, rebellious, but ultimately FUN thing to do when you were young and had a clear weekend ahead of you. It was before I started to favour curling up in front of a bumper episode of Have I Got News For You of an evening.

Now drugs are just a regimen, a routine, a foul tasting sweetie bowl full of the horrible anticipation of constipation and heartburn. Oh how times have changed.

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