My energy levels started to regain equilibrium one month past radiation. For two weeks, I completed one chore every single day, thirty to sixty minutes of house work or gardening. The toilets were clean. I could walk from the front door to the gate without getting impaled on cactus. I had a list of to-do and fix-its to accomplish. I was almost back to my old self…
…when KABOOM! The Cold From Hell knocked me flat on my keister.
Not that one has to be in cancer treatment to get a winter cold, but my weakened immune system made me especially susceptible.
The first day of being sick, I slept twenty-one hours and had trouble maintaining consciousness. I had those awful dreams where I was trapped somewhere and couldn’t save myself unless I woke up — but my eyes wouldn’t open. I passed out on the floor twice when I tried to get out of bed. I thought if I could only turn on the light, I would see where I was going — but I couldn’t remember where the light was.
I didn’t eat solid food for four days, not because I was nauseous, but because it was too much effort. I tried to stay hydrated, but beyond that, I just wanted to sleep.
A week later I was still fatigued, but able to eat small meals and go up and down the stairs without fear of fainting. After I canceled my chemo infusion — because I did not want to bring this cold into chemo lab where every single person had a compromised immune system — my oncologist told me to see a GP within 36 hours, tops.
My lungs showed signs of early bronchitis, and because my immune system had not fully recovered, I had an increased risk of the Cold From Hell elevating into pneumonia.
The GP prescribed antibiotics, cough medicine, and an inhalation aerosol to help me breathe.
My oncologist postponed the infusion another week, which means that instead of being done with treatment at the end of July, I won’t finish chemo until mid-August.
Two weeks after feeling like I was run over by a fleet of trucks, I’m tired and coughing — but I’m getting better. Sort of. Honestly I am.
In the larger scheme of things, a bad cold is only a tiny setback — but it still feels like a setback, especially when I was looking forward to resuming life.