Can you grasp at straws in an ordered, controlled manner?
If you can, I think I'm learning how... the hard way. ;)
Let's be honest for a moment. My ability to endure pain and discomfort has grown dramatically throughout this gauntlet, but at the expense of my sensitivity to others as well as Jody's patience and capacity to forgive. The 'perfect storm' that struck a few weeks ago thundered through both of us leaving two hearts nearly broken. What's worse is as the storm passed, the floods came and I dearly wish I were only being metaphorical.
In the last ten days I have had major league diarrhoea that has kept me from work more than half of the time. I'd thought I'd eaten something bad though I had been abundantly careful in choosing what to eat and drink. After a week I visited my gp who now has me taking Cipro to kill off a possible infection. It sure feels like an infection though halfway through the antibiotic now, nothing has changed. In fact, today things seem to be worse... the day after my most recent Avastin drip.
So I look at the Avastin website and see diarrhoea is a possible side effect. Great.
an a guy get a break? Or do I say stop to the Avastin? I've already stopped eating a number of things to avoid upset and the top of the list now is dairy; being stripped of lactase is a side effect of Xeloda. The Avastin was supposed to be a test to see if we could keep the lesions from growing (we will scan on Aug 21st to see) but that gameplan has left me feeling cheated... cheated out of ever being healthy.
I'm tired of being sick; too sick for Cyberknife but not sick enough for surgery. I'm tired of taking chemo but not enough to kill the lesions off before making me feel I'd be better off dead (insert old John Cusack movie clip here). I am God-damned tired of the burning, itcching, blindingly painful hemorroids I get with loose bowels that never seem to firm up. Right now, at least the diarrhoea passes quickly (like lightning) though our washer and dryer have been getting a workout.
I find myself rationalizing all manner of things. They range from stopping treatment so I can salvage some quality of life even at a shorter quantity, all the way to looking for a rectum transplant or some biomechincal device to control my bowel movements. I've missed the ileostomy I had to wear baggies for through the early part of last year. I've found a surgical procedure called a BCIR pouch that would do away with my large bowel in favor of an internal ileostomy of sorts that I'd have to empty with a tube. It sounds like a miracle... it doesn't hurt, people who have them eat whatever they want, they swim, play hockey and football, women with them can have babies, all kinds of great sounding stuff. If I come across any testimonial of patients who have it and race cars...
I'm adding it to the list of things to look into more because having questions is a weird form of hope for me. There is still something out there that might be worth it.
I'm also seeing another oncologist next week; a guy my oncology clinicians have heard of and has a good rep. The irony is -his- name is also Dr. Lee so there may be a little confusion of who's who coming up soon. ;)
I'm not going to feed him what I want to hear. I know I'd like to be more agressive and I want someone to say to me they think they have a plan that kills the disease... not just keep it in check as more and more of my life passes me by.