Tag Archives: rage

Keppra Rage

As we have done in the past I’ll be leaving the Funny Boy in charge of the updates whilst I undergo surgery. He is under strict orders to not return my mobile phone to me until the morphine has fully left my system. Those who received texts from me in the immediate days post-surgery will be aware that I was not fully compus mentis. I think the worst was sending over 100 consecutive messages in a WhatsApp group  at 2am. I was busy telling my friends how hungry I was, begging for pictures of food porn and sending  a screenshot of a Wagamamas order worth over £50!! Me on morphine is not a good combination.

I am squeezing in this last-minute blog as I fear the Funny Boy will take advantage and share a particular story about me that occurred recently. Before I begin,  I would like to add the caveat that one of the more prominent side effects of my anti-seizure medication is  a risk of becoming aggressive, agitated or angry.  Or as my surgeon describes it: Keppra Rage! I am sure the Funny Boy will vouch for me when I say that 9 times out of 10 I am pretty laid back and excluding the odd occasions  I don’t have a grumpy  personality.

The Story

In October, the Funny Boy whisked me away to the very pretty city of Durham. On arriving at the hotel we went straight to the pool before returning to our rooms to prepare for dinner. As we change our clothes the Funny Boy walks out of the bathroom and looks  at me with a perplexed expression.

’Oh no!’ He cries ‘Look at my pants!’

I look over to see the Funny Boy still wearing his pants but with his Crown Jewels hanging neatly below his crotch.

‘I can’t believe it’ he continues ‘How has that happened? I haven’t even worn them –  I’ll have to return them!  They are my nice new ones you bought me!’

’What?’ I quickly reply ‘No, they can’t be!’ While he is trying to understand how his nice new pants have been so ill-fated,  I  silently pluck up the coverage to tell the Funny Boy the truth…

The Truth

A few months ago,  I decided to invest in an electric toothbrush. To which the Funny Boy made a number of snide comments basically stating how he thought the amount paid was a waste of money.  His attitude changed when he visited our dentist – who knew of my recent purchase and suggested he just get a separate toothbrush head and benefit from  it’s many features. Being a  good wife, I overlooked is sarcastic comments and kindly obliged, providing he  ensured it was always clean and kept fully charged.

Allow me to set the scene: It’s approx 5 weeks post surgery.  I am experiencing  weakness and reduced sensation on the  left side of my body, the fatigue is ongoing and the Funny Boy has returned to work allow me to fend for myself. I wake up one morning and head straight to brush my teeth.

I walk into the en suite to find the Funny Boy has already forgotten the rules; he has failed to return my head to the toothbrush and  the battery is flat. This may not sound like a huge deal but for someone who has lost the dexterity in one of my hands  the simple task of changing the heads was turned into a major struggle. After a small wrestle I successfully removed the  brush  head. As it landed on the bathroom floor. I was in two minds to leave it there ‘that’ll teach him’ I thought’, but resisted the urge and set about putting the brush on charge for 5 minutes so I have enough ‘juice’ to finish my task. Feeling ever so frustrated I turn my focus on the toothpaste and my mood doesn’t improve when I see the Funny Boy has squeezed from the middle making it impossible to get the paste at the very bottom of the tube. Another battle between my reduced dexterity and the half empty toothpaste tube and I finally finished brushing my teeth. It is not even 8am and my anger level was sitting at about  5/10.

I get ready to take Parsnip down for her morning rituals (she sleeps in our bed – feel free to judge but I actually sleep better with my side) Anyway, as I walk down the stairs I walk past – not one, but two piles of the Funny Boy’s ‘stuff’ which he has awkwardly placed in the hall way and the middle of the stairway. Both of which he promised to put away the night before. The first pile is his clean clothes he has prepared for a weekend away to Durham. The second is a pile of card, paper cuttings, pritt-stick and scissors – leftovers from his latest craft project. Each pile is so large that tidying them away requires several journeys up and down the stairs. My anger level begins to rise. I do a number of legs to return the bits and pieces to their rightful place but in doing so I drop some of the pieces. As I pick up the final bits, stomp up the stairs and begin to curse the Funny Boy I realise what I am holding in my hands. In my  left is a pair of his boxer shorts and in my right is a pair of scissors.

