I have been taking MS contin (time release morphine) as my primary pain med for a couple of weeks now. It works great and does not make me feel nearly as bad as vicodin does. The down side, is constipation and a bit of drowsiness.
When the MS contin isn't doing the trick, I take liquid morphine. It is great at getting me through those pain spikes that come once or twice a day. Side effect: constipation.
I started Chemotherapy on Monday. I am taking thalidomide yes the same stuff that caused all those hideous birth defects from pregnant mothers taking it as an anti nausea medicine. I had to sign about 12 waiver forms to get it. The packaging has all sorts of warnings all over it so that it feels counter-intuitive to even put the pills in my mouth. The idea with chemotherapy is that it is poison that kills cells in a targeted way. Thalidomide goes after cells that are in the process of division. Since the cancer cells are dividing quickly there are more of them to kill when I take that stuff. So yes, I am ingesting poison. Side effects include: constipation and big time drowsiness also blood clotting.
The blood clotting is why I am taking coumadin which is a blood thinner. I have lost track of the side effects of that stuff but it is probably constipation. Since coumadin is a blood thinner I have to closely monitor my bloods thickness.... I do this by going every other day to the lab in Folsom and getting stuck by a needle. The lab calls later in the day to tell me how much coumadin to take for the next day or two.
So drowsiness is my biggest challenge right now. Don't get me wrong as far as side effects from chemo go, I've got it really good. I am not barfing or loosing my hair or any of those other hideous things. I am just really really drowsy. I take the thalidomide at bed time and immediately fall into a deep sleep. Sleep is so deep that I have trouble staying awake to go pee in the middle of the night. When I wake up in the morning, I go back to sleep for a nap pretty much right away. So up at seven, take my drugs and go back to sleep until 8 or 9. I am awake during the middle of the day. This week, each day, I have had some sort of appointment to do each day. I get back to the house at 2 or whatever and I sleep until 4 or 5. Get up for dinner. If I am not in pain (about half the time) then I eat dinner.
Then there is the constipation. Two days ago I pooped for the first time in three days. It was an unpleasant experience. I think it scared the chickenhawk pretty badly. I was in the bathroom long enough to read the entire Mountain Biking Action magazine from June 07. No kidding, it took about three hours to get the job done. Finishing was one of the most gratifying things I have felt in a long time. So in addition to managing medicine intake, I have to now monitor and manage output as well.
Here is your moment of zen