Tag Archives: stomach

Dog Poo Bags

I was told to expect a gippy tummy with my radiotherapy. I have mentioned this before. I interpreted the side effect to mean runny poo, maybe lots of poop, but regardless, I took gippy tummy to be bowel based activity. I was wrong. The zap lasting but a few minutes has actually resulted in the vomit. By my standards, a lot of vomit. The sound of which, scared the dog yesterday.

Bar my transplant, I have been fortunate enough in my treatment to date, to have mostly avoided the act of physical sick ness. Nausea sure, we’re old pals, but it has been something that has been manageable with a few pills here and there. Post transplant, the nausea was something that occurred more than I would have liked, but again, with the exception of a few instances, one memorable one in Mamma Jones’ car, I have been able to avoid something that I have traditionally associated with excessive drinking. Something that is preventable.

I have had five radiotherapy sessions, with my last session finishing a mere hour ago. So far, I have been sick after three of them. A quick, paranoia fuelled Google search yesterday revealed that this is a common side effect of radiotherapy of the abdomen area. As my L1-L5 are the things being targeted, I calculated that it is quite likely that my abdomen may be experiencing a little bit of the radioactive spray back.

Today, because I found yesterday rather difficult and my response to it somewhat pathetic, I came prepared. I have only eaten a pot of yogurt with linseed and a packet of Quavers. One could say the rather tasty New York Deli sandwich from Benugo was wasted on me yesterday. I only had this morning’s food because steroids require food in my stomach. Furthermore, in addition to some strong anti-sickness pills last night and more this morning, in my handbag, you would currently discover three doggie poo bags*. I figured that due to their normal function, they are designed without holes to avoid embarrassing and unpleasant instances of leakage. The bags are an additional contingency because I do not get a great deal of warning and I am currently on a train travelling slightly up the East Coast Mainline. I may have experienced projectile vomiting in the British Film Institute last week, but I do fear doing it in the first class carriage (purchased with disabled railcard discount) would be rather embarrassing and most unfortunate for those travelling on to Glasgow.

The good news is that the radiotherapy ended today. The bad news is that I was told that the side effects, the other being fatigue, could last for another fortnight. Do you know what I say to that? A means to an end my friend. A means to an end.


* To ensure that this blog was factually accurate, I again visited the world’s favourite Internet search engine and I discovered there are multiple names given to the doggie poo bags. It would appear that it would be far too complicated to call them a ‘dog poo bag’. From what I can see, ‘doggie poo bag’, ‘dog poop bag’ and ‘bio bags’ are the most acceptable terms. I suspect that this is because the general public have a weaker stomach than I do, and need ‘poop’ presented in a sanitised way.

That was a pun by the way, because all evidence suggests that I do have an actual weak stomach. My weak stomach cannot be sugar coated.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Recovery Position

Take one hefty dose of fatigue, mixed that with an equal measure of impatience and what you end up with is a toxic amount of frustration.

I am very frustrated. I am the picture of horizontal frustration.

As with everything related to this procedure, the frustration grows from me not knowing how long this fatigue will take to get lost. I have not lowered my standards enough to say ‘do one’. I still have some brain cells working. At least I think I do. I know that the fatigue can last a long time. I also know that it might only last a few weeks. I know, that it is slightly different for everybody. What I do not know, and what nobody else knows either, is how long I am going to be bed bound for? How many more times am I going to wake up hungry, and then have to wait for three hours to build up the energy to serve myself a bowl of cereal? How many James Bond films am I going to start, but not finish? I am currently on five, by the way. One would say it is a blessing I have seen them all before. (Sean Connery in short shorts). When am I going to experience thirst again? More crucially, when am I going to find the energy to wash myself. It’s been four days now and my right armpit is pungent.* Seriously.

Home is much better than the hospital. I should get that point out there right now, in case anybody was mistaken and thought I wished to return to that sterile environment. I don’t. I think that when I returned home on Friday, I imagined, actually, hoped, would be more appropriate, that the fatigue, would mean me, being a little sleepy as I made my way between the rooms on the ground floor of the house, enjoying my various box sets, whilst people did things for me. Essentially, I fancied a summer holiday, of the type where I got to watch Independence Day on repeat and get obese. The reality, is far less exciting. The reality is that I cannot look after myself. Not only that, but the reality means that I cannot really focus on anything long enough to kill some time, and I am confined, predominantly, to my bed. The family do their best to get me up and about; on Saturday this led to me having a power nap in the back garden, on Sunday, I was forced to paint a boat. On Thursday, I am forcing myself to get dressed. I was going to do this before I found out I had to go and have a blood test.

