Nausea. It feels like someone reached down my throat, grabbed my stomach and pulled it out through my mouth.
The Temodar is getting to me, finally. The first three of five straight days of 340 mg are fine, then the nausea hits on the fourth and lingers for a few extra days. Food seems absolutely repulsive. Any strong smell is like a poison gas.
Over the summer I took lower doses of Temodar without the nausea reliever Zofran. When the dose was upped to 250 mg, I learned (the hard way) to take a Zofran ahead of time. I’m taking it around the clock now, but still in the grip of this dreary, ill feeling.
Enter Marinol. My oncologist prescribed it for me last week to back up the Zofran. One of his assistants, in preparing the prescription, counseled me earnestly not to expect a “high”. Like marijuana, Marinol’s active ingredient is THC. (1) Rather than risk my health inhaling some pungent plant smoke under cover of darkness, I would ingest a medically necessary, socially acceptable and completely legal pink pill. (2)
It arrived at my local pharmacy Monday and my wife picked it up. That was day four of the Temodar. I felt unsettled and my appetite was nil, so I went to the fridge and took one. And guess what? After a few hours, I was high.
It’d been years since I had that kind of experience. My mind was swept up in a garish parade of thoughts and meta-thoughts, a peculiar but recognizable sensation. I felt compelled to write, and laughed at myself, suspecting my revelations were the same worn offerings I’d ignored when sober.
All in all, I prefer my normal frame of mind, though in contrast it seems inert and bundled. Fortunately, my appetite came back.
Tuesday morning I was not queasy, but had a headache. I rallied for an outing on the sailboard, took a Zofran while sitting on the board out in Casco Bay, then swallowed the last of the Temodar when I got back to the landing. The nasty feeling crept up again in the evening, though I was able to eat and avoided Marinol. I woke up twice during the night and beat back the nausea with will power.
But this morning was just wrong. I pushed myself through each tiny step of a mundane morning ritual and got my son to school. Later I napped and was able to stomach a pear.
At this point, I’m not sure which I prefer: sober nausea or stoned hunger.
This article explains the medicinal use of dronabinol (brand name: Marinol). Some enlightening excerpts:
Possible side effects include: “feeling like you are outside of your body, ‘high’ or elevated mood, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), sleepiness, strange or unusual thoughts”.
Symptoms of overdose may include: “inappropriate happiness, sharper senses than usual, changed awareness of time, red eyes”.
Would someone please let me know when it’s appropriate to be happy? ↩
This is a (rather snarky) illumination of the differences between Marinol and all other (illegal) THC vectors. It opens with this choice retort: “Medical marijuana already exists. It’s called Marinol.”
I appreciate Marinol’s convenience and precise dosing. The cost, however, is ridiculous. On Oct. 20, 2011, Drugstore.com listed the price of 60 capsules of 2.5mg Marinol as $441.97. The illegal “bud” form of the drug is a fraction of that cost. (I would guess 5 to 10 percent for a similar dose). ↩