Nausea. (not the Satre book)

warnings for this entry – brief poop talk and period talk at the end.

i’ve been getting slightly more ill-feeling on treatment days with each treatment. it’s not a huge deal – it’s easily manageable with Maxalon (anti-nausea drug) and Zofron (another one) and steroids (another one). but i’m rarely/barely hungry on treatment days, and more and more tired. it’s ok. just annoying. i also think it’s a fine line between nausea and reflux. apparently chemo irritates your stomach lining which is the reason i get reflux? i’m not super good at detail on this stuff. sorry.

the good thing is, i continue to feel well outside of treatment days. my CEA levels (tumour markers) are down to 600, my liver function remains pretty much normal for someone NOT on chemotherapy, with only two slightly raised enzymes, and i feel ok. what is hard is things like not knowing exactly what the lower tumour markers mean – i mean, i know it’s good – my oncology psychiatrist was really excited about it and my oncologist is saying treatment is going very well – but i get worried about being too optimistic, as there will, with no doubt in my mind, be further setbacks. cancer, and i think any chronic illness, works like that. progress, retreat. progress, retreat. in the journey, the train breaks down and has to double back, and you have no idea if the person yelling out threats two seats over does actually have a gun.

i’m also feeling stupidly glum over something dumb. i am almost finished watching all the Boston Legal. i get a tremendous sense of loss at the end of a series i enjoy, because, to be honest, i rely a lot on stories to help me through this. stories, narrative; they are life sustaining. and i am going to miss Denny Crane and Alan Shore a lot once i am finished. Denny Crane. i have to pick a new series, and i know once i’ve gotten into the rhythm of it, the same rhythm of my spinning wheel, it will feel good and i will feel safe and comforted again. i’m saving the final two parter episode for tomorrow, so i can pick something out to watch next. maybe The Blacklist, because i really like James Spader. sometimes i feel guilty for escaping into TV like this – as though i should be Experiencing Cancer, or Experiencing the Reality of Life, or going kayaking or something. i’m really shit at kayaking. what do you do when your bucket list is to read more books, spin more yarn, and try and be a decent person as much of the time as possible? there’s no end point, no tick-off, no nothing. there is always more fibre to spin into yarn, and always, always more books to read. i guess i would always die with that, in 100 years or 1.

i’ve been reading a lot on the Bowel Cancer Australia website, and it’s left me surprisingly optimistic. there are some great booklets on treating rectal/colorectal cancer mets, and how the liver surgery for mets works, and treatment options for enlarging your healthy bits of liver before surgery. also, some really good stuff about lung mets, which was helpful and good for me to think about in preparation for dealing with the possibility that they may return one day. it was hopeful but realistic, and i highly recommend them for other colorectal cancer patients to look at. and i’m a big scaredy cat about all this stuff.

body-wise, my IBS is playing up at the moment – i don’t know if it’s down to the chemo, or just my bowel acting as it always has, my entire life. i had two weeks of horrendous constipation – including outside my constipation-drug-days (the drugs to stop the nausea, and the side effect of diarrhoea from one of the chemo drugs) – which then turned into very tolerable, mild, but still irritating diarrhoea. it’s a big, serious thing to watch out for on the drugs i’m on, and i am alert-but-not-alarmed about it. i stopped taking the pill almost 5 months ago now – this was due to the fact that my original most-likely diagnosis for the liver tumours was an oestrogen-caused tumour, and the pill would be terrible for it. after that, i stayed off it, due to the blood clot risk factor that comes with oestrogen in the form of the pill – i was on the one with the highest risk factor for DVTs to prevent acne. it goes without saying that the acne has come back. i’ve not had a single period since stopping the pill. i’m grateful for this, but also remain alert-but-not-alarmed about the prospect of ovulation. at no point in my life have i ever had regular periods, or more than a couple a year, so it’s not too abnormal, but it could be the chemotherapy stopping it, or peri-menopause. my oestrogen was at peri-menopausal levels prior to beginning cancer treatment anyhow. i probably should ask my poor, long-suffering clinical nurse if i should be on calcium or of that would interfere. same with vitamin D. my aspirin begging still falls on deaf ears – i might try again. aspirin is in stage III clinical trials, as it’s been shown to have a really positive effect on colorectal cancer patients survival rates. it’s also cheap as, and in my cupboard. sadly, the chemo is all about breaking down blood vessels, and the risk of bleeding is likely too high – aspirin use is a risk benefit, and it might be on the risk side, rather than the benefit one for me at the moment. i’m hoping i can get it during radiation, and in the recovery period post both surgeries.

my Nobel Challenge has started well with Doris Lessing. blog updates posted to FB and Twitter, as i think almost all of my readers come from there. but it’s at this address.


About elizabeth

various things.
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9 Responses to Nausea. (not the Satre book)

  1. katiedavis says:

    Binge watching TV series has gotten me through an insane year with my sanity intact. I watch at night while I catch up on admin work. I get so attached to series and characters and their narratives. I’m still traumatised by the last season of Homeland. I have this profound sadness about it. It’s just TV! But good TV should stay with you, right? I’m currently watching Scandal. Loving it. Just finished the last full season of Good Wife. Blacklist is good too! Do it! I’ll make you a list of all the good stuff I’ve watched this year. You have Netflix?

    • veritas says:

      no Netflix yet – i actually buy on iTunes wherever possible, but i seriously need to sort out a Netflix account.
      i loved Homeland, but one episode in the last season put me off so much i couldn’t watch it – which is killing me because i wanted to know what happened.

      Blacklist i think has to be it – just for the Spader, which will help me feel less lonely after leaving Boston Legal behind. also thinking of getting the last series of The Practice (or the whole thing?) for more legal show greatness, as well as Spader and Shatner.

  2. Lisa says:

    thanks for the update.i love reading your blog cause it’s just like you’re there talking to me. Maxalon and Zofron sound like names of characters from a sci fi movie.big hugs to you from me.xxxx

  3. I watch a insane amount of tv series, though im also a sucker for british dramas. ❤ that you are getting positive feedback from the doctors even if it is scary I still vote for positive rather than negative. I think of you often and wish you the best oxo p.s. still trying to get some nice yarn… i have my eye on some icelandic wool but people keep outbidding me. the bastards. xo

    • veritas says:

      ohh icelandic! i’ve never tried it, and always been on the lookout!

      i like British dramas from time to time – mostly watching the odd episode on iView or on ABC tv when at alex’s parents’ place. i’m a sucker for US drama, mostly, which makes me feel a bit lame – i don’t overly like crime shows, and i’m a bit mixed on comedy at the moment, if it’s not australian comedy which i tend to prefer (i loved Utopia – done by the guys from Frontline).

      • I’m not much for crime shows either, though I did enoy the swedish/danish show called ‘Bron’ aka the bridge which was quite clever. I watch alot of different things from victorian dramas, and outlander to orange is the new black, vampire diaries…oh yes…i admitted it. But It can be quite difficult to find new things to watch at times. Currently read a book about economic and political collapse (in swedish) and then shall move onto Holy Shit: Managing manure to save mankind… I am waiting for the next hour as an auction will close then and I plan on winning it to post to you 🙂 also I should probably learn how to knit at some point in time,

  4. Pam says:

    I think a bucket list that can never be fully ticked off is brilliant.xo

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