Patience would go a long way right now. I have never had any. The nice ladies with the soothing voices in Macmillan say that I lack patience because I do not like losing control. I think they are correct.

If I was not me lying in this bed with the bedsheets I do not like, I would probably offer the pathetic, bald figure who looked something like me, some advice. I would say that I only had the Melphalan three weeks ago, and the transplant was 20 days ago, the Medically Trained People say this feeling is perfectly normal and let us not forget, I did get out of hospital earlier than expected. Everything is as it is expected to be and it’ll work itself out to a point where I can bake a cake. I would also add, because this part is important, to keep my head up; medicine may advance… I am wise of course, but logic isn’t really a friend of mine right now. Logic is not going to make me better nor is it going to make me feel better. Logic is not going to change the fact that My Myeloma means that I will inevitably feel this way again at some point in my future. Put that into your smiles and mindless banter and smoke it.

The good thing about my current situation is that, in spite of my impatience led frustration, I am actually doing what I have been told to do. I have let the fatigue in. It’s in my bed with me and that is where we live. I am allowing people to look after to me and I am not getting annoyed about it. I sleep when I need to sleep, which in the words of Vivian Ward, is pretty often. That doesn’t really work because she was talking about being trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. Mamma Jones is not wicked. Myeloma is.

I believe time will heal this current wound. I just wish I knew whether it was all going to be worth it. I think I know what the answer will be, but I have to be moving around again to feel it.


* The shower comes this evening, thank goodness. Fortunately, I have lost a lot of body hair. I have to wait for there to be other bodies in the house and I do not think the dogs count.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,


Many things happen to the human body after a stem cell transplant. Many things. The Medically Trained People and some Toms, Dicks and Harrys, have made a purposeful effort to make sure I know what these side effects are, several times over, and regardless of whether I asked for the information or find it useful. For me, knowing of the possible side effects, helped me prepare in the sense that I did not panic when each thing popped up, but I could never really know the severity of the side effects, until I experienced them, no matter how much people who have never had a transplant told me about them. In the end, I wasn’t surprised by any of them because I expected them; I just couldn’t imagine them.

Since the 16 July, there is only one thing that has come my way that I was not in my reading materials, it was completely unexpected and without warning. It commenced after I resumed eating and drinking. The surprise side effect, my friends, is called, the burp. I burp a lot.

It does not smell.

If one were to think inside the box, my current side effect is not a shocking one. I don’t think it is anyway. It’s just not something that oozes femininity.

My main task at the moment is drinking. Apparently, I am to drink 2.5-3 litres a day. An achievable task to be sure, if one has not spent a sustained period of time replacing consumption with mass excretion, as I have. My stomach has shrunk and now, the minute something enters it, I am forced, forced to pass wind.

You may think I am exaggerating, but I am not. If putting stuff down my gullet was a constant, so would burping be. Cuppa tea? Sure thing, parp. Cocktail sausage? Why not, Homer Simpson. Sip of water? well I have dry mouth, crackle. Snap, crackle, bloat, burp,

With building up my strength, comes wind. It’s the pay off nobody mentions. Nobody mentioned that I would not be able to stomach fizzy water either, but I had worked this much out because I passed all my GCSEs. If only belching was something that people generally associated with elegance and manners. They don’t of course. People are prudes.

Hypothetically speaking, if I were to have burped prior to my transplant, which to be clear, is just a hypothetical, it would have sounded rather masculine. EJJ like, as somebody helpfully described my vomiting sound last week. I imagine, if I were to have burped in my old immune system, it would have been long and loud, something from deep inside my gut, so powerful one could feel the vibrations through their feet. Hypothetically.

The actual burps I am producing now, do not sound like that, which is a good thing given the frequency. Mamma Jones described them as sounding ‘sweet’, which in itself was nice, seeing as that is all I did on the two hour drive home last night. There isn’t much power behind these little mouth explosions. One might be able to mistake them for a cat’s purr. Occasionally, the burps can hurt and are accompanied by a little something something, and when this occurs, I reach for the Domperidome. If it persists, I reach for something stronger. Must love the drugs.

The unexpected… It keeps me on my toes, and contributes significantly to my current fetishist status.



Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: