Tuesday, June 29, 2010

#207: Not an Easy Morning

Not an easy morning, this one. Woke up at 3:00 determined not to go back to sleep. My mind rushed from one thing to another as if I had forgotten my Ambien. That little wonder-drug usually helps me get past those kinds of nights, but not this time. Not even a football match between Holland and some other country in white shirts was enough to put me to sleep. This in spite of the riveting action of two scores in an hour and a half. Soccer makes me feel like such a dolt. I'm obviously missing something. It is impressive that they always seem to kick the ball just where they want it to go. I couldn't do that.

After I turned off the TV, I went back to bed and let my brains race some more. I went over old jobs. Projects I had worked on years before. A letter to the editor. A political screed I wanted to post on one of my favorite message boards. Pure craziness. The sun finally came up and Mrs P started giving me medicine. I started with the new "swish and swallow" brew that numbs every part of my mouth except the places that hurt. Then I tried to take some pills. I couldn't tell if I had swallowed them or not. Kind of a foolish position to be in, actually. I kept drinking water and swallowing, but the numbing stuff left me sort of senseless back there. I knew something was uncomfortable, but couldn't tell what. As a result, Mrs P decided to crush the remaining pills - one of which is the size of a new-born's foot - and mix them up in some water so they could squirt through my PEG tube. That's how I'll be taking pills for a while. No more swallowing anything solid. Finally we did the little half teaspoon of thrush potion. The giant antibiotic pill should be firing up the thrush on my tongue again any minute.

So that's how the day started. We drove to the vet first, to drop Mo off for an ultra-sound. He has something queer going on in his tummy and the doc wanted to rule out the really bad stuff. Then we went to radiation. I managed to throw up during the short wait for my treatment. I can't even express how glad I was to do that before they bolted the mask on. Funny thing when you throw up around a bunch of radiation patients. Everyone just sort of takes it in stride. We've all "been there/done that." When I returned from the restroom with that pale, cold sweaty look, everyone just smiled and nodded. The lady next to me asked "Y' ok?" "M' ok." I answered, and we all went back to our magazines. You've got to be pretty bad off to get a room full of cancer patients excited.

I keep snapping at Mrs. P, which I hate. She's not much of a fan, either. I get so frustrated sometimes and I take it out on the stupidest things. A missed turn in the car. A glass in the living room. Nothing important. I know that this is part of the disease and all that, but I hate that she bears the brunt of it. When I think about it I can stop myself, but when I'm not thinking it just comes out of me. So unfair to her. As if life wasn't screwing her enough already.

Back home at last. I laid down and she gave me my 10:00 feeding. Sounds like a baby. I have to take a can of Ensure every two hours or else I'm going to start losing weight again. Lost a pound since yesterday morning which is very bad. They will put me in the hospital and start pumping bacon grease into me if I can't keep my weight up. This is the craziest thing. I am now down to the weight I was when I was running 5K races. Maybe I can use that as a head start when I start running again in the fall. For now the walk across campus at the cancer center has me soaked with sweat.

After my can of nutrition, I closed my eyes and Mrs P curled up next to me for a nap. These are the best parts of the day. She held me until I fell asleep, then crept out of bed to do some cleaning up. She is my angel.

I'm hoping the day stays pretty ordinary from here on out. I'm gonna shave my head. Take a shower. Maybe read a little. It's only 82 degrees out. Maybe I'll go sit in the shade later and make some phone calls. To be honest, I'm a little bored with myself today. Can't imagine reading about it is much better than living it. We'll talk again tomorrow.


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