Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nocturnal Admissions

The time is currently 4:46AM.

I woke up just a few moments ago, surprised to find myself an unwilling participant in my own dreams.  Not so much dreaming unpleasantly as instead quite abruptly finding myself, in my dream, refusing to keep playing along.  No longer in the mood, as it were.  Possibly by presence of mind (but more likely due to whatever discomfort had spoiled my affinity for the surreal and for sleep), I awakened and tossed about for a few minutes before realizing my uncooperative attitude had followed me.  Each position was less comfortable than the last.  I got up out of bed, and was hit by the most intense nausea I've felt in years.  As I stood in the doorway to my bathroom, insisting to myself that of all the things I was not eager to do this night, vomiting was right at the top, I wondered what in the world could be causing this. 

Tonight is the first night of my 10th round of chemo.  I know my way around a bottle of Temodar.  I'd taken my anti-nausea Ondansetron (aka Zofran) as prescribed.  I could do this in my sleep.  Once my nausea had come under control I got myself a drink of water and popped another Ondansetron.  It tasted of mint.

Ondansetron does not taste of mint.

Rather, a new allergy pill I'd purchased tastes of mint.  I'd taken them all out of their bubble sheet and put them in an old empty pill bottle, an Ondansetron bottle, but I'd taken care to cross out the name of the drug to write, "Allergy" in pen.  I'd also picked up my last refill of Ondansetron at a new pharmacy, one which used ordinary pill bottles instead of the usual, squat, over-the-counter-style bottles.  I would like to take a moment to stress how important it is to know what your pills look like, and not swallow any old thing just because the bottle is the right shape and you're pretty sure you've seen that pill before somewhere.

The time is currently 4:58AM, and I'm typing this as I wait for my first Ondansetron of the night (and morning) to kick in.  I should probably have a trash can or a bucket next to me but I don't.  That cardboard box there will have to do.  I'm already feeling better but I have no idea how this little adventure will impact work tomorrow.  I was hoping to be productive.  On the plus side, my sinuses are clear.

I'd like to end by sending support to Joan.  Some of my regular readers may have seen her commenting on some of my posts.  Her husband Duke had been battling cancer for nearly one year, and Joan had always been very willing to give support and care to his fellow patients, including myself.  Sadly, Duke recently passed away.  They had been married longer than I've been alive, and I feel that the breadth of their experience renders any words of comfort I can find as trite.  So instead, I'll say that I'm here for you, Joan.  Just as you've always been there for me.


  1. Knightly,
    I just read this and I am crying for both of us,and for Duke. More for my loss of him than for him because I truly believe he is in heaven, a place more beautiful than anything our eyes have yet seen.
    I want to hug you and tell you it will be alright, but of course I can't do either, the hug for obvious reasons, the other cos I just don't know.
    Thank you for mentioning me in your post.It means a lot to me to know you care.
    Someday maybe we can have a drink together, or a cup of joe. For now, keep on fighting as I know you will.

    your friend,

    1. It was the least I could do, Joan. Coffee sounds great, as long as you let me buy.

  2. of course, you buy, just let me know!!!!!

  3. I read your posts because my husband also has a brain tumor and I think that sharing information will be helpful to the many souls out here who do not have as much access to information as others may have. Now you know that you can't go without the zofran and secondly its good that you know it isn't a stomach flu. I would also like to send my condolences to Joan. We never know at what moment our lives will be changed forever. But all we can do is hope that things will get better and adapt to whatever curve balls life throws at us.

    1. I hope my posts help to bring you and your husband some comfort. Might I also suggest I'm active there on and off (that's how most people find my blog) and they're a great group of people, very supportive and well-informed.

      You're right, missing the Zofran was educational. When I take it I never feel any nausea so there was a time when I wondered if I really even needed it. Now I know that I do.

  4. Thanks for the link. I usually look at the cancer compass forums. They are very educational also.