Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Irrigating in Iowa

Can't sleep.  Mind racing.  Combination of sleep patterns being off and having my mind on a work presentation for tomorrow.  So, might as well blog.

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Got back today from the annual Big 10 road trip that I go on with a bunch of the guys from college.  Each year we pick a Wisconsin football away game, meet in Madison and take a friend's RV to get there.  Always a good time.  Before I got diagnosed, I went to these pretty infrequently.  I always had an excuse -- too busy with work, too busy with life, etc, etc.  Now, I make the time to go.  These are good friends from my college days and this is an opportunity to spend some quality hang-out time with them.

Another example of cancer providing me with perspective on what's important.

The trip wasn't without stoma and irrigation adventures.  I ate a greasy Italian sausage sandwich for lunch the day we drove to Iowa.  I didn't think too much of it, but by the time we rolled into Iowa, that sandwich had run through my colon like a freight train, and I had a steaming pile in my lap.  Pretty unexpected as I had irrigated that morning.  I wasn't able to get to the bathroom without things spilling over, and I made quite a mess in his house.  It was pretty embarassing.  My friends, to their credit, helped with the clean up.  Being anyone's friend, you're going to have to deal with their crap now and then, but when you're willing to deal with it literally -- that's being a good friend.

Having food shoot me like that happens so rarely.  But now that it's happened to me three times in the past 4 months, I've taken a little time to think about it.  The only common denominator I can think of if a fatty, meaty dish (lamb shank for dinner, greasy scrambler for breakfast, and greasy Italian sausage sandwich for lunch).  That and maybe a greasy meal plus some alcohol.

So, the lesson i guess is to avoid those kinds of fatty greasy meaty meals.  Or if I do indulge, I switch from my stoma cap to a full-on bag to catch any output.  Come to think of it, even switching to a bag isn't a guarantee.  In two of the cases, I switched to a bag and  that couldn't handle the sudden output.  So, maybe just avoid the fatty meat (or meat + alcohol) all together.

The irrigation adventure is that I think I may have done something to my colon by irrigating with very hot water.  I've been getting some blood is the regular discharge the past few days.  I don't know if blood is a symptom of a burned colon, but I'm going to see my surgeon.  Just to be safe.

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One last thing. I met someone.  We've hit it off and are digging in each other's chili.  I shared my cancer story with her and it didn't phase her, which was a relief.  Frankly, that's what I expect -- that women I meet shouldn't have a problem with it.