Cancer and Drugs

Here’s a new topic for us: drugs! Now, having cancer and taking drugs go hand-in-hand. Like peanut butter and jelly or salt and pepper or sadists and masochists. They just seem to really get along. But taking lots of drugs can be a bad thing!! Let me explain:

For the most part, cancer drugs are a good thing. Anti-nausea, chemotherapy, anti-coagulant, the list goes on. They may not always make ya feel good, but they do good things. But there’s a dark side of cancer-related drugs too. You got your anti-anxieties, your opioids, stuff like that that can be dangerous if over-indulged upon.

I was addicted to pain killers once. I was sixteen and I had just broken my femur in what was a totally unavoidable motorcycle accident where I crashed into the side of my friend’s car. I may have totaled my bike and broken my femur but I dented his door pretty good so who really won that fight? I’ll let you decide, but in the meantime, I was in a lot of pain. Turns out breaking the biggest bone in your body doesn’t feel great, so they gave me some oxycodone. Now, if you’ve ever tried painkillers like oxy or Percocet or morphine, you know that they make you feel lovely. Just an all-around fun time. And as a sixteen-year-old who’s entire summer was now to be spent on a couch, a bottle of fun drugs seemed like an absolute blast of a time.

So I started with my prescribed half a pill every 4 hours, but the effects aren’t as strong each progressive time you take it so I was finding myself taking 3 or 4 pills at a time to get high. Well, I was given 2 months’ worth of pills but thanks to my accelerated intake process, I finished it all in 2 weeks. Looking back on it, definitely not my most shining moment, but hey, it was fun and I learned a valuable lesson.

I was out of pills, so I asked my mom to call the hospital and ask for more and SHOCKINGLY they said no. So I now was out of drugs and my leg still really hurt cause they were supposed to last me 2 months, but there was a bigger issue I hadn’t thought of. Ya ever heard of something called “opioid-induced constipation?” Well I sure hadn’t. And I had been so loopy I didn’t realize that I had pooped 0 times in those 2 weeks. So that led to a full-day bathroom trip and I learned as my bowels ruptured and I was crawling with ants from the withdrawals that taking too much of a drug can be fun but can also have dire consequences.

Fast forward 4 years to my diagnosis day and you learn pretty quick that when you have late-stage cancer, they’ll basically give ya whatever drugs you want. I mean, I was supposed to die soon anyways so why not go out flying high on morphine, right? But thanks to my previous experience with drugs, I knew to stay away and not become an addict which is good cause it turns out I didn’t die and if I had to spend the past 4 years as a drug addict I’d be living very differently right now. Probably be dead or passing out handies under the bridge for crack money. Moral of the story: they give ya a lot of drugs when you have cancer, be careful which you decide to take.

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