This time yesterday, I was running (actually more like crawling) around the neighborhoods of Los Angeles looking for bathrooms, lavatories, powder rooms, restrooms, toilets, salle de bains, washrooms, and water closets. My only requirement: a solid flush. I was NOT picky.
Last night, I spent the entire night on the floor of the hotel bathroom….did I mention that time and location were (and are!) of the essence? A huge SL (silver lining) to this ridiculous image is that I was at a really nice hotel, on a really nice floor.
As a nurse, I knew that I had moved from pesky, annoying, and beleaguering trots and stomach cramping to something altogether different and, more importantly, serious. I have not kept any food in my system for a full 4 days. I’ve lost more weight. I was starting to get dizzy (and running into things as evidenced by a narley knot on my head). The anti-nausea medications that I’ve been taking aren’t working (Ativan, Sanusco Patch, Zofran).
So, I emailed my oncologist late last night to tell him about the slippery slope on which I found myself (and I am NOT a good skier!)
One huge SL (silver lining) is that I have a phenomenally responsive, sensitive, smart and attentive Oncologist. I talked with my doctor at 6:00 am (yes, 6:00 am). He said he wanted to intervene – right away.
I told him that we would be home at noon. In the meantime, he had me start drinking Gatorade (I went with the least offensive fruit punch flavor diluted in Evian), in an attempt to replenish some of the lost electrolytes. Done.
However, within 10 minutes of drinking my hot pink fluid, and the runs came running back. Really? C’mon. F-BOMB.
So, today, here I sit at the cancer clinic paying the dues for my enterprising trot-causing chemotherapy. I sit hooked up to an IV machine receiving 1000 ml of 0.9% Sodium Chloride (a/k/a fluids) to offset the dehydration accumulated from days on end of bathroom pursuits. The additional purpose of this IV fluid is an attempt to break the trotting cycle.
One of the unpleasant side effects of Taxotere is colitis, an inflammatory process in the bowels resulting in diarrhea-diarrhea-diarrhea-diarrhea. Vey is mere.
So, now that I have some fluids on board, we are ready to put some goals in place (I am an action-oriented, to-do list kind of girl!):
- Get me home feeling human. (I may need to have that word defined because these days, I don’t exactly know what it means.)
- The next goal is to be able to be at home and drink enough Gatorade so that I have some semblance of function.
- Next, eat bananas, rice, toast and even some applesauce (if I feel like living on the edge).
- Keep on keepin’ on in this direction.
So, where do we go from here in terms of treatment? We clearly can’t have this naughty Taxotere causing colitis with every treatment, now can we? (The answer is: NO!)
My next round of chemo is January 17th. The good news (SL) is that there are alternatives to the way FBC chemo is delivered. Restructuring the drugs in such a way that two drugs are given at a time rather than three (and I have chemo every two weeks instead of three) is an option.
First things first, though. We want to get my inflamed colon back to some semblance of normal. When that happens, then we will look at our different options for the next phase of FBC treatment.
Until then, I am in good, safe and loving hands, both professionally as well as personally (SL).
Wishing you all a SL-filled day, inside the toilette and out.