This morning dawned gloomy and muggy and hot, and I got very little sleep last night; an unpleasant combination which contributes to my general feeling of being put-upon. With typical grace and dignity, I am responding by having a good whine. Don't say you weren't warned!
Issue Number One:
Ugh. Hate being woken up early in the morning by nausea. Well, hate nausea at any time of the day, actually. So of course nausea is one of the blessings of cancer (you never truly appreciate your liver until it starts acting up) and its attendant medications, along with hot flashes and fatigue and aches and pains.
Not that at least some of the aches and pains aren't just part and parcel of getting old. I'm not too fond of the alternative to getting old, so I shouldn't complain overmuch about that. But with the cancer, you have no idea whether any particular set of symptoms are due to cancer, to side effects, to age, or to some new disease or dysfunction. Everything seems suspicious, and everything is a new opportunity to enhance one's reputation as a hypochondriacal nutbag.
The nausea being one example. Now, the aromatase inhibitor does cause a certain amount of transient nausea. When I have stronger or more persistent nausea, however, this could be due to growing liver mets, or it could be due to the meds, or it could be due to another ear infection, or it could be due to something else. I get to try to figure out which it is. Because there isn't much I can do about the meds or the mets, but there is something that should be done if my inner ears are trying to explode again.
I have an appointment for lab tests tomorrow. If the problem is still there, I'll see if I can get the nurse to check my ears, as well.
Issue Number Two:
Speaking of meds, cancer, and hypochondria... I have been harboring the suspicion that my new aromatase inhibitor may be giving me less intense hot flashes at the expense of allowing my cancer to grow faster. I'll talk it over with Dr. Bouncy in a few weeks, unless I become more certain that things really are accelerating - but the hips are hurting a bit (could be arthritis, of course), and the tumor in my chest seems to be growing. And perhaps building up a companion.
The problem being that the tissue in my chest wall is uneven, that the tumor(s) move around when touched and tend to dip into the space between ribs and/or tissue bumps. And the tissue still reacts to various stimuli (caffeine, allergies, various inflammatory issues), and grows transient lumps and bumps that can make a tumor seem bigger or smaller. So figuring out exactly what is going on in there is rather difficult until things get pretty extreme.
I could, of course, ask for a scan. But that means another huge dose of radiation, which I'd rather not have... and the scans don't pick up the more subtle changes, so they might not even tell me what I want to know. Dr. Bouncy and I agree that a scan is not warranted until there is some clear sign of progression.
So. This is what I get to think about in the wee small hours of the night. Or in the morning, as the case may be. While I wait in hopes that the nausea will pass before lunchtime, so that I can take the medication that might be causing the nausea...