Archive for October, 2008

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someone is telling me to “shut it”

October 29, 2008

I am quite sure that whatever higher being you may or may not believe in, is sending me a message. A big James Earl Jones type voice is saying, “Chris…shut your pie hole.” Here’s why:

I have two new side effects that are painful and annoying: mouth sores and lock jaw. I discovered some sort of lesions on my cheeks and under my tongue this week. Nasty white things encircled by red and inflamed tissue. Basically, everytime my tongue grazes my teeth, it kills. Plus, these pesky damn things constantly make me salivate, so I’m drooling like a large breed dog. My nurse is telling me to “push fluids”, but damn near everything hot or tasty stings. Harumph.

So, I call my trusty onc nurse and she promptly calls in a prescription for some wacky combo mouthwash that is supposed to help with pain, infection, nausea, etc. Well, alrighty then! The lock jaw is another story. Whenever I eat my first meal of the day, which is mostly 9pm these days due to my general queasiness, my jaw siezes up and then makes my first few bites very painful. It eases up after the initial “ow dammit ow dammit ow!”, but its really freaky just the same.

My tongue is swollen and it hurts to talk. I struggle to ennunciate, which is kind of a pet peeve of mine, being a voice actor and all. So, I go pick up this magic mouthwash and promptly swish and spit a good ounce or so of the elixer. It comes in a spooky red bottle and has no label to speak of. As I inspect this new stuff in a dosage cup, it appears to be a milky white and thick kind of liquid, with no discernable smell or anything noticeably nasty. How bad can it be for a few seconds? Down the hatch and back out! Um, maybe I should have read the info first. This stuff totally numbs your mouth, tongue, and lips. I am now Mushmouth from Fat Albert. “Marbk, honbee. I canbt talbk, so don’t callb mebuh on the cellbuh phobuhn.”

Now, it is very pleasant to be free of pain and drool, but this definitely puts a damper on the phone meeting I had planned. Oh well. I decide I should take this new found pain free mouth and “push some fluid” through it. I mix up my favorite tummy settling and UT cleansing cocktail of room temp sparkling water, pure unsweetened cranberry juice, and unfiltered apple cider. Ah, a tasty treat to soothe my inactive bazoo….except (WTF!!!) OOOOOWWWW this mouthwash gives all intruding liquids a BURNING sensastion. Where the fuck was that in the warning label? (Which I had by now bothered to read.) DAMMIT!

Seriously. I can’t win today. Someone upstairs is tellin me to “pipe down”. And I haven’t said anything catty or nasty about anyone… yet… today. Honest.

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Holy Neuropathy Batman! Acupuncture comes to the rescue!

October 9, 2008

So, I had my usual drip treatment at the hospital yesterday and for the first time, I started getting neuropathy in my fingers and bottoms of my feet. (Numbness, tingling, and/or painful pins and needles feeling) This morning, it was way worse. It hurt to walk – like your feet have fallen asleep and no amount of walking around will relieve it. Add to that the massive peeling going on on my feet and toes, and things are particularly tender. My sensitivity to cold is an added bonus, making me unable to touch forks, doorhandles, keys, or anything cool to the touch. I have to put on gloves to get the milk for my coffee out of the fridge. Needless to say, I had a pretty bad attitude this morning. No mind over matter speech was gonna fly with me.

I started to call my onc nurse to see if she could recommend anything, but changed my mind and called my wonderful acupuncturist. She not only told me she could help, but that she could see me right away. Well, alrighty then! So, I hobble down the street to her office, cussing all the way there.
Mumbling to myself “stupid fucking cancer, can’t even walk down the street, this is bullshit, what the hell did I do? Ouch. fucking OUCH! this is just freakin craptastic..” well, you get the picture.

Me and holistic Dr. Fab chat about the specifics of my pain as well as nausea and other fun stuff. I show her my fancy fanny pack of chemo, the port, tubes, etc and she says “No problem. We can work around those things easily.” Finally – some good news comes my way today. Awesome, let’s get to prickin.

I get needles in my ankles, calves, forearms, hands, belly, and a couple up near my collar bone. They don’t hurt. Ever. (For real! )Then I get a nice needle nap for about 15 minutes where I do my best effort to quasi medidate. Mostly I just think good thoughts and sometimes imagine sunshine and light cleaning out my retarded cells. (Hey, that theatre degree comes in handy sometimes!)

Afterward, she comes in and removes my needles and takes a survey of my body’s warmth in various places and how my qi is flowing. Today, I heated up like a gas grill. FOOM! I got qi goin everywhere. AND guess what? My neuropathy was gone. Poof! Totally and completely GONE! I damn near skipped home. And I am feverishly typing this entry with absolutely NO pain in my fingers. Its just freakin miraculous the results I get with her.

Moral of the story – if you’re having trouble with side effects, especially nausea, neuropathy, and chronic pain – check out a certified acupuncture doc. My Dr. Fab also practices chiropractics and bio cranial manipulation that she occasionally integrates in to my treatment, which I find helpful as well. Hobble your crabby, tingly self to an appointment stat. It can’t hurt you and chances are it will really help! Do it. Now.

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Tumor Registry – fo shiz?!

October 5, 2008

So, I’m scurrying back from the coffee shop at my hospital trying to make my dr appointment on time, and I pass an office marked, and I’m not kidding here, “Tumor Registry”. I stopped. Looked again. Surely, I read that wrong. Nope. “Tumor Registry”. Now, I have to believe that this has some kind of serious and useful function, but you can imagine where my brain went.

“Um…yes. I’d like something small and benign, preferably away from any vital organs. Do they come in fashion colors? I’m on kind of a lavender kick lately.” Seriously?! Maybe they have different tumors on display and you can just scan them with your own little scanner gun? Clubb Cancerr at Target. “Beep. Yes. I’d like a set of three. Enter.” Or maybe you’re shopping for a friend? “Do you gift wrap? How about shipping out of state? I’d like the card to read “Congrats on your ovarian mass. Now you can throw away all of your tampons! Kiss. Kiss. – Christine”.

And here’s an idea. “What is your return policy? I have a 21 cm Krukenberg tumor I’d like to return. Yes, it was really giving me trouble with bladder function, not to mention the unsightly bulge. No cash value, huh? Well can I get hospital credit? Apply it towards my chemo and CT scans.”

Yep. The mind reels. So, I’m standing there in front of this office giggling uncontrollably. I’m totally cracking myself up and really want to share this with someone, but then it occurs to me that almost NO ONE is going to find this funny but me. I should have taken a cell phone pic. Maybe next time.

Anyhoo, if anyone knows what the real purpose of such an office might be, I’d love to know. Likewise, send me your ideas for a “tumor registry” and what kind of services you’d like it to offer. Maybe some kind of rewards card? Cash back. Airline miles. Every fifth chemo drip is free. Whatever. We deserve some perks. Am I right?