Liz's colonic journey

The weekend

I was quiet over the weekend – at least online. I think I was a bit taken aback to learn that chemo hurts. At least it seems to hurt me. Happily the nausea of Friday seems to have mostly passed. The part that surprised me was these sharp pains in my side, under my ribs, and my midriff area. They feel like the stitch you get from running and breathing too hard, so I thought my pains might have been from gas build-up or something. The sister at the oncology treatment centre said it was probably the cancer lesions objecting to being killed off. I can live with that. I’m metaphorically jumping up and down with glee every time I experience an objection.

I have been trying to avoid taking extra tablets. What with the Eltroxin for hypothyroidism, the whatsit-statin for cholesterol and the hrt for menopause, I already feel like a walking rattle. I got to talk to my mum in Oz, which really worked for me. The time difference means that the time to Skype is in the middle of the morning flurry of activity, so I hadn’t had a chance to talk to her since the port was inserted.

Sioux and Paulette popped in on Saturday along with half of Woolworths. They reminded me of the PaperHeaDs policy – ‘take the pill’ – rather than suffering.

I’m a wimp about pain. Harrison’s Hypothesis – tested with PaperHeaDs, walking friends, family and numerous others, remains almost a law for me. Women who have experienced childbirth have totally ridiculous ideas of what a pain threshold is. I think some kind of chemical brainwashing occurs at the point of production. The rider to H’s H is that men and women who haven’t done childbirth are more reliable indicators of what might actually constitute pain/discomfort. So my walking friends know that I whinge about the slightest hotspot or muscle ache, whilst they carry on without noticing their own discomfort. It’s remarkable.

This is a long way around trying to say – don’t worry about any pain I might report – because it’s my way of noting that something’s happening – and as Jeremy says in Terry Pratchett’s “Thief of Time”, “I have medicine”.

Sioux and Paulette also put our brand new food processor together. Pat and I bought it last week, and it’s sat in the box all week. I was amused to see Paulette taking the lead on this, with advisory support from Sioux on what widget fitted what thingamijig and for what purpose. They know stuff these two. I also found it amusing that, as with Pat and I, the instructions were only consulted as a last resort and involved some scrabbling for spectacles in order to identify widget A and gadget B. (Or is a gadget a conglomeration of widgets – the collective noun for thingamijigs, whatsits, gizmos etc?) I so enjoyed that giggle.

The painkiller I took knocked me out after that until 3pm. Then Karen R called to find out if she could visit. Great to see her, and to chat while she and Pat enjoyed a well-deserved G and T. As previously mentioned alcohol is not talking to me at all. Another change is that I’m really not tempted by all the ‘wrong foods’. Lettuce now smells delicious as do any fresh fruit and veggies.  I apologise to lettuce for all my denigrating remarks about it just being a plate filler.

It was this conversation about food and what to do with the now assembled food processor that caused Karen to return on Sunday morning with trays of vegetable seedlings, a juicer she said was spare, a pile of recipe books and a stack of comedy DVDs. She proceeded to get Pat to make a carrot and cucumber juice, which tasted delicious – and almost miraculously perked me up. Pat was delighted at the ease of the process, and the fact that the pulp left over from the juicing will go onto the compost heap. No mess no fuss. It also looked like fun.

This is all grand, because apparently the trick is to get food that tumours don’t like e.g. carrots and beetroot and asparagus into the system. Juices seem to have the required roughage etc and move through the colon as quickly as possible, not lingering and encouraging the naughty cells to misbehave. Certainly I can report that things are moving well. We’d welcome any juice recipes (the Courtyard’s Carrot and Ginger juice springs to mind, if any of you have that one).

Everyone is feeding us. When Pat picked up her new pc from Godfrey, she returned with 4 fresh eggs from his fowls. Such abundance. The new Liz is finding it hard to understand old Liz’s diet – of a big protein and 3 veg meal at night with sandwiches in between. It hasn’t been a hard switch to make from that to fresh greens and fruits mostly raw. Let’s face it shop bread tastes like polystyrene! The only downer is not being able to go into the fridge, and Pat having to run around anticipating need. She’s also becoming an expert on pool care.

Another laugh of the weekend – was finally resolving the float/sink debate – thanks to Karen in LA and her access to an authoritative guide on the subject. In order not to offend sensibilities, I think I’ll not post the details of this resolution. For those of you wishing to know I’m happy to via email.

Now time to phone the insurance broker and set up an appointment, and get the timetable for appointments and activities organised. We had a hoepoe in the garden this morning. The last time that happened we were still in Caversham Glen 2006. I think it’s a sign. Lekker dag everyone.


Comments on: "The weekend" (18)

  1. Done! Intriguing for sure. And hopefully useful. Taboos shouldn’t kill you!

  2. Bodies

    While I try to make sense
    of the newfound tumour
    invading my friend’s body –
    chemo port piercing skin,
    poison drip
    to curb its growth
    and shrink its tails –
    you bounce onto the wide blue bed
    with knobbly knees and gangly legs
    so I can test your memory of Biology:
    vertebrates invertebrates,
    gills of fish and slime of snails,
    webbed feet amphibians,
    arachnoids dripping silky trails…
    You tell me that you wish you had
    a pest control zone – you draw it in the sky:
    a square white room
    where they spray repellants
    to make these creatures pass us by.
    Then Laughter, that trusty member
    of the Endorphin family,
    flushes through
    the full length of my ageing body.


