Liz's colonic journey

I keep hoping that I’ll be able to predict how I’ll be feeling on specific days in this chemo journey. When I’m feeling yuk, I don’t really document it – so it makes it quite difficult to keep track. Doesn’t help that I’m so busy during the day, that I don’t remember what day it is. I’m just doing what comes next. I did note the wobbly knees this time, that’s cleared since last I posted, and the leg weights are working well. The nasty this time is the tummy cramps that started on Wednesday, along with the burps again. (I seem to remember that happened with 2a last time. I can’t imagine what it was that I ate – if indeed what I ate was the cause. The tummy cramps are still with me though Buscupan is muting the pangs.

I meant to join the RWFL crew on their beach walk at 6. I had this notion that I might be able to make 2kms – going slowly. I think I could have if the cramps weren’t plaguing, so I decided to just take it easy. Yesterday was pretty much a couch day because probably I hadn’t slept well. The aircons were installed in the bedrooms yesterday. They are better than great art! Pat’s not going to have bags under her eyes – cos she’s actually catching up on years’ worth of sleep deprivation. Of course, it’s started to get a bit cooler now – just in time, but we are enjoying the fan that filters out the pollen and other noo-noos.

I got my new cellphone on Thursday, it’s taking me ages to work it out. Joan C called today about a potential conference venue, and I couldn’t work out how to accept the call! I had to wait for it to stop ringing and call her back! I got the Galaxy SII cause it’s slim and light and has more features (battery life)  than either the Blackberry or the iPhone 4.

I’m a bit off Apple at the moment.  Seems that things have slipped a bit since Steve hopped it! My trusty ipod shuffle (now 3 years old) turned up its toes. You know the one, the silver one that Mari called Techno Bling because I always have it around my neck?  It only had 1Gb of memory but that was all I needed because I was constantly changing the podcasts and audible books. We bought Pat the new version at Christmas – smaller and with 2 Gb of memory. The only problem is that she can’t handle headphones that are earbuds in her ears. A lot of people have that problem I think – but who wants to walk around with the heavy earmuff kind of ‘phones – looking like a Martian?

Ok so why am I cheesed with Apple (note the food metaphor!) because I bought (in my withdrawal desperation and at vast expense) an iPod Nano (can’t even guess what generation it is). It’s very pretty – lovely graphics etc – you apparently can watch videos on it. Unfortunately, my pc, iTunes and the Audible downloader can’t actually ‘see’ it most of the time. Then when it does get seen one can’t actually synch your iTunes material with it because it tells you that files are not found or that the OS is corrupt. How is that possible in a brand-new device? Other people must have the same prob -right? So I scoured the internet for a solution – all the Apple support blogs (never answered by Apple people, and even YouTube which is filled with video cries for help with this problem dating back to 2008 when the Nano was first launched – and not a peep from Apple. Not even an acknowledgement that there is a problem. Perhaps the disposable mindset has gotten into their heads.i.e. just buy a new one. No! A good design works as it is supposed to with useful clear instructions (Apple is really bad at instructions and the quick start guides are all about what not to do eg don’t drop the device in the water, Samsung has the same disclaimers. Who knew that the little hole on the side of the iPad2 and the mysterious piece of wire that came with the packaging was actually for releasing the mini-sim card tray?) )

Not only are clear instructions and diagrams you can read absolutely essential, but quality things that work should last – not have built in or unpredictable redundancy in them just to make people buy more.  Why is this concept so hard for gadget manufacturers to understand? Steve understood. I miss my ancient shuffle! The nanos 8Gb isn’t enough of a incentive to like it.

I’m not sure how many Skype calls I’ll be making on my Galaxy – or how many digital books I’ll read on it. I still have to find the camera, which is why I haven’t taken photos of the beauties in the garden at the moment or the tasty veg growing beautifully in the planters or the airconditioners that are revolutionising our lives and our breathing – Samsung’s as well.

We’re off to the Reeds for dinner now in celebration of Karen’s birthday. I can’t get over how many Capricorns and Aquarians I know! Happy Birthday all of you, I think I’ve been able to wish you all personally.

And tomorrow, Pat, Shirley and I will be at the top of the last hill in Bosse St at 7am,cheering on Kathy and Joan and the other PDAC walkers. It’s a nice race and I wish I was doing it. Still, when I see their faces tomorrow from the comfort of my deckchair I might feel differently! Hopefully I will have found the camera on my phone by then!





Comments on: "Post-chemo week -Gadget Queen" (5)

  1. Joan Conolly said:

    Dear Liz, I just loved your blog today! Why? Because I always thought that I could not understand the techi instructions because I was STUPID!!! Now I discover that Techi Geniuses like you also find the instructions problematic! SO perhaps I am not as stupid as I thought. My self esteem is much improved! And I look forward to hearing from you when the instructions are intelligible and then I will try again. I am sorry that you have the tummy cramps. Can anyone at the onc centre tell you what food might have caused it? Sometimes these things are very obscure … and completely illogical. take care and much love to you all, Joan

    • Nah – it’s definitely not you. The problem with writer’s of instruction manuals is they don’t understand perspective-taking. They just can’t understand the experience of someone who is seeing a product for the first time. This is an excellent argument for why engineers and product makers should do ‘liberal arts subjects’ like Art appreciation or literature, for example. Obviously those courses need to be relevant but how revolutionary could it be. On the other hand it might put a huge amount of Helpdesk workers out of jobs!

      The cramps have cleared up, whether thanks to your meditations, Buscopan, Karen’s excellent butternut, veggie curry and raw chocolate tart on Saturday or a combination I have no idea. I’m blaming the chemo and thanking the care for the relief! I don’t think that such a multivariate analysis of chemo side-effects has taken place. One doesn’t do these things in controlled lab experiments. I’m hopeful that the Homoeopaths/Chiropractors/Radiographers/
      BioTechs/Food Techs at DUT might consider this kind of research!

  2. Hi Lizzo, Sorry about the gadget irritations – why aren’t all these things intuitive and always fully functional? I’m loving my iPod Nano but it gets seen every time so that’s okay. And I have a Joshua who can point out (with some exasperation) what I should be doing to move something onto a new playlist or delete some horrendous hiphop of his that I have accidentally put on repeat (and thereby ruined what was meant to be a lovely walk with the dogs and the final chapters of my book.) Maybe we can meet up sometime this week? X

    • Well I went for a swim today – fabulous to be able to swim so easily and to float and be weightless. Pat and I have a symbiosis going on. She enjoyed the fact that I was ice cold after, while I was loving her hot flushes! Unfortunately, it took me an hour to get into the water. (I swear it feels 18 degrees but the thermometer said 28.) While I was getting in I took the time to scrub the bits of the pool where the algae builds up – the leaf trap and the weir – so the time wasn’t wasted. Unfortunately I forgot that I had my nano clipped to my midriff top. It stopped,just as the heroine was escaping from a limestone sinkhole in a national park. I realised that water was interfering with my reception! But I had the solution, a bank baggie of rice and one of those dehydrating sachets they put in medication (I have lots of medication) – left it in the sun for 15 minutes and it was all go again – except for the minor irritation of trying to get rice grains out of the earphone and recharge ports. Feeling particularly chuffed with myself about that. The seeing thing will be dealt with! Aren’t you in GTown this week? Would love to meet up. Coming into work on Tuesday and Thursday so far.

  3. Hi Liz. See you all there. Don’t expect us too soon, we’re not hoping to beat the sound barrier. But looking forward to seeing the 3 of you. Kathy

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