Not a lot to report on the side-effects front, other than the fact that the hiccoughs seem to have gone away. Everything else is continuing as I discussed in my last post. However, I had a really good weekend from a social perspective, though to counteract that, I had a less-than-fun experience managing my ileostomy. It’s all swings and roundabouts!
One of the reasons for the weekend being really good was that a friend I made in hospital got married on Saturday. He’s been concerned about being well enough to get married and go on honeymoon since I first met him back in March, but he’s stuck to his treatments, done as he was told (well, mostly!) and got well again. It was great to see him and his new bride looking so happy. And the contrast to how he looked back when I first met him in March when he’d just got out of intensive care, is staggering. So good luck Nick and Angie – here’s to many more years together!
The other reason for it being a special weekend was that we held a small family gathering to celebrate my eldest daughters birthday, which is actually later this week. She officially becomes a teenager (“Whatever!”) despite having been looking, acting and behaving like one for at least the last year already. Still, it was a nice opportunity for a large proportion of the family to get together around the table and take some time out together.
Unfortunately my ileostomy decided to intervene, with my output suddenly going extremely high. I’m not entirely sure what caused this, but I suspect a combination of something I ate the previous day and this cycles chemotherapy drugs finally kicking in. Whatever the cause, this resulted in my bag failing (never a nice experience) and thereafter I was having to empty the replacement bag almost constantly. Apart from being very frustrating and inconvenient, this also meant that I was dehydrating rapidly.
In addition, when my output goes very high it also makes me very physically tired, which on top of my recent lack of sleep meant I was struggling, and didn’t notice when I missed taking a set of my ileostomy management tablets. Which of course just made a bad situation a whole lot worse. Fortunately, having realised my mistake I was able to spend the rest of the day catching up with my tablets, which helped my output slowly drop back to more normal “high” levels.
In the end things finally got back to normal around 2am this morning, which means that I’ve actually had more sleep last night than during the previous few nights. And the really good news is that this morning I seem to be back to almost normal output levels again, which further reinforces the suspicion that the primary cause of my high output was probably something that I’d eaten.
These treatments must affect each person very differently, but I must admit that managing my ileostomy is by far and away the worst part of it for me. Still, with a little luck I’ve only about 6 more weeks before having it reversed. Which will be a real red letter day for me!