  3. Hi Lizzie, Sorry to hear that the sharp pains continued but, as you say, each stitch in the side is blow to the lesions so I can’t help but have a metaphorical jump for joy along with you. Crazy world, this new normal you live in – Liz Harrison sniffing lettuce and swigging down veggie drinks, who would’ve thunk it? In the meantime, I’m making my way through a bag of chocs bought for the Trick-or-Treaters – hope they’ve all finished for the night because there won’t be any left soon. Please email me the float or sink story too, it all sounds rather intriguing (and icky). XXX

  4. Am pleased to hear you are enjoying a veg diet.hee ! hee! we have such amazing fruit and vegies in durban to eat fresh off the trees . Litchis and grapes coming up.Persimmons/Sharon fruit . I will charge up the collective walking brains and find some really good broccoli recipes for your juicer ! take care.

    • You are taking altogether too much delight in my conversion, Elaine! Though I’ll be gracious and say that you were right all along. I’m loving that it’s avo season at the moment.

  5. Odette Swift said:

    Hi Liz
    Wow! You sure are keeping upbeat – well done! I am so amazed by your positive outlook and will join you in sending HEAPS of positive energy to annihilate those naughty cells. I am also in Pinetown so please shout if you need anything at short notice. Good luck with all those juices… I should try some of them – good for weight loss! But beetroot and asparagus – eish! Thats not gonna happen. Thanks for the updates – keep the faith!
    x Odette

    • Beetroot and asparagus is strangely appealing to me now, see my comment to Joan. It is a mystery. It might be that in having time for contemplation there’s time to get in touch with my body and think of food that isn’t quick. With the kids and work and everything that you do, I guess food is whatever is available at the moment of delivery and when hunger strikes. Meals are the things we have to do between other things we have to do. Pat is working on two ingredient lists: one for antioxidants and one for nutritional benefits and she aims for food that happens at the intersection between the two with the most colour variety. (And she claims she never did Venn diagrams at school!)

  6. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for the post – not so sure about all this ‘healthy eating’
    You know how bad I can be!!!
    Love Joan

    • Isn’t that so very weird? You know how I love my slap chips and Wimpy breakfasts – we’ve fantasized about our favourite foods for many kilometers and I’ve never had anything complimentary to say about lettuce and broccoli! (That’s an interesting thought, eh? Probably at least 3000 kms pounding the pavements together since I joined RWFL) I walked past Bread Ahead in Pinecrest the other day, and felt not a single temptation to fall on the jam doughnuts or chocolate-filled croissants like a ravening wolf. I can’t explain it, but it’s been really easy to change diet. Even Pat thinks so.

  7. hey Liz, thanks for the post. I think this low pain threshold must be a virgo thingy…after 3 caesars I haven’t changed…twitch at the slightest pain…my dentist had to give me an anaesthetic to clean my teeth 🙂
    I’m glad to hear that those buggers in the cells are getting insecure, they don’t know whom they fighting with, hopefully soon they’ll give up and go away.
    enjoy the veges.

    • And the problem of having an anaesthetic to clean teeth, is? Apart from the pain of the injection of course. I consider it a healthy response to twitch from pain – Virgos do know these things – we are so sensible. Let’s face it though, caesars are not exactly pain-free. H’s H still stands: whatever the mode of childbirth it seems to change one’s ability to bear pain or at least what one considers to be painful. I think the scale moves.

  8. Hi Liz
    Lekker dag to you too! thank you for the latest post, and how special to have a hoopoe in your garden. I think being at home beats anything, as one then has the time to notice the little things. Can I get you a bird spotting list for Padfield Park where you can tick off all your sightings? I think if you have the time you will realize just how much activity there is in your garden every day actually. Birds, creeping critters, hopefully a snake or two (the little green spotted versions), maybe a chameleon … you just never know. I had glow worms not all that long ago, and just saw them as I was outdoors after dark for a change.

    Then – can’t delay waiting for an email. Is it float or sink? We also spoke about this on our recent ‘walk-to-the-beach’ and none of us could decide, none of us having watched the Opray insert. Sorry that Elaine wasn’t there with us, as she might jhave been able to provide the answer.
    And again – lekker day my friend

    • Well our neighbour once asked us if we’d seen their pet chameleon that had wondered off, and I have seen chameleons at Doone Village, so I know that some survive in Pinetown. If you don’t mind I’ll skip on the nyogas, though they are gorgeous. I’ve been watching the rufous-naped thrush bouncing through the leaves under the jasmine this afternoon. I sent you and Sharon, Karen’s answer by email. I’m tossing up whether the details of porcelain-reading should be blogged on the www!

  9. amishi gandhi said:

    I once made juice from spinach, beetroot, carrot and ginger. Didnt taste all that good – but I did pat myself on the back for “eating” healthily for a change. Didnt feel quite so guilty about the packet of Lay’s lightly salted that i snacked on later.

    However carrot and apples make a tasiter combination for juice – add some ginger to that as well. In fact a friend of mine once told me to add ginger to any and all juices – its supposed to be really good for everything.

    • Thanks Amishi, Pat made me a carrot and apple juice today. I added a bit of ginger spice and it was very tasty. I know that ginger is good for nausea, I take ginger pills when I’m travelling because I get travel sick – and they work very well.

  10. Don’t tell me you are about to become a vegetarian Liz ;}}}}
    So glad to hear you are upbeat. I fly to Botswana tomorrow for a few days and will be offline – so hope the rest of the week goes well. That CD I posted you should arrive in your postbox soon. Happy listening.
    Lots of love to you and Pat xx

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