Well, no doubt you’re curious about how things have gone with oral chemo. I think the blog post title tells you just about everything there is….and it’s explosive (sorry, couldn’t resist). Ready for some TMI?
Unfortunately, right off the start I have had side effects from the oral chemo:
- sore mouth, though I neve developed all out sores and it settled down after the first week;
- upset stomach (no vomiting);
- fatigued as f*; and
- explosive diarrhea (so much so that I’ve had to stop the chemo and work on my electrolytes and getting this under control).
My oncologist is not happy that I took so long to report the diarrhea….which happened the second day after it was apparent I was officially in distress. I mean, what more could I have done??!! F*ing doctors. Let’s talk about the progress. First week was okay – things were getting a little loose, but things were normal in frequency. By day 11 things we becoming more loose, as it were, and it was day 13 that things went completely off the rails. I reported day 14.
I did have a good laugh with my nurse practitioner, Jessica, today. We were talking about how part of this whole diarrhea thing is monitoring consistency and appearance of the crap in the toilet – colour, consistency, whether there is blood/mucous in it….We both found it funny how informed we cancer patients become about body functions.
So, the plan going forward is to give me another week off to get this crap (literally) under control and start up again next week. And instead of two weeks on, one off, we’ll go to one week on, one week off, one on, one off, and reduce the dose by 20%.
So, I’m discovering the weirdest short circuits with my brain.
- Apparently, I can think and type, no problem; but the second I try to think and handwrite those thoughts, my penmanship reverts to grade 2 level. This has contributed to the e-cards people have received this year – as all those addresses were too much for me to manage.
- Sometimes speaking gets difficult between my thoughts and what I’m actually saying, so much so that it’s apparent that I’m being very deliberate in what I am saying. And when I start to struggle to get words out, I tend to raise my voice (a sign of my frustration with myself and not the people I’m speaking with – I need to tell them that!)
- Not surprising, I can easily get distracted and have a “brain fart” in the middle of a thought and struggle to get back to the original thought.
All of this ‘just is’ – it’s not getting worse…at the moment. Will these get worse as the disease progresses? That’s a good question and I can’t answer that. I think when and if it does change will be a sign for me to step back from work. Again, reality.
And that my dearest family and friends is the latest.