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.