Monday, March 02, 2009

More Dispatches From the Western Front

Down in the lobby of the hotel this evening, an Irish rock band put on a little mini-concert for the guests here. It took my back to my freshman year in college and rocking out to Black47. This place is totally odd. Looks like a real hotel: front desk, room service, pool, restaurant. There are nice events like the concert and movie nights, but then you notice the large number of guests with walkers or in wheelchairs or dragging IV stands along. Sometimes I feel like I am living in a weird purgatory for sick people. Where do I get these ideas? Too much alone time maybe...

Anyway, the concert was nice.

Today was the last day I had to take The Orange Pill of Intestinal Destruction. At least for another two weeks. Frankly, I'm a little nervous about hearing the results of my blood work tomorrow (This was another one of those days where I had multiple blood draws over a ten hour period. In fact, my last one of the day is tonight at 11:30 AM.). Because over this nearly a year's worth of treatment I've gotten so used to hearing "It didn't work," I'm just expecting the worse tomorrow. To be told that, oh well your white counts are still climbing and it's back to the drawing board. But I have to just go where God is taking me on all this. Just riding the crazy cancer train and waiting for my stop.

Yesterday I felt pretty good so I hiked out to Rice Village to check out what I was told was some good shopping. It was about a 45 minute hike out past Rice University (Yes I am insane.). The shopping district reminded me a lot of Carytown in RVA. There were local shops and boutiques all scattered in vintage strip malls. Only smack in the middle of blocks of old storefronts was a fancy new mall with chain stores like the Gap and Sephora.

So I had taken my pill around 11 AM as scheduled and when I got to Rice Village, I settled into a chair at Starbucks with some Earl Grey. By this time it was about a half hour after I consumed the Orange Pill of Intestinal Destruction and I was hit with a wave of strong nausea. I was able to breathe through it because Lord knows, I did not want to barf all over the sidewalk in front of the Sunday shoppers. I chucked the rest of my tea, and still feeling a little unwell, headed over to a used bookstore across the street.

Books are my crack cocaine. Some women compulsively buy shoes. I buy books. Even though I had already brought four or five books out here with me, I couldn't resist the lure of cheap books. Besides, I needed to have something to read at lunch, the single diner's amusement.

I wasn't the in book store for ten minutes before the nausea came up on me. Hard. I knew this was not going to be a good scene. I managed to get outside with enough to wretch into a wad of tissues (Hadn't located the bathroom).

Yeah, buddy. Taste the flavor sensation.

I pulled myself together, coughed a few times, and went back in the store. I guess when you've got The Cancer you kind of don't give a crap who sees you wretch into a bunch of tissues. You've got bigger fish to fry. And besides, there were books to buy. After picking up two new tomes on the cheap, I perused a few more shops like a candy boutique, drank some water, and rested on a bench for a bit. All the stomach uglies were gone, and I was ready for my French onion soup lunch and reading time. I ended up tearing through 150 pages of Let the Right One In. I spent another hour or so exploring and shopping and then made the hike home. My butt (and my feet and legs) was whupped by the time I reached the hotel, but it felt good to have struck out on my own and overcome the stomach craziness to enjoy a rare afternoon alone.

While I was waiting to get my blood drawn and of course, about 45 minutes after taking TOPoID, I had another brief bout of nausea with a dash of retching. My protocol nurse was there and thankfully she had me ready when the first wave hit with a barf pan and everything. Adrian says now I'm finally like every other cancer patient on chemo, pukes and such. Great. That's a club I was dying to join.

Maybe with my pill reprieve in the coming weeks I can avoid the stomach nonsense.

Just in time for my conjugal visit.


Anonymous said...

We got new PCs here so I was not reading your blog for a while...sorry! I am happy for your move to Houston. I hope they have the magic down there.
Take care.

Jeremy Feist said...

Glurg. Gotta love the little orange pills. But at least you managed to go out and get some of your personal crack, and you even get a nice little conjugal visit, so there's that to look forward too. Wishing you all the best!

ahamos said...

I was all ready to have some clever and witty reply to this, when I read the last sentence. I nearly spewed chips all over my screen laughing, and now I can't remember what I wanted to say. Oh, well.

Susan said...

Great to finally hear about how you're doing- I'llkeep checking the blog- should I send you a box of books there? Let me know- susan

Nancy said...

Been following your story and holding you in the light ever since Chez first posted a link to you many months ago. When you get quiet for a longish time, I pray a little harder.

Your situation right now seems to be the antithesis of "Houston, we've got a problem."

Thanks be to God.

Susan said...

Great to finally hear about how you're doing- I'llkeep checking the blog- should I send you a box of books there? Let me know- susan

cindy said...

Girl, you kick ass. Good for you striking out like that. And count me in on the Black 47 love - have you seen them live?
I'm thinking good thoughts about your blood tests.

Stephanie said...

I've been following your blog for a little while - found you through pajiba (I love your comments).
I don't usually post, but I live in Houston. It's kind of a strange place - no zoning laws, so some really great places - restaurants and such - are tucked away and only locals can find them. I know you're not really here to site-see, but if you and the hubby are looking for something particular. You can email me. I might be able to point you in the right direction.
slmillet at

Oh, and if you love books, the Rice Library is open to the public - you have to sign in though. And on the West/Rear side of the library is a wonderful little pavilion that has free wifi and coffee - so you don't have to make the trek all the way to The Village.

One-Legged Jenny said...

de-lurking here...

I found your blog through pajiba, and have been following your progress & keeping you in my prayers! i'm originally from houston and live literally across the street from that bookstore (well, across and down a block) so it's interesting to know exactly what yo'ure talking about!!

(and my dad oddly enough is a hematologist at ben taub, another hospital in the medical center.)

best wishes & prayers for you!

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