Cancer Diary: Update 2018/06/01

Some kind of progress…

Despite the stress of the last six months or so, things finally began to pull together this week as the last of the deposit on the new place was paid (liberating a lot of much-needed cash in the near future), although this really means having to live mainly on credit for the next month. Now, however, I can think seriously about replacing my lost bookcases and getting most of my possessions off the floor… meaning that there will be much more space available, sort of soon-ish.

From now on, things will normalise quite rapidly, and it seems to be working out likewise medically, also, as the reduction of Lopmin dosing loosens my insides and makes for more comfortable (if not entirely predictable, yet) sessions in the bathroom.

This is actually important: higher doses of Lopmin led to longer retention time for my stools, and as the function of the lower intestinal tract is (at least in part) the removal of water from whatever material is contained in the lumen before it is released, this has (up till now) meant having to void some very dry material, and it became clear quite quickly that some modulation of both dosing and the actual quantity of food consumed were necessary – as well as more serious consideration of how the matrices of the various food types being consumed were interacting with the other components of the system (imagine shitting large pieces of dry, fossilised wood). The question of water input (in terms of daily liquid consumption) seems something of a red herring at the moment, its effects possibly being disguised by those of the Lopmin; also, for a long time now, I have been consuming cashew nuts as a form of fibre but these need to be chewed well to avoid large (and sharp-edged) chunks passing through – good from the POV of digestive function, but possibly painful to pass (WTF, I’m alliterating again…).

In my own case, it seems to be a quite powerful drug, meaning that a relatively low dosage (one capsule = 2mg active component) has a relatively strong effect, which can be considered “adverse” in this context of preventing the retention and formation of (ultimately) very dry stools which can be painful to pass (bearing in mind that they have to pass through an area of the body which is still healing from surgery). The reduction of anal soreness as they soften is a welcome sign.

I contacted the Professor by text message to let him know what I was doing, as well as to inform him that we would have a quite extensive (about five weeks) summer break during which there would be plenty of time for me to work on his proposed English-language review of the FDD, which would also require additional input from him in terms of initial information about the structure, materials and original rationale of the FDD, its intended function, how it is operated, its interaction with a patient’s body and the intended timescale of usefulness (which was normally in the three weeks following the operation, during which it would be inserted into position, and then removal under the assumption that healing had progressed sufficiently). Some ready-made illustrations would be nice, too…

At work, as my students were in Jeju for most of this week, there have been no lessons, so I have been reading up on Korean language, linguistics, and also re-read Philip K. Dick’s “The Maze of Death”, thinking whilst so doing that it would be a good idea to read his “VALIS” at a later time, although to be honest, it has been difficult to stay awake during the afternoons… I do miss all of my Michael Moorcock novels back at home in England, but question whether it would be a good idea to have them sent here on the grounds that contracts for foreigners in South Korea are mainly for a year and you never really know what will be happening or where you will be a year after signing; this has never struck me as satisfactory, but on the other hand, since I left Mr. Lee’s hagwon in Changwon back in 2009, there has been little by way of stability in terms of location; my two years in Daegu seem to have been an exception rather than a rule.

Alas, I also had to say goodbye to my Speaking lesson co-worker of the past two months, Hoony, as he is returning to civilian life as a teacher, and his replacement will arrive on Friday, so that afternoon could be quite busy, but does at least have the advantage that all of the classes on Monday are the same (and hence so are also the lesson plans and materials), plus the first lesson is not until 11:30 a.m., so we can take things at a fairly relaxed pace.

Anyway, everything seems positive as we move into the summer.