Thursday, September 30, 2010
LUNG CANCER WHINE
Well, PHOOEY…The best “F” word I can come up with now. I had such a wonderful time with my daughter and her family, AND her husband’s family these past few weeks, and I know I’ll be ready to share all the sweets on that later, but right now I’m “PH-n” grumpy. I know blogging right now is more like BLARFING, but if I can’t be honest here, where can I be? I guess I feel like my body is making my life a little prickly right now.
Hubby is out on a biological survey right now, and I’d normally be in creative mode, but I’m having a hard time concentrating with these flippin’ side effects.
NOTE WARNING: The following paragraphs contain details of symptoms which MAY set off the stomachs of some queasy folks (Renee, this might mean you!...I’m coughing, and it’s icky.) I share the following information 1) In order to hopefully help anyone else dealing with chemo or lung, (or other cancers), 2) to help my friends understand why I am laying a little low right now, and 3) so they can admire me for being so brave…oh, just kidding, but SEE…blogging is helping restore my humor already.
READ on, or skip forward to where you see: “SAFE TO READ FROM HERE!”
NO, thank goodness I’m NOT nauseous. But, crap, this year I’ve had so many digestive and breathing issues. Something in my body has changed, possibly the lining of my stomach and lungs, but I have to be SO careful about the quantity and mixtures of food I eat, otherwise, I spend the evening like I am tonight, CONSTANTLY salivating (for over 6 hours now), belching, coughing (including some blood), and spitting so I don’t swallow a bunch of gas by repeatedly swallowing. Not being able to eat as much or as frequently as I'd need to or like to is frustrating...I'm trying NOT to lose any more weight!
The coughing up of blood is something that has been occurring for maybe 6 months, and I’ve been through various tests to determine the source, with no conclusive answers. The cancer isn’t growing, according to the scans. One possibility for the bleeding is that the chemo is attacking the “infected tissue.” I mean, I look pretty healthy, ‘tho my stamina doth sucketh. (I joined some friends on-stage at a performance recently, and I could either sing or I could dance along, but I couldn’t move AND sing! Also, I was able to play ping-pong with my daughter and granddaughters recently (short rallies), but chasing the ball REALLY took it out of me.)
I know you’d rather see a photo of my daughter or granddaughter, but I’d better get permission before going there!
Anyway, the coughing up of blood issue waxes and wanes, usually subject to treatment, but this last time it didn’t clear up before my next chemo, so I started at a disadvantage. What this means is that I sleep with a pile of about 5 or 6 pillows, and usually only on my left side. This has been the standard for MONTHS. Sleeping on my right side or back generally generates coughing. Sometimes (like last night), I have to sleep in the recliner.
Also, the coughing and spitting isn’t limited to night-time, and sometimes it’s almost spasmodic. I carry a jar/spittoon around, and I’m very self-conscious about grossing people out. The coughing, spitting, and congestion sometimes can make it VERY difficult to talk.
“SAFE TO READ FROM HERE!”Between being self-conscious and having problems breathing/talking, I find myself getting a bit behind on my communications. I try to talk to my daughters and granddaughters when I can, of course, but sometimes that’s the only phone call I make during the day. I grab the time when my body decides to go along with my wishes.
So say a little prayer for my patience and my body…I KNOW this will pass, it has before, but I’m sure uncomfortable now. (I haven’t been able to paint or journal right now, and I’m working on a special video project for a friend, so nothing but photos to share for now.)