Normal has been redefined for me in the past week. It began last Friday, when I left for a rehearsal after having eaten a burrito for dinner about thirty minutes prior. Before I had driven a block from my house, I began to realize I was going to vomit. I turned the car around and headed back to my house. As I pulled into the garage, I knew I'd never make it to the bathroom. So I decided to try for the trash can outside. I didn't get there, and ended up losing my dinner in the driveway. A wonderful way to make a first impression on my new neighbors.
Needless to say, I did not make it to rehearsal. I spent the rest of the night in bed, exhausted and weak as a newborn kitten. This was my first sign that the new rules of eating for me had begun.
Saturday morning, I made a small breakfast for myself, about half the size I would normally make. I also could not keep that down. After losing two straight meals, I called my nurse. A new prescription was ordered. The new medicine helped, but not enough. It keeps happening, though not every meal or every day.
The main problem seems to be quantity. I can't eat more than a third of what used to constitute a meal for me at any one time. Most of the time, if I limit my portions to light snack size, I'm able to keep food down. But not all the time. Occasionally, something that's been okay for me in the past serves as a trigger. Once this week, it was orange juice. One night, it happened when I took my pills before I went to bed. It took me two naps the next day to recover from that.
As a result, I'm eating much less than before. My weight is crashing. I now weigh less than I ever have as an adult. Gaunt Cancer Guy is on his way. I'm also very weak. I don't have the energy I need to do things that used to be easy for me. Like writing this blog.
Vomiting is hard work. A friend called it "a violent act" this week, and it's true. It seems it have become a regular part of my decline. During all those weeks of nausea, I never vomited until a week ago. Now it's happened five times in a week.
I have two important events this weekend. Last night, the band Wik had a show. Their set began at 8:30 PM, when I would normally have been in bed. But I was there, and adrenaline and my love for that band got me through it. Then tonight, I'll be at the Neal Morse concert here in Denver. It's not one I can miss, as I've been asked to sing onstage with Neal and Eric Gillette, two of my heroes. There's no way I'm missing out on that, so I will be there, for sound check and the show at 8:00 PM. Another late night for me.
But after that, my commitments end. It's actually a relief to have little or nothing coming up on the calendar. This new spike in my main symptom makes it difficult to plan. Even eating out becomes problematic when you can't eat. No restaurant makes portions as small as I need them. The prospect of an emergency run to a public restroom does not appeal to me. So I eat at home, in very small amounts. This is my new normal.
I'm told it's normal to eat less and lose weight as part of this process. I just didn't know it would include this one unpleasant special effect.
I wrote the first paragraph of this post yesterday morning, and could not finish it until late that afternoon, after those two naps. Writing is exhausting. So one thing I need to start doing is making these posts shorter to save my energy. That begins with this post.
I feel like this is a major update. My inability to eat will contribute to my decline. It seems to me a turning point has been reached. I don't write this for sympathy, or to complain. This is what it's like to die of cancer, at least in my case. This post has not been very nice, but neither has my week. I hope things improve, but it doesn't seem likely to me. Thank you for hanging in there with me as this road get rougher. #waroncancer #bearingwitness