I would like to say I debated what I did next but truth be told the rising anger took over and in a moment of rage I decided to cut the Funny Boy’s Boxers. With one simple cut I slashed the gusset and in an instant my rage was gone. ‘that’ll really teach him’ I thought once again. I’d like to say I thought about my actions and  instantly regretted them but that would be a lie. I returned his pants to the rightful place, set about my day in a drastically  improved mood and didn’t think any more on it.

Back to Durham

As I tell the Funny Boy what happened, rather than getting the rage himself he simply begins laughing, before a slightly worried expression comes across his face. He then recounts his changing room experience. He had dressed himself in the cramped conditions of the changing room while another patron sat on the bench Funny Boy crotch height, putting on his shoes.

The Funny Boy had a vague recollection of getting a strange look, as he unknowingly pulled up his Anne Summers inspired crotch-less boxer shorts, before drying his hair and continuing to get dressed.

What must this chap have been thinking?!  That the Funny Boy was some sort of sex crazed maniac loitering in hotel changing rooms, for an unsuspecting person to walk in and the opportunity to show off his ventilated undergarments?!

Recalling this is when The Funny Boy really started to laugh. We spent the next 2 days in Durham wondering if we might be ejected from the hotel for his efforts at Dogging, but thankfully it didn’t happen.

In the end the Funny Boy was just grateful that the scissors hadn’t been applied to his pants, while he had them on.

I should be back in a week but for now, wish me luck for tomorrow and as always #FUCANCER!

 

 

 

 

Unprepared

I met with the neurosurgeon on Wednesday. It was a very different experience than when I first met my oncologist. When I met my oncologist she was very direct and came to the appointment armed with a clear plan of how they intended to treat the tumour in my cervix. I was prepared for a similar style meeting – I had planned a list of questions largely focusing on treatment, side effects, timescales etc. But this appointment was very different.

Any treatment – regardless of where it is targeted – comes with it’s own set of risks and repercussions. But it is only now I am beginning to fully appreciate how complex an organ the brain actually is. Treatment in such a delicate area and the side effects are all the more acute. A lot was discussed and it has been a huge amount to take in. The anti-seizure medication alone warrants its own set of side effects, one being ‘rage’ – not the best news for someone who’s nickname used to be Ragebox! (Watch out Funny Boy!) The situation is far from straight forward and each option has a range of potential risks and benefits. Decisions need to be made and in order for those to be thought through thoroughly more information is required. I struggle to decide what to wear on a day-to-day basis so this is going to be tough. For now we are taking time to do more tests, time to review our options and time to decide our plan of attack.

So how am I feeling?

My good friend put it best when she said ‘Cancer f*cks with everything’ and on this occasion I have an extended list of life admin as a result of my new diagnosis. I spent today drawing up a spidergram to help manage the tasks within my control. I feel completely unprepared for how life is going to change. I am trying hard to pre-empt and where possible minimise these changes but already I am feeling a loss of independence – the luxury of being able to drive wherever and whenever I want is something I definitely took for granted. My poor dad is definitely feeling the strain as chauffeur – not because he hates driving – because he can’t listen to the cricket when I’m in the car!

I haven’t had a big emotional break down yet. Despite glassy eyes on several occasions I have managed to keep all tears at bay but this is not to be confused with me ‘putting a brave face on’! Believe me – I have the best support system who are actively waiting, encouraging, hoping I’ll cry! But the reality is it still doesn’t feel real and despite breaking the news to friends and family I don’t feel like this is happening to me. I don’t feel scared for what lies ahead I simply feel unprepared.

