Posts Tagged ‘stomach pain’

I’m not going…

January 24, 2010

I love this scene from the helicopter attack of the Apocalypse Now (1979) movie.  With Wagner music playing loud, the helicopters of Col. Kilgore come in for the kill.  There was total chaos, bullets flying, bombs exploding, people running and more chaos.  Then, as each helicopter lands it unloads all the soldiers, except for this one soldiers who hangs on and shouts his lungs off…

“I’m not going…I’m not going…I’m not going!” (See this scene at the 8:42 minute mark for the video below).  He gets pulled by his sergeant and runs.

That is how I feel each time chemo day would come.  I would kick and scream inside me saying “I’m not going!” but I know come this Tuesday (January 26), I would be sitting in my chemo chair getting my treatment.

Some would say this is that ‘I would rather have a root canal’ feeling.  It defies logic when you do something that you really do not want to do and it is suppose to make you feel better or do you good.  If it is suppose to make me feel good, how come I am not looking forward to it.  It is not like I am going to Disney World.  But I know Tuesday is going to come and like in the helicopter scene when it lands, I need to go.  Oh, man!

This past week I have been trying to psyche myself for the coming week and that scene from Apocalypse Now just keeps on popping back.  My stomach is still bothering me every night, and the only way I get through the pain at night is to take Tramadol, a narcotic pain reliever.  During the day, I am fine as long as I take my other stomach pills then when night time comes I needed pain meds to get me through.  Nightly stomach pains with chills, nausea, and diarrhea from chemo is not exactly something I am looking forward to.  My doctors think I should be able to handle it.  Thanks, but I am the one facing all these demons.

“I’m not going…I’m not going…I’m not going!”

So tomorrow, January 25, I am having a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis as ordered by my primary physician, Dr. O.  Then I am scheduled to see a gastro-intestinal specialist the following week.  This stomach pain has been bothering for the past two weeks and I need to resolve this.  I don’t think they will allow me to postpone or delay my treatment.  It’s complicated.

“I’m not going…I’m not going…I’m not going!”

In preparation, I tried going to my yoga class as much as I can.  Omm….  Listen to my Handel’s Messiah CD to find peace of mind.  And at church, I prayed for strength and acceptance.   Thy will be done.

“I’m not going…I’m not going…I’m not going!” We are going, my friend.  We got to. People expect us to.  Skye is waiting for us.   On Tuesday, I will introduce to you my girlfriend, Irene.


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Sick people

January 19, 2010

“So many sick people.” A lady beside me commented while seated in the waiting room of Dr. M’s medical office.  I agree.  It was 11:00 am Monday, January 18, and all the seats were taken in the waiting room.  My son, Louie, gave up his seat for an elderly.  The receptionist had to bring out more chairs to accommodate the rest.

I was there to consult with Dr. M, my oncologist, of the constant stomach pain I was having over the weekend.  I was unable to sleep or eat, and was always on narcotic pain medication, Tramadol.  My wife was already worried about my intake of pain meds but it was the only I can get through the night.  What worried me more was my lost of weight, not much (3 lbs) but I cannot go on like this for the next chemo cycle next week.

“Hi, Bo.  We are running late but the doctor will see you.  You okay, sweatie?” Nurse Edith said to me in the waiting room.

“No.” I said.  I was also in their office a week ago Monday complaining of the same stomach pain prior to the start of my first chemo cycle.  I was seen right away since not much people then, but on that day it was different.

I saw a parade of cancer patients coming in, sitting in their infusion chairs, getting infused, then picked up or going home.  A mid-sixty Asian cancer patient staggers to the waiting room after getting infused.  He was frail looking, pale, and thin.  Dr. M helps him take a seat while waiting for his daughter to pick him up.  He asked if he was eating but could only murmur yes.  Dr. M told him to take Ensure if he could not eat.  (Ensure is a life saver!).

“Oh hello.  It is good to see you again.  Happy New Year!” The conversation started at the other end of the room by a 50ish old man who had just entered with his lunch.  He greeted an elder lady accompanied by his son.

“How is your husband?  I sat beside him once during our chemo session.  Wonderful guy.  You in for treatment?” He added.  I remember instances like this at the hospital during my chemo sessions.  I remember meeting this wonderful lady who had more sessions than I did.  She was in high spirit even though her hemoglobin count was low.  This is how we make our bonds.

“He passed” replied the elder lady “I am here for my treatment as well.  I see you are doing well and you even brought your lunch for your chemo session.” The conversation continues but respectful of the life taken by cancer.  Apologies exchanged and jokes were passed.  This how we cope.  All part of the life of a cancer patient.  Shit happens.

Suddenly my stomach pain or worry-stress seems relieved.  As much as I wanted to get well myself, I could not help think of all the pain and little victories of the “sick people” there.  I am among them.  We are in varying stages of our sickness and pain, and each of us has our own way of coping.  Most of the time we are silent and finding the will to survive.

Upon seeing Dr. M., I told him that I saw my primary physician, Dr. O last Friday who prescribed Kapidex but the stomach pain continued at night.  He changed my medication to Carafate and Levsin, and told me to continue to use Tramadol for pain as needed.  I prefer Tramadol because it does not cause constipation but makes you weak.  My body is under a lot of stress with all these chemo drugs and medications.  My room is getting to look like a drug store lined up with different medication bottles but I need to be ready for the next chemo cycle.  This is how we live.


PS: Go ACS – DetermiNation!

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