I'm a somewhat superstitious person so I knew I was taking a risk with the title of this blog and felt like I had to 'knock on wood' each time I read it. Non-superstitious people will just say it was inevitable that I would get sick sooner or later. From whatever side of the coin you want to flip it, the end result is I sit here today, sick with a cold. It's the first time since I started this blog that I had no motivation to write it, so it will be short and sweet.
When you have cancer, a common cold is not just a pain it can be dangerous. My immune system is already compromised because of the cancer and the drugs I take. Any infection means all my healthy blood cells will travel to the place of infection to try and kill the virus or bacteria that is causing the infection, like they would in a healthy person. But when my healthy cells take a vacation to another part of the body, it leaves the cancer cells free to do their dirty work with no supervision.
The cough started a few days ago and progressively got worse. A chest x-ray was needed last Friday to confirm that it wasn't an infection and luckily it showed it was just a regular common cold. The tricky part for me is the pain that comes with everything. It's magnified when I cough. It's not impossible, with the state of some of my fragile bones, especially in the rib area, that I could fracture a rib just from a severe coughing spell. Several hours in the ER this morning confirmed that didn't happen but that didn't mean the pain went away.
Once again, I am so fortunate to live in a community with an amazing health care facility and team. The doctor I saw in the ER this morning is the same one who ordered my x-ray on Friday. When he told me there was no fracture I was relieved, but still frustrated. "What is causing this (insert expletive of your choice) pain?" He took both my hands in his and said, "My, dear, it's the cancer. Cancer is causing the pain." Oh. Okay. Who do I see now that I'm feeling like an idiot?
I'm never in denial that I have cancer and if you've been reading this blog from the beginning you know there have been a few rough days here and there, but I never expected to be feeling relatively healthy (I spent Saturday night having a blast in a casino) and then just wake up in the morning with unbearable pain. I thought it would come on slowly. I thought I would feel other symptoms first. I thought I would have some warning (my doctors will tell you they have been warning me about this all along). Nope, the ER doc said, this is basically what happens. Because there is spread to my right lung, I always have fluid there, what they call pleural effusion. Surgery last summer has tempered the fluid quite a bit but with the coughing, the doctor said, came inflammation. Inflammation, I've learned, might be the force of all evil when it comes to cancer but I'll save that for another time. Basically, the inflammation, in the pleural lining, and around my chest wall, is causing the pain. The pain could dissipate when the cold does, or it just might be the next stage of pain to deal with, given the spread throughout the bones.
The solution when the pain increases, is to increase the pain medication. My twice daily slow-release morphine has now been doubled and the fast-acting morphine I've ignored in the bottle for several months I will now be reaching for every three hours, at least for the next few days. This means amping up the daily dosage of other medication that comes with increased levels of morphine. I don't want to provide too much information but let's just say that if you read this post and say "shit happens" well, I can tell you, with morphine, it actually doesn't.
Add to this the cough suppressant I'm taking and it's safe to say for the next couple days I'll be incommunicado. I won't be responding to many texts or emails or be out and about driving my vehicle, which is actually now considered a weapon with this level of pharmaceuticals in my system. I've always believed in the power of sleep to heal the body, so that's likely what I'll be doing for the next day or two. By this time next week I hope to be back blogging up to my normal standards. Thanks everyone for plugging in each week, providing me with such encouragement and strength. I drew on that to motivate me today.
Until next time........carry on.
You certainly don't need a cold on top of everything else. Sending you healing vibes and best wishes that your body will heal quickly and that the pain will subside as the cold does.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Barb! I think your vibes worked. Feeling better each day.Delete
Hope the cold passes soon. Thinking of you.ReplyDelete
Hope you feel better soon....we did miss you last night at the dinner in Mildmay....Think of you often.ReplyDelete
Thanks, DD! Hope to see you next month or sooner!Delete
Always thinking of you, Cindy. Hope you are feeling better soon. Many prayers for you. SDReplyDelete
Thank you....it is much appreciated!Delete
Good morning. I just found you blog. I feel your pain. I also have breast cancer that has spread to my bones. I was diagnosed oct. 2013. I immediately found out it was stage 4 metastatic cancer to several areas of the bone. The pain is very hard to handle. Currently perscribe patches every 48 hour and diluadid for bteakthrough pain. Makes ? E very hard . I am allergic to morphine. Exyremely fatigued. Trouble staying awake to type this. You are in my prayers.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis but empathize with your pain and fatigue. You may relate to this week's posting about fatigue. I wish you all the best as you go through this and hope you will find relief that leaves you with comfort and peace. Take care.Delete
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