#FUCANCER

The Return of Ragebox

Like most people, I have changed a lot since leaving university. During my four years in Stirling I adopted the nickname Ragebox. A name bestowed upon me by an ex boyfriend. As the name suggests, I was quite hot headed then. If things didn’t go the way I wanted then I wouldn’t be afraid to employ a stern tone and an accusing finger. I recall throwing a pint of diesel (that is the name of a drink by the way – not car fuel) over a boy because he kissed another girl whilst we were ‘seeing’ one another. I cringe at the thought of another occasion where I hid a one of the rugby boy’s crutches whilst on a night out because he had, for want of a better expression, pissed me off. The nickname, and curse, of Ragebox even travelled North to Summer School with me. Losing the Clan Cup to the wannabe gangsta from Uppingham was a sore point not to be improved by his gloating. I remember even my mother, the Iceberg, provoked the Ragebox when she called to see if I was ‘off my high horse yet?’

The memories of Ragebox happened over six, nearly seven years ago now and I am far more laid back. I would say I have matured. Some might say this is because I have since met a boy who does not drive me bonkers but I don’t think it is that simple. The things that annoyed me before simply don’t. I am still competitive as ever yet I have managed to learn how to stay composed. I was happy in the knowledge that the Ragebox had retired and was sitting at the back of a proverbial shelf. Almost like a shoebox of old photos; it is great to look back and remember the stories but it is also a source of embarrassment.

Through Maggie’s I have been attending a course called ‘Where Now’. The course looks at emotions, nutrition, physical activity and coping mechanisms for people in remission. People like me. Everyone in the group has a different story but we share one key thing that others will never fully appreciate; once you hear the word cancer, life will never be the same again. This week we collectively talked about anger. In my opinion anger is a negative word associated with annoyance, hostility and hatred. It is, therefore, no surprise that anger is a common emotion linked to cancer. Cancer is irritating, it’s unwelcome, it’s exasperating. The impact is violent. All of which evoke feelings of rage. In short, cancer makes me angry. It is not an emotion I am proud of and I am loathed to admit it. However, thanks to Maggie’s I have come to look at anger in a new light. Anger was given to us as a defence mechanism. It is a natural response to the feeling of being attacked, insulted or frustrated. That being said too much anger can have detrimental affects. Wether it be saying something in the heat of the moment or simply bottling it up until you feel the need to implode, anger is an emotion that needs an element of restraint. I am beginning to understand that in order to move forward I should embrace this emotion without letting it consume me. Opposed to ignoring it I am finding avenues to help me express my frustration. This blog is a great place for me to vocalise my fury which naturally resulted in the #FUCancer sign off. I am gradually increasing my physical activity. Running in particular is a huge companion of mine. I almost feel as if I can outrun my problems. The reality is that the solitude of running simply puts things into perspective. Overall the best thing I have done with my anger is use it to motivate me. It would be very easy to sit at home and allow the Ragebox to take over in the knowledge my cancer has a high likelihood of reoccurrence. However that is simply not me. That is not how I want to live my life. Nobody knows how long we have on this planet but why should we let that hold us back? I am planning for my future. As Christmas approaches, undoubtedly my favourite time of the year, I have a whole timetable of plans to see family and friends. 2015 is set to be a busy year with a hen weekend, wedding and honeymoon to look forward to. And this week saw me agree to take on a new challenge; I have a new job! It was always my plan to start looking at the next step of my career in July of this year and given the minor detour I managed to endure, I am happy to say I am back on track.

Cancer makes me angry but that anger is helping me to be goal focused. It allows me to be constructive in what I want to achieve. Furthermore, I am no longer ashamed to admit this emotion. I can be a Ragebox. I am having a natural response to an invasion which threatens all aspects of my life. In the the most primitive of terms when an animal is under attack there is an inborn reaction to fight or flight for survival. I guess this simply confirms I am a fighter.

#FUCancer

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