The 3rd week is over, which means I am ALMOST 1/2 way through treatment, as the last radiation treatment is actually on August 2. It has been a rough week, as I have had great difficulty having food just sail through my colon, unimpeded. I don’t think anyone anticipated the radiation affecting my gut so severely so soon.
After a bad day Monday, Tuesday was a really decent day, just relaxing poolside at my cousin, Elisa’s home, beating everyone at Gin Rummy, napping, and generally being coddled. Michael left to go home Tuesday afternoon, leaving me in excellent hands. However, Wednesday morning, the diarrhea began in earnest again. Anita and I had made appointments for Reflexology appointments before radiation, which I thought would help everything. During my previous chemo 3&1/2 years ago, I had acupuncture the day before and massage the day after. The “Reflexology” here was actually more of a Chinese or ThAi style massage, with a little Reflexology, but it felt divine! Afterwards, I thought Egg Drop soup might help my stomach, so we had Chinese food; but honestly, I thought the Hot and Sour sounded better. It’s hard to limit all spice after living in Texas most of my life!
Anyway, by the time I finished radiation, I was really in trouble again. The radiation nurse sent me to the Radiology Resident, who sent us to MD Anderson ER. What a zoo!! I don’t think I would ever go back there again! All of our care at M.D. Anderson has been so fabulous, that we expected that care to be the same. Not so! We were there from six in the evening to three in the morning, finally being released and going home to Anita’s. My labs surprised everyone with how good they were, and I was not dehydrated, as I had been taking in fluids like a maniac. I was given a prescription for Lomotil, which typically acts like a cork to stop everything up, and told to take it AND the Imodium.
When I saw Dr Klopp, my radiation Oncologist,on Thursday, she was a little alarmed, but felt like the radiation was truly affecting me. She said that if things didn’t improve, the next step was Tincture of Opium and discussed diet. I did take in a stool sample to rule out any serious infections. So, yesterday started out a little better, but deteriorated by evening. (My personal nurse and beloved friend, Molly Hinds drove me home, so that was reassuring!) My philosophy had been to “limit” spicy, fried, or rich foods, and to eat whatever sounded appetizing, which had been a challenge. My new philosophy is to strictly stick to the BRAT diet for a few days–bananas, rice, apples, and toast–to see if things improve. So far, nice improvement today.
I know I’ve lost weight, but if I can just get this gut under control, I think I’ll feel ok. I’m not in pain, I don’t have a lot of nausea, and people have been coming out of the woodwork to be kind to me! I’m going to try to work on my daughters baby quilt this weekend and just take it easy. My friend, Lynda Burger, will pick me up on Monday and take me back to Houston. I have a book of Jewish prayers for healing that are a source to uplift my soul, a book my sister gave me to daily remind me of my many blessings-and to remain open to the great, DIVINE good, and I always wrap myself in all the prayers and good thoughts that are coming my way–especially during chemo and radiation. I will make it through the next 3 1/2 weeks, and never have to treat this problem again.
so, to all who read this and have been my great support, thank you!