Content warning: this post gets into some semi-graphic detail about bodily functions. I've debated on posting about this, but frankly I think it's necessary to show what someone working through cancer might go through.
I've talked before about how my digestive system can be like an angry Greek God at times. Sometimes I have less than a minute to locate a bathroom before all hell breaks loose and my bowels can no longer contain their bounty. Unfortunately there's a condition known as "late state diarrhea" that can happen after the chemo round is complete. This can make heading out of the house a perilous experience as there have been times when I've felt fine and then needed to avail myself of the facilities with little warning.
Today we decided to head out to the book store. We were going to head out to Barnes and Noble but the construction in the area made that a losing proposition. We decided to head out to 2nd and Charles instead. It was further out but had all of the things that we needed: accessible bathroom with low friction use the facilities and the titular book that we wanted to look at (also CDs, but I digress). As I was searching out various CDs to purchase I felt a familiar feeling. I tried to relax to see if it was indeed something that needed addressing. Unfortunately the answer was yes, so I looked for JoDee to hand her the CDs that I already had picked up (gotta love the "no merchandise in the bathrooms" and yet nowhere to put said merchandise. Alas, I propped the CDs on some boxes and bolted through into the bathroom. Relief, though it felt a bit like defeat. I was hoping that the Lomotil and Imodium I took would have done the trick but so no avail.
We finished up at 2nd and Charles and drove home. As we were nearing home I felt that feeling again. As we got closer to home I fretted that we wouldn't make it in time before things would get ugly.
Friends, things got ugly.
Fortunately it stayed relatively contained, but shitting myself while driving is not one of the things I wanted to have on my dance card.
Sadly this isn't the first time this happened. The first time this happened was when we were walking. That was way less contained.
I'd also like to say that I was brave and fearless during all of this. Friends, I was anything but. My calm was pretty much shattered with the realization that once again I was doing something that I hoped to not do for a very long time.
I cleaned up the mess and once again threw out the clothes that got soiled. At the very least this time it was just some jeans and my underwear. Before it was way, way worse.
Thing is it brought up feelings of being out of control and of doing something embarrassing. Leo recently posted titled "Embarrassment is a Part of Growth". The first time I shit myself I posted about it obliquely. This time around I'm sitting with the feelings of embarrassment, lack of control, and fear. But it's part of my disease, and by extension who I am. It's something that happens. I do whatever I can to prevent it but at some point it's likely going to happen again. I can either be afraid of it and feel like this is something that only happens to poor fools like myself or I can realize that in every life a we will probably shit ourselves spectacularly.
Shit happens, as it were. And that's OK. Mine is part of my treatment. And I'm OK with that.