Spoiler alert! Slight gross-out ahead. Skip the next paragraph if you’re squeamish.
I just went through my first week with no constipation! But, being me, I’ve had a little bit too much of the other extreme. Given a choice, I’ll take the Hershey squirts over the painful backup of “hardtack” every time! So my goal for this week is going to be fine-tuning the Dulcolax and Phillips to achieve a slightly less liquid result.
I’ve had some indigestion issues, and a bad taste in my mouth lately. Altoids have become my new best friend. It felt intuative to use peppermint, but I’ve actually found some credible proof that it DOES help with indigestion. So I’ve been chewing Altoids like Lindsay Lohan’s lawyer has been chewing antacids.
Today, I have the marvelous Monica with me! We had lunch at Murphy’s Irish Pub, and the conversation was so good I forgot to take pictures of the meal! And I really regret this because the food was fabulous. I’m happy to write that I ate my entire hamburger — it was so good! We were able to eat out on the patio, because the sun was on the other side of the building (I’ve got to be careful to stay out of the sun). It was delightful!
Janna (my chemo nurse) had a little bit of trouble with my port today. The last two times it “floated” meaning when she put the needle through my skin it didn’t connect with the port because the port did a little side-stepping dance. But Janna is not without experience with “floating” ports. Without having to re-stick me, she is able to manipulate the needle so that it pierces the port. Once she gets the needle in the port, she draws blood to check my blood count prior to doing the chemo (if my numbers are low, then no chemo). So today, after dealing with the floating, she couldn’t get any blood out. I thought maybe I had dried up, but she assured me there was blood in there. She had me do a few contortions, like holding my arm over my head and leaning way back in the recliner. I felt kind of silly, but she says this changes the position of the catheter (needle). Sometimes, the catheter gets into a position where a vacuum is created in the port — so nothing comes out. Sure enough, after a few wiggles and giggles we hit blood and she was able to take the sample.
And I got a foot massage today! There was a massage therapist in the Chemo Lounge today giving out free massages. We talked about lymphedemia. Basically, for me, I may be at risk for fluid collecting in my legs because some of my lymph nodes were removed. I think my left leg is a little bigger than my right leg, so I’m going to keep an eye on this.
I don’t know if lymphedemia is as bad or worse than constipation, but in the short term I know which one I’m going to worry about. So, keep your fingers crossed that the Constipation Plan I executed last week works for me this week! Hershey squirts trumps hardtack every day of the week.