I spoke too soon. I posted my blog at 4:30 in the morning and was optimistic about falling asleep again. Did not happen, I watched television until about 7:30 then went back to bed. There is nothing on television. I barely watch anymore. Slept for about an hour. Feel terrible.

Janet comes home from her Pilates class and decides to work from home. I am not depressed, but packing my bags for the trip. Not sure what more to do. Need to sleep. A good night’s sleep would solve all sorts of issues.

I had breakfast and tried to sleep. Barb the nurse came, changed the bandages, was as supportive as always, left for her next victim, and I tried to sleep again. I did sleep but hardly enough to make up for the night.

Janet wrote the Doctors about the shoulder pain. Is this normal? Do we amputate and cut our losses? What gives? What else should we expect as side effects? And what do we do about sleep? Janet is working from the house. I am trying to sleep. I have to increase my strength for next weeks chemo session. The sronger you are going in, the stronger coming out.

I wake up hungry. I have to eat regularly, as I keep mentioning which proves a lot harder to do in practice. I have to empty my colostomy bag first. I cannot believe the interest people have shown in this bag. I may have to devote a page to it including videos showing how it is put on, removed (including the yelps of pain as the hair is yanked out), cleaned and so on.

The nature of the discharge has changed. It is subtle since everything that could possibly come out of the stoma is mush by nature. But this mush is ore mush than the mush of before. Only one word describes this. You know what the word is, and yet you deny it, hoping it has not come to this. I thought I had not succumbed to its wiles. Diarrhea has reared its watery head. According to barb the nurse, right on schedule. I am disappointed.

I have been given drugs for this too – Loperamide. Take two now, and one every two hours until 12 hours after the system returns to the usual mush. Life is nothing if not a thrill a minute. Take the drugs and go back to bed. The best side effect, as it turns out, is that the stomach settles down. It is no longer churning and bubbling trying to catch up to Niagara Falls (Victoria Falls for the family members living in Africa).

I eat, and try and stay downstairs. I take Tylenol 1. Two of the them to take care of the shoulder pain. They work remarkably well. I have a lot of confidence in them. The only drug that has had no side effects.

The doctor calls and we describe in details the nature of the pain and its location. They appear surprised and have not heard of anything like this before. I Googled joint pains and chemo the night before. We were deciding whether to go to emergency or not. There were a number of entries, mostly from the States. A lot of questions with no answers.

The trouble with not having health care is that you do not want to ask your Doctor for anything because everything costs. I cannot help but feel that this just makes matters worse, based even on my limited experience. The U.S. should take a page from the rest of the Western world and get universal health care. I am not sure what the problem is. Everything about it is win-win. Including the cost, which appears to be high, but is, in reality well in line with expectations when factors such as productivity and ease of mind are taken into account. The health budget in Ontario is $42Billion a year for a population of about 10Million people. Do the math for the U.S.. This should be a no-brainer.

And I looked at our pastures, no old people lying around waiting to die. We look after our people.

We make our way to the hospital to see the good doctor. He is on his way to Australia on some speech giving trip. He has to see me before going just to make sure I am OK.

This is the quickest examination in history. He comes in, feels my liver and asks about its well being, like I would know. His theory is that this is a referred pain. As in, I am hurting, you tell him. The problem is not the shoulder, but the diaphragm where the liver is located. There was a reaction in the liver that caused the pain to manifest itself in the shoulder. We have a CT Scan coming up in about four weeks that will tell more. No emergency here.

We are given strict instructions to go to emergency if matters get out of hand. As long as Tylenol 1 is helping, we should not worry.

We also decide to try Lorazepam one more time. In spite of the reaction, I got 6 hours of sleep.

We go home, have dinner. Leslie cooked a delicious meal, watched some TV and I go to bed at 9:00. I take my diarrhea drugs, two of them to see me through the night, the Tylenol 1, and the Lorazepam. I have me a cocktail. This is depressing to say the least.

I fall asleep fairly quickly but wake up around 1:30. Take the next batch of diarrhea drugs, empty the colostomy bag, and am wide awake.

I am not as frustrated as I was yesterday. I slept quite a but, and it was restful. I am also confident that I will fall asleep again when I go back to bed after finishing this entry.

The biggest issue I am facing is not knowing what to expect. What reactions are because of the chemo, and what are just normal reactions that one would ignore at any other time? How do you separate one from the other.

The lack of sleep makes it very hard to cope with things. Your emotions are so raw that you have a hard time maintaining any sense of perspective. An activity that would be perfectly acceptable one minute is outlandish at another. What was interesting today, is how much better I felt when we went to the hospital. It was not so much the hospital visit, but the drive. I had the window open slightly taking in the fresh, albeit cold, air. I felt instantly better.

I am going to try to keep the car later this morning so that Devin and I can go shopping. We need a lot more fruit in the house. We also need to go to Wellspring and see what programs are available for Cancer Thrivers.

More thoughts when I have had more sleep. All in all, I feel good right now. Lets hope it lasts.

6 Responses to “Lorazepam: Take 2”

  1. Hey there…just wanted to give you a virtual hug and thank you for continuing the blog in the midst of it all. Glad that you were feeling good when you posted it and please receive the strongest energy vibes I can muster for you to get a GOOD sleep.
    Love and hugs, dear friend,

  2. As a chronic insomniac (fortunately not all the time—it happens in jags every few months for days to weeks at a time) I know the utter hell of that sleep deprivation. It really distorts reality and everything seems ten times worse through that foggy brain. Hang in there. I’m sure it will get better. Are you still using the Jackie CD? I found that to be one of the best tools to relax ever. I almost always fall asleep after my nightly 10 minutes (I’ve used it again after waking up in the middle of the night, which often helps). Sending lots of love and hugs with Di.

  3. Hello Cancer Thriver…
    I think you need to get the Bell version of PVR so that you can tape the good stuff for when you need it.
    Thinking of you and hoping that last night was better.

  4. Champion Farokh,

    Janet just mentioned this blog to me today and I just read all your entries. You truly are a champion. Your humor insight and heart are so inspiring. I’ve thought about you a lot, checking in with Janet, sending you lots of love and healing. I would love to see you but I have had a cold so I’ll wait until it is fully gone. I will now be reading this blog every day and know that I am here to pick up videos or grab you some food or go to a movie with you. I’m working out of the house so I can certainly help in any way. I’ve also been known to crack a joke, but you certainly don’t need me for that. And I’ve been known to enjoy a word search myself– if you need more books lemme know.



    • you are too sweet. I do not watch much television. Too much noise. So videos are out. Now jokes arer another matter altogether!

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