Saturday, December 14, 2013

Potty Time

Disclaimer...As the title implies, much of this post will be about bodily functions and what happens (or doesn't) in the bathroom.  I realize that I may talk about these things a lot, but it just happens to be one of the largest and most monitored parts of my journey, that it is hard to avoid.  My promise to you is that I will consistently post a disclaimer so that you can choose to continue or catch the next bus (although, if my counters are correct, readership has been falling lately...probably because of posts like this).  However, if you do hold on till the end, there is a slightly amusing anecdote about a very real conversation I had with God, while on the toilet, in a very convincing Irish brogue.  

Since getting sick, I've had to pay attention to everything my body does or says.  It's an amazing dichotomy really.  I've gotten to know my body more in the past month than I ever have before.  Yet I have this thing growing inside of me and I have no clue what it's doing to me on a second by second basis.  It's a huge black hole in the middle of my gut that I won't have any insight into until January 10th.  What I do know about it, is that it breaks a lot of stuff in my body.  And the stuff that I take to fix it breaks even more stuff.  Most of it in the "bathroom" arena.  So let's just get right into it shall we?  (Remember, I lost my pride and shame when they said I had cancer.)

Urination - All of the chemo books and guides suggest that you start peeing sitting down.  Why?  No matter how much you've got to pee, the plumbing just doesn't work right anymore.  Today, I decided to follow all of the advice.  I'm too tired to clean pee off the floor and my shoe again.  It's happened too many times now. 

Flatulation - I've always been a gassy boy.  Until now.  Now, I would give ANYTHING to pass some gas.  But I just can't.  It is such a painful existence.  So when I do let go of one, I thank the heavens.  I never know when this is going to happen (that means you need to be prepared for me not to excuse myself from the room when you're over for a visit).  It may happen when I'm laying on my side, or it may happen whilst on the toilet.  But when it does actually happen, my Savior gets a shout out.  That's right. I talk to God when I fart. I talk to him other times too. In fact he and I have had a running dialog for the last several weeks. I'm told that's to be expected. I'm told a lot of things. 

Solid Waste - this is an even more elusive beast than it's noisy cousin. I never can tell if there is a pile up on the freeway that's blocking all of the other traffic (common when you have a big tumor in your rectum) or if I just haven't had enough solids today. I'm back to Miralax to see if it can bring back the magic but it's too soon to tell. I find myself reviewing the side effect sheets for my drugs and lamenting the fact that I didn't get diarrhea. Stupid, I know. I would be even more dehydrated than I am right now and I would be just as miserable. 

Vomitus - Thankfully this hasn't afflicted me yet, but I will rue the day that it does. I decided to stop my Zofran today. 2 days early. It makes me really super dizzy. I've been pretty good all day until this evening. With all of my second day chemo pain, my stomach is a bit empty and a bit queasy. Add to that, the fact that I totally lost my shit tonight and went on for who knows how long about all the emotional stuff that is churning in my head. That lead to voluminous amounts of mucus, most of which lodged firmly in the very back of my throat. Right at the gag button. So now, I have to clear my throat and feel like I'm going to spew. Here's the big problem with me and spew...I'm a Tuba player. My diaphragm may have lost some of it's umph in the last two months or so, but it still makes me one of the most dangerous projectile vomiters this side of the Mississippi. I have two little orange buckets strategically placed in the house. It's cute. I'm guessing it will be a bit ineffective when the time comes, but quaint nonetheless. I'm hoping that time doesn't come. Because it won't be pretty and it will be plenty painfull.  A hiccup buckles my knees and when I do laugh or cry, I have to stop before it becomes a snowball where the pain keeps it rolling. 

An Irishman talks to God...

This was really a surprise. I've always felt myself to be a spiritual man, a worldy man and a just-in-general pretty good guy. I accepted Jesus into my heart many years ago and our bond has been tested many times since then. Mostly by the Tea Party. (Yup, I just went political...but don't worry that's where it stops for now.)  I have an issue with religion. I don't have an issue with God though. I think we're pretty good. I can say that because in the midst of pain this evening I talked with God...on the a thick Irish brogue. It was a 20 minute conversation where I asked him to give me strength and courage and long suffering. I asked that he watch over my girls with or without me. And the entire time I'm an Irishman. I didn't intentionally do it and it lasted the entire conversation. And I felt really good afterward. It is honestly something that I can say I have never done before. But that I hope happens again. Obviously, doing it on purpose would ruin it. So...hopefully I'll be surprised again. 

And there was another first as well. I asked for time. I've made a conscious effort not to do this with God. Anytime that I thought about it I felt like I was bargaining. When I heard it come out, even as a very reasonable request in a very reasonable accent, it still felt like the desperate act of a desperate man. I won't be doing that again. Talking with God shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable or desperate. It should enrich you, calm you and fill you with peace. 

Have a surprise conversation with your God tonight. You won't regret it. ;)



  1. If we can't go to God when we're desperate, when can we? I'm glad you're talking to Him. Thanks for the heads up about projectile vomiting, I'll be sure to stay out of the way! :-)

  2. The anecdote about talking to God in an Irish accent was awesome. I just found your blog today. Stories about bodily functions are important, I think, because they give people the full scope of what happens to someone when undergoing cancer treatment. Thank you for being so honest with all of us.