Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Well, That Was A Mistake
Well, yes, I made a mistake that made me absolutely miserable and I feel that it made Liz worry unduly. What I did was order my Fentanyl patches on Friday morning, and expected to see them at my house no later than early Saturday afternoon. Well, I blew off Saturday afternoon listening to an audio book, and by the time I asked Liz if it had been delivered, it was too late anyway. She said, no, it hadn't been delivered. Okay, no big deal, I can hang with it for 48hrs or so, since I wasn't due to change them until midway through Saturday anyhow. Boy, did the pain and withdrawal symptoms make a liar outta me! Yeah, the pain on Monday morning was hangin in there about an eleven on a scale of 1-10, ten being worst. I've had more than my share of broken bones from first grade right up until 2010, when I broke a finger, set and taped it, and went right on working. So yeah, I've got a fairly high threshold for pain, but this was something new and noticeably unwelcome. Since Fentanyl is an opioid, it causes withdrawal symptoms. I believe I had some of those. Sweat, chill, sweat, chill, chill, chill, chill, sweat. I've been taking it for almost a year, in varying strengths, until I got to this point that is 200 micrograms per hr (two 100 mcg patches) so I'm pretty well taken care of pain wise. Yep, not pressing the issue about "where the hell are my meds" was a mistake I'll not make again….hopefully. If it hadn't bothered Liz so much I wouldn't have sweat it so much myself. Stressing Liz anymore than she already is makes me feel like a real ass weasel. So, for the simple fact that I don't want to stress out Liz any longer, I won't be forgetting to keep my meds up to date.
I seem to be having more trouble staying focused as well. Not to the point of working away and suddenly thinking "Squirrel!", not quite that bad anyway, yet. It's more subtle, like just floating off to another spot on the same page and rereading over and over. Dopey but true. I've reread the same page of one of my books at least 6 times, that kind of trouble with focus. It's annoying, but not as troublesome as one might suspect. I'm fine driving, and that sort of things, but with reading, as well as writing this blog, it catches me off guard. I stop frequently, these days, when I work on the blog, simply because I've found myself writing the exact same thing in paragraphs half way through the darn thing. That would be just horrifyingly redundant. Not only redundant, but it would make me feel like I'd lost all control of my faculties, and that scares the bleeding hell right out of me, dammit. Of all the things that the cancer could have of mine, my mind is the one thing I'll fight every day, all day, 24 hours a day. My highest hope is that I kick the proverbial bucket before Baxter has enough of me that he tries to get my mind as well. According to some, that won't be a very long road at all. HA HA
I also have noticed I'm getting more "Phantom Pain" on the left side of my jaw. You know, the one that doesn't exist any more. It's weird to wake up in the middle of the night with a tooth ache in a spot that hasn't had teeth since Late October of 2007. The worst one of the Phantom's so far hit on Tuesday of last week. There I was, happily snoozing away, when it felt like someone had hung a HUGE right cross upon my lower left jaw. It hurt so bad, so fast, that I was taken completely off guard. I sat up in bed, kinda gave a little gurgling yelp and hoped I hadn't woken Liz. Nope, she was still sawing logs and was peacefully oblivious to my aching tooth that hasn't been in existence in 7 years. It rattled along aching away for the better part of two hours before it let up enough I could sleep. Of course by that time I was feeling like I needed to be up so I could help Liz get her coffee and s bite to eat. This seems to be happening more frequently as well. If it were a SciFi story, I'd say my jaw and teether were going to grow back as soon as they Phantom Pain Stopped. Somehow, I don't think that's the outcome that is going to happen to me now.
One would think that the most pain I have is in my face, neck, and shoulders. That's not where I find it now. My right leg carries the brunt of my pain now. From where my hip ties into my pelvis clear to the top of my knee. It's not a throbbing pain, it's more extra tender to the touch. Some of that may be that I've got lymph glands near there that are probably compromised from the cancer, seeing as how the Cancer liked those too. If I can, I'll try to get those to drain a bit, and maybe back some of that constant pain off a bit. If I get exceedingly tired, my right leg tends to hurt the most. I'd been used to chronic pain for quite some time. The broken fingers don't have great circulation, and my broken ankles don't give my feet much circulation either, so they tend to suffer in cold weather. To keep them warm I tend to go overboard, which makes them sweat, and that makes them cold on their own as the boots and socks get colder. The warmest foots are always the driest foots. The pain I do get in my face, neck, and shoulders, generally comes from cramping of the pectoral muscle in my mouth. A lot of things can set that off. Over exertion, overly tired, a very hard cough, things along those lines will make the muscle cramp, and I'm telling ya, they aren't easy to shake. Once in a while, when that muscle cramps, it puts a strange taste in my mouth. Not spoiled, but strange. An almost citrus taste. Odd, but not as disconcerting as it was say sixteen months ago. The darn thing gets hard as a rock, then makes weird tastes. Gotta love the cancer man, never a dull moment.
I suppose in the grand scheme of things this is pretty small potatoes, this cancer, myself, and how I'm trying to work my death. There are far greater things going on in the world as a whole. The Mid-East is still in the turmoil it's been if for 3,000 years. The players are all basically the same, the only difference is what they call themselves. I would imagine that if we were to check into any of the places where there is a large conflict going on, it will probably be the same bunch of people versus the same bunch of other people. Religions may have changed names, the conflict may have different reasonings, but it's going to be the same bunch of people fighting over the same bit of ground one way or the other. Silly really.
So I hope I'm accomplishing what I set out to do when I got pressured into doing a blog. Put myself out in front of the cancer. Tell people the truth, with all the warts, swearing, and pain that goes along with what I'm fighting. Quite frankly I am so very tired, physically and mentally both, that if it all ended tonight, I do believe I'm ready. If not, then I keep on trying to thwart Baxter the Bastard Cancer, and keep letting folks know that it's never best to just kick in and let the cancer win. Fight that damn thing at every turn. When your body is worn out, it will let you know. Until that time, you owe it to yourself not to hang up and quit, but to carry on as best you can. Even when the odds are so stacked against you, let that be your driving force. To beat at it until one of you has to give. The Spirit always wins in that case, even if the body does, YOU haven't lost.
Be good, kids, laugh a lot every day. Be the ball Danny, be the ball, be, be be….I can't Danny, I'm a veg. Hmmmm how the hell did Caddyshack slip in here? HA!