14-The inns and outs of eating

22 May 2020

Week 3 / round three

It’s been a funny ol’ week, all things considered.

I’ve certainly been through it and realised the first couple of weeks were most certainly shadow boxing. This week I’ve been hammered from all angles.

My speech is now altered – it varies from my normal gruff through to something more akin to a high-pitch squeal. I reckon I can do four octaves – sometimes in a single sentence!

I did have a word with my team about pain relief – my mouth is pretty well sunburned throughout its inside now and this is where we do need some strong painkillers. I'd moved up from Paracetamol to Codeine and Paracetmol combined. Known as Co-Codamol 30/500. Did that over last weekend, but that failed to relieve the pain.

Anyway – a phone call to the team on Monday decided that Morphine was the way to go. My version is Morphine Sulphate Oral Solution 10mg/5ml – commonly known as Oramorph. It took a couple of days to get my dose correct…

I guess a) so that I’m not zonked out all of the time and b) to control any thoughts of long-term dependency.
So, since Tuesday I’m taking 20mg every 4 hours and most of the pain is under control now. I say most, because I’m really struggling to swallow anything by mouth now. Even sipping water is seriously painful as I try to swallow.

Thankfully Peggy is already in place and 99% of my intake is by the feeding tube, directly into my stomach. The other 1% is me trying odds and sods of things to try and eat – and they’ve given me lists of medium and soft foods to try. Hardly anything is going down (and staying down) including Weetabix, custard, stewed apple etc.

Typical mealtime goodies

I can see this could become a serious issue, because it can be a case of ‘use it or lose it’. Yes sure, the Wozzer bravado of a few weeks ago about losing weight is still around – but not at the cost of losing the ability to eat in the long term isn’t. So I’ll need to work on this.

Of course the change of diet / foods in and the mixture of medicines also have an affect of, shall we say, the inn’s and out’s ☹

Here’s the thing… Strong painkillers (even 1000mg of Paracetmol), but certainly codeine and good ol morphine, come with a sting in the tail (so to speak), in that constipation can be an issue. I was ready for that and already had a supply of Laxido laxative. Had been taking one a day since last week.

But it was becoming a bit of a concern that all was going in and for a good week or so, nothing was er, coming out.
Wednesday 20th evening I finally got the feeling that all was ready to go.

Talk about mixed messages… 40 minutes of grunting and groaning and just a little bit of movement. But it so happened that the little bit of movement was all – no progress forwards and even worse, no way to reverse the process. And now I was getting worried – not least because I’ve read of middle-age men having heart attacks in exactly this same situation.

No way is Big Wozzer being found dead like that – in his en-suite, with trousers around ankles, phone still in his hand. Oh no sir – not at all.

Reminded me of an old joke – ‘Did you hear about the constipated mathematician? Worked it out with a pencil’.

Google must have a better answer, eh?
Manual evacuation is the term I found – using a small lolly stick(s) or one’s own fingers. A glance around my en suite didn’t elicit any lolly sticks. So…

All I’m saying is I glad I’m okay with simple problems and counting and didn’t need to use my toes to help 😉

Oh by the way – on Friday the laxative finally kicked in – just in time to ‘help’, now that I’m on 100% fluids. Not even thinking of describing this.

On the bright side – I can’t believe I’m halfway through the 6 weeks of radiotherapy treatment and still upbeat pretty much every day. It does seem a tired old line at times, but Onwards and Upwards is definitely the feeling to have each week of treatment.

Just take the punches – but not too many 😊


Week 3 round-up:

Weight: 123.5kg
Appetite: 10%

Fluoride toothpaste 5000 PPM
Mouthwash – Caphosol
Pain: Paracetamol and Oramorph
Local anaesthetic: Gelclair oral rinse

16 thoughts on “14-The inns and outs of eating”

  1. David McLurcan

    Wow!! You are a trooper and a half me old mate. I can definitely sympathize with the,er, working out the constipation issue. That’s a problem with certain diabetes meds as well 😊. As you said, onwards and upwards.

  2. Hi tip increase the laxido to 2 a day if need be. I was also on 30 mg x 500 co codomol 10 mg oramorph every 2 hours as treatment went in I had 35 radiotherapy mixed with 2. Chemo no peg as my cancer hospital didn’t routinely offer them but u did have a n g nasal tube fitted end of week 3 had it for 45 days in total so I feel your pain. Best advise listen to hospital go with flow eating over rated anyway. Lol just to let you know it does get better but yiu will unfortunately feel worse before then the peak I’d after treatment has finished just warning you. Week 1-4/5 of recovery your body’s full of radiation and has to Leech out slowly so forewarned is forearmed . On a happy note tea tonight rare rib eye new potatoes and roast veg I am now 21 month post radiotherapy so life does get better. Onwards and upwards was my motto all way through Hazel xx

  3. Oh love. You are a star. Thank you for being positive even in dark times. You’re in a good place. My ex had his cancer treatment in Glos and Chelt 30 years ago. 2 of my kids live in Cam. Btw, the bugger is still alive. Big hugs xxx

  4. Half way through, Dad! All about onwards and upwards 🙂 hopefully the tummy issues will settle soon…what with that and the voice breaking-again moments – you’re certainly giving us all a smile! xxx

  5. Hi Woz- half way through. No gain without pain I’m afraid, but worth it in the long run. Thinking of you, Samros and Nisa.

  6. Well done that man.
    I recognise far too much from your latest account. Be warned that you will keep cooking for a week or so after treatment. Get those fluids in big time.
    Hope all continues to go well.


  7. Ray Franklin

    Geezer well done done half time talk and out for the 2nd half
    As for pencil trick you was always good at calculations in hackney tech
    Love ray and liz

    Ha ha, well remembered Ray x

  8. I just cant get that image of you and lolly sticks out of my head. Ill never eat a magnum again! Stay strong Woz. Best wishes from C.D.S.

  9. Woz, this was a cracker. Still managing to keep your wicked sense of humour through all of this. What a star.
    Thinking of you and your family. Love from the Frozen North x

    Thanks ever so much hon x

  10. Tony Schröter

    I’m proud of you amigo!!! Just keep going!!!

    Keep going is definitely thought of the day mate!

  11. Bugger! Another delay to our beer drinking, karaoke, tiktok routine then?

    Aiming for early April 2021 in Saigon mate!

  12. J…. C…. mate! You’re a trooper and now a pooper I guess. Keep punching. Cooking up a fine vindaloo in the hope it’ll help your appetite 🙂

    Oh mate – that would be sooooo good right now! Missing our man dates x

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