Skip to content

Sunset yellow vomit

By Gillian

Those of a squeamish disposition should scroll down to the final paragraph for the status update!

One of the more surreal parts of the whole hideous weekend was that when Christopher threw up, the vomit was usually a bright yellow. And I mean BRIGHT yellow. Almost day-glow in fact. Which was odd because he’d hardly eaten anything, and certainly nothing with any E-numbers or food colourings in.

It turned out to be a side-effect of the new laxative he’s on, which is meant to counter-act the bunging-up effects of the opiates. It contains dantron which is a synonym for 1,8-Dihydroxyanthraquinone, a member of the anthraquinone dye family. We had an interesting chat with our pharmacist about it when we picked up the prescription. Apparently, it was used as a dye-stuff during the War, and all the workers in the factory making it came down with diarrhoea! After the War some enterprising person decided to exploit that and market it as a laxative. It was a very successful product until it was realised that (in high doses at least) it is carcinogenic in rats. So now it is only licensed for use as a laxative in terminally-ill cancer patients, presumably on the grounds that a small risk of another tumour is neither here-nor-there in the grand scheme of things if you have advanced cancer already.

Welcome back to the squeamish for a quick status update. I visited Chris at the hospice again this afternoon. He’s still vomiting and unable to eat anything, but the pain is now under control. He was awake the whole time I was there, which is an improvement over yesterday. He still feels really ghastly and has absolutely no energy to do anything. Even talking to me was an effort. But he is clearly in good hands and the medical team are working to get his scheduled scans brought forward so that they can see if there is an organic cause for the vomiting. I think it’s going to be quite a long haul to get on top of this one.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Mantina Ahlijah | 28 July 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I hope they get it sorted soon. At least the professionals are at work. Which gives you some time to rest for when he comes home.
    My prayers are for you

  2. CattusMagnus | 29 July 2010 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I’m glad to hear that his pain is under control. I’ll say a prayer that they can keep him comfortable.

  3. Gillian | 29 July 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Thank you.