Sunday, June 11, 2006

6.11.06, Salt Lake City Closing / Midnight Edition

Does it do any good at all for my to post something this late in the day? After 9 pm SLC time? (that's a real question, btw, an answer or two would be appreciated...) There has just been too much going on between family and some very old friends not seen in too long, the required tasks of food, bathing, etc. No surprise to anyone I'm sure.

The day has been decent Franky Scale-wise: I'll say 8. It is progressively tasking to go through a day with numerous talks, meetings, conversations in a group, family dinner. It might today, however, be more like the "good old days" of getting pooped in the normal sense instead of being struck down with bizarre chemo-induced fatigue that sneaks up suddenly. So that's a good sign.

More to come, I'm sure, after returning to Seattle tomorrow & settling the brain. What was already complex in terms of family dynamics . . .

but that's another story.

[Midnight, mountain standard time, very trivial information about physical effects of the experience.

Now it's midnight on a night I had been thinking "sleep early, sleep well." Am I sleeping? Two quick comments from you on whether the late-day posts matter or simply slide out further into the ether, and as a result, I'm back before the keys. Early sleep and well sleep were not in the cards apparently, but breakthrough pain was. I'm partially angry to have to call it that, something so jargony, such a term of art, if I can call it that, or it's simply just another euphemism... "Breakthrough pain": the idea is that you experience your "normal" pain in your normal way — in my case this would be what I think of as "cancer pain," usually upper abdomen left side right under the rib cage and then a diagonal line down the right side about four inches below the rib cage, as opposed to GI pain, incision pain, or something that passes quickly, and the way for me is simple, it's constant — so you learn your baseline, you learn what amount of what kind of drug will alleviate it, how much & how often; then you try to manage it, control it at that level. When the pain breaks up, out, or through that "normal" level you find yourself experiencing "breakthrough pain," suddenly more than what you bargained for and harded to get back under your management control. This is what the pain management book tells me; it's the term used by all the medical staff; it's too clinical but I use it.

Something about this is unsatisfying. I want a better word, I want an appropriate curse to convey what happens. A spike in the pain level — and then you're left asking "well, why did that happen? Is it a tumor fighting, growing, multiplying, or is it a tumor fighting as it's dying off a bit, getting its ass kicked?" you hope the latter. Either way you're stuck with their argot, breakthrough pain, it just happens, and in the end who really cares what it's called? When I stop to think about what I'm doing, and yes I do try to avoid that now and then, going for another pain pill, usually oxycodone at this poibecausease it will take effect sooner though not for nearly as long as oxycontin (Rush's favorite), when I do think it out a part of me recoils slightly because I don't want to be thinking what it signifies: more pain medication, more this week than two weeks ago, ad infinitum. Unless it's a tumor in its own death throws, that thought I can handle even though I'm not sure it is what's happening scientifically.

Information on pain as part of an insomniac journal, if you will. It seems rather banal. I'm abusing blogspace and readertime or even readermind with the banal. The tedium and annoyance are real enough however. And the information describes what is happening now, for not too much longer I hope, and perhaps you'll forgive if you hear that thinking just up to this grammatical level is itself helpful. Food for the emotionally voyeuristic. (joke) In actuality, part of a helpful distraction. Also Erik Satie again lifting from the little PowerBook speakers to the keys, he helps. Other little tricks you learn. Also a hot bath, here in SLC my sister has the best tub anywhere. Also a trashy movie or a seriously deep one. Little tricks, repeated keystrokes. A few words to the can't-sleepers. Hi. What keeps you up? I hope sleep too comes on quick cat feet.

What happens is I type the basics, perform a few of the little tricks, another word or two and then I know that in 15 minutes it will subside. The brow unfurrows. The frame straightens out. Back to normal. Off to what I hope is sleep.

Last, to KK and CC and our conversation today: this is my visualizing, my getting it broken down and analyzed, my taking the power from it, my beating it. Do not go gentle, as has been said.]


wonderland said...

yes, to your question, at least for me, as late as 2, 3 am ET so new posts and comments always appreciated if it's not too tasking for you. back to seattle you said? looking forward to your travelogue.

dzd said...

I am here too... 9ish bay area time. thinking of you.

david said...


Would'a been, but Girls Weekend, a latish dinner with a visitor from some far-away land, and a martini! all kept me from my usual one-more-look look.

Night time is the right time~!

tossing salads said...

love it whenever you feel the need. i explained that to you yesterday. im sooo easy ;) on the mend i hope. wish i coulda seen ya, next time though. be safe and be happy. do ya really think we have family dynamics in this family???? surely you jest. i thought we were normal.

Slarry said...

That is a great tub- it fits you perfectly. : ) I didn't realize until just now, I forgot the foamy, water proofed pillow that goes behind your neck. Dammit. I think I may have behaved a little goofy a few times during your visit and stay in Zion.

One good thing, my ears got bigger !!!!

Hope your flight was ok--- I think CC has the right idea- a little visualization.
BTW you could have shared the Erik Satie ( hint hint )
I feel badly about the insomnia -- I didn't know. I always have a little blue pill for that. I should have packed it in with Nade's bran muffins.
I agree with salad head, What family dysfunction ... I mean dynamics. ??? : )
Safe flight- miss you already. If I had three hormonal sisters I don't know what I would do either. You handle it very well. Let's talk later about the pain break through-
want to know and learn more.
Love and visualization--