"And you give yourself away.
And you give yourself away.
And you give.
And you give.
And you give yourself away.
My hands are tied.
The body bruise she got me with.
Nothing win and nothing left to lose.
With or without you.
Without or without. I can't live with or without you."
I think I'm going to become a drug addict. For a variety of reasons, the doc upgraded my supply from Hydrocodone to Oxycontin. Much more powerful and fun to boot. Plus, he gave me lots and lots.
The cancer is spreading through my collarbone area and inside my chest. I'd say it's 1/3 of the real estate now. So there's the pain of moving muscles and banging against bones. That's very uncomfortable and it's a bad pain. Cancer has it's style of pain. It's very ugly. The pain after you work out, well, that's a nice pain. While it hurts, it feels very right. Cancer feels very surreal, unatural and alien. Like a car crash.
I'm a side sleeper. Well, I used to be. Can't really do it well anymore because the nodes choke off my air supply. Are you a side sleeper? I remember in high school or college, someone did a report of the psycology of how you sleep. I guess the best is to be a tummy sleeper as you have the attitude of taking on the world. The worse, according to this and my memory, is to be one of those curled up and rolled into a ball sleeper as you may be very insecure and just want to go back into the womb. All you back sleepers don't get a break, either. I'm not sure why. I only paid attention in class about 60% of the time.
I'm also getting over another bout of shingles. This left even more fine-looking marks on my belly and back. A few times doctors have asked me to take off my shirt and sometime after, they make some kind of comment like, "Oh, well, um...I see, ah, you've had some work done." It's a moment of power for me. I hope you understand and forgive the temporary arrogance but how often do you make a doctor stutter? Usually they know everything. Or at least they want to make you think they know everything. This when I got 'em.
Also, the Hodge itch is back. This is only relegated to Hodge patients. Doctors have some kind of medical reason but basically it comes when the patient has reached a point of "widespread disease". Soon, I'll be getting night sweats and weight loss and the disease will pick up pace. But the Hodge itch is nasty-bad all on its own. It's like getting the worst mosquito bite and it's all over your body. You just itch and itch. And you start to sweat because you itch so much. It's crazy. Quite frankly, I think it's one of the worst parts of having cancer. They give me some anti itching drugs but it only sort of helps.
And I think they know that. At this point, I achieve permanent name your own drug, we'll get it status. The biggest benefit to oxycontine is my body feels warmer, so I'm in a better mood. So instead of fighting the pain and itch, I feel like I'm in a hot tub only without the hot ladies. Not that I would do anything with the hot ladies. We have four girls in the Herlehy household so my perspective on the softer sex has certainly changed through time. It's taken all the fun out of thinking about me in a hot tub of hot ladies. In my twenties I would have had many naughty thoughts that may or may not have included midgets. Now I think it would be really, really exciting to talk about, well, anything because we just love to talk.
Now the doc doesn't just give me a few oxycontine and a warning to be careful. I get a big old load of them and no warning at all. A drug dealer couldn't be more welcoming. I've even said a few things about not wanting to get addicted and they don't even look up from their pad. Not even a word. What has this country come to?
In fact, this is clearly one of the benefits to having cancer. Any drug, you name it, I can get it no questions asked. The moment I start complaining about anything, the doc (or most likely an assistant) takes out the pad and starts writing scripts--that's scripts, plural. This goes for every single doctor I've ever had. At first I refused many drugs. The first few times I had my first chemos, I never took anti-nausea drugs until I was ready to puke. Now, no way. If I'm on this trip, I'm going to enjoy the view. Yes, some of you may be a little disappointed in this. But hey, I can't drink any more.
So yes, I have a difficult few weeks coming up. My disease is progressing to the really dangerous stage, at a faster pace and I'm taking nothing to stop it. But I can feel good about it if I feel like popping a few yummy oxies.
One last note. Sorry to many of you who have wanted to get together in the last two weeks. The shingles did a number on me again. Then the itching started up while in the throws of shingles. So I had a hard time doing anything. I'm sorry. I mean no disrespect and get bummed thinking about a lost lunch or two. My hands are tied. The body bruise she got me with.
Thanks for offering anyway. Have fun with your summers. If you get a chance and feel up to it, please feel free to drop a line. I really enjoy hearing from all of you. that's another benefit of cancer. It makes you connect and reconnect with friends. Even the ones who can't speak much English. It almost makes it all worth it. Almost.