Crappy and Rotten
August 7, 2023

This isn’t going to be a feel-good post. Because I’m feeling crappy and rotten. So if you’re here for daisies and rainbows, you’re in the wrong spot today.

I had colon surgery on July 6 and was recovering well. I felt so much like myself that we went out Thursday night as we usually do. We settled in with a nice glass of wine to watch The Crown. As we were watching, I felt a strange twinge in my right side. Like a side stitch you get from trying to run too fast.

I thought maybe I had overdone a little as I’d felt so good and was so ready to get back to normal life. Friday morning I woke up to searing pain in my right side, radiating to my lower back and the middle of my stomach. That’s OK, I thought; I’ll just rest and it’ll get better. It didn’t. By Monday night (a week ago) I knew it wasn’t going to, so we packed up and went to the ER.

I thought they would tell me I had a kidney stone and to go home and drink a bunch of water and pass it. They did a CT scan and I may be the only person in history not to be happy to hear they do not have a kidney stone. I wanted a kidney stone so bad. They admitted me and started me on some high-powered antibiotics for some sort of inflammation outside my colon. And an air bubble.I don’t know what role the air bubble played in the whole mess, but it’s at least interesting. My surgeon said this was a very rare complication. Lucky me.

I hated the idea of being in the hospital, but didn’t think it would be so bad. Enter Flagyl. My new non-favorite antibiotic. This is strong stuff, folks, and the side effects are nasty. They put it in my IV in the hospital, along with a medication for nausea. I was still nauseated and still am, after being home for four days and on the oral version of this monster. You know how they talk about leaving the hospital feeling worse than you did when you came in? Yeah.

At the present moment, my diet consists of toast, popsicles, soft pretzels, and ginger snaps, and anything else I think I can get down. And diet ginger ale because trying to drink water makes me gag. The pizza the first night home was not a successful experiment.

In every down, I try to find the up. Sometimes there isn’t one. This might be one of those times. We didn’t tell many people I was in the hospital, because I didn’t want anyone to worry about me or feel like they needed to do anything for us, as nice people typically do. If you’re mad that I didn’t tell you I was in the hospital — sorry. I really am.

I’m writing from my office, looking out at my lovely patio flowers. Sometimes (like right now) there Is no upside. At the end of this week, when I get to stop taking the Flagyl, I’ll be looking at beginning chemo. So I’ll go directly from nausea to … more nausea. I know I’m still better off than many, many people, so for that I am grateful.

And even though these poor flowers have been through storms, July’s hellish Arkansas heat and a bit of neglect, they’re still blooming. I’m grateful for that. That’s my up for this week. My only one. As much as I try to keep a positive outlook, sometimes things just suck. I’m hoping I can be like my flowers and have the endurance to get through the awfulness. Sometimes it’s not positive, sometimes it’s just plain crappy.

I think this photo of the apples, with one rotten one in the middle, represents my life right now. There is one crappy, rotten one, but the rest of the apples are fresh, green, and healthy. I hope that’s how I’ll be in a few months.

Hey, y’know what? Maybe I could eat an apple …

More about cancer here:


  1. Bruce VanWyngarden

    Nausea from chemo is a common side-effect, but it’s not universal. I never had it, nor did a couple other folks I know. So sorry you’re dealing with this. But it will get better.

    • beth g sanders

      I’m glad to hear you and others didn’t have nausea. I hope I don’t. Thankfully, I get to quit this nasty medicine on Friday, when I have my port inserted. No way I’m taking it on an empty stomach. Thanks for your comment!


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