Under Siege

I have a high tolerance for pain.  Anyone who knows me well – family members, doctors, estheticians – will confirm this.  My husband and I agree: I am tough.  Not French Foreign Legion tough, but maybe Canadian Special Forces tough.

However, for the last 12 hours and, to a lesser extent, for 48 hours before that, I’ve been enduring wave after wave of intense abdominal pain. I emit weird primal noises and make fists and kick one foot around like a dog dreaming of chasing rabbits… And then the pain passes and, like a crazy person, I type some more.  

It’s the drugs – my hitherto mild-mannered capecitabine and lapatinib are now mercilessly kicking my butt.  Causing stomach cramps, intestinal cramps, nasty, painful, crampity-cramps and no small measure of the trotskys… If it were possible to be punched in the solar plexus and kneed in the nuts while in labour, that’s how I feel.

I have a hot water bottle pressed against my stomach at all times.  My husband makes them so hot they have to be wrapped in gigantic towels for the first couple of hours.  I may have poached my innards.  Don’t care – the relief is glorious.

My mom is now here, taking over where my husband left off when he went to work this morning.  She has fed me mashed bananas and electrolytes and soda crackers. She is busy in the kitchen now – I can hear her over my own weird primal noises; the comforting sound of her clattering around down there. 

Another wave is coming.  I really need to stop with the typing. Viva Imodium! Charge!



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

5 responses to “Under Siege

  1. momof3

    You are remarkable.

    Your sense of humor shining brightly through this intense pain and your willingness to still keep on bloggin’ is truly amazing. Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better & pain-free day.

  2. Gwen

    So sorry you have been having such a miserable time. You probably are aware that the drug literature advises patients to call their doctor if they develop severe abdominal pain. No doubt you’ve already called, but on the off-chance you have been trying to ride it out on your own, please do phone the doctor’s office or the oncology unit. May you feel better soon.

  3. geminigirl

    Oh Leanne. I wish I could give you a hug. I’d call the oncologist and see if there is anything they can give you for the pain.

    I know how intense and overwhelming it can be…and the longer it goes on the more difficult it is to ride it out.

    I actually use an electric heating pad, I’ve wondered some days if I’ve poached my innards, but I don’t think so, they like to remind me of their existence. A hot bath is also soothing.

    I’m glad your Mum is with you. It’s lonely and scary hurting so badly and being by yourself. Call your oncologist, if this is “normal” codeine would help the pain and the trotskys.


  4. Lin

    I love to read your blog, because you are such a great writer Leanne and you always manage to communicate your remarkable sense of humour in spite of all the challenges you face. When I read your posts, I often feel like I’m reading something by Mark Twain or Sir Thomas Chandler Haliburton (The Clockmaker book), because your metaphors are so fresh (i.e. that you “kick one foot around like a dog dreaming of chasing rabbits,” or that you might have “poached your innards.” LOL I could go on and on quoting your work – you must write a book once you have finished slaying all those dragons. Hang in there and keep letting us know how you are. oxo

  5. lcoppen

    THANK-YOU — all of you so much for your concern and wishes of wellness (or less pain-ness!) and for urging me to call my oncologist (she was away) and to Lin for the kind words about reading my blog. All these things went a long way to helping me through the dark and painful days (my god, being compared to Mark Twain??? It’s a wonder I didn’t spring from my bed and run laps around it!) I am emerging from the darkness by the hour & I hope to feel normal again very soon!

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