Between fifth and sixth chemos

The two worst things, so far, about this paclitaxel are pain and exhaustion. The exhaustion is also a result of the continued and cumulative poisoning of my body over the last 10 weeks. This week I did a lot, including volunteering at Luka’s school for pizza lunch—which I enjoy doing because I love seeing kids being kids, goofing with their friends, handing over their money, eyeballing their change, smiling and saying thank you—every kid, I swear, says “Thank you”—it gives a mother faith in teaching good manners!

The biggest event was going to Stratford to take my dad to hospital in London for an angiogram and surgical consult with one of the most amazing doctors I’ve ever met (Dr. Adam Power, London Health Sciences Centre, vascular surgeon, with more compassion in his little finger than many docs bring to bear in their lifetimes and the best bedside manner I have ever witnessed. He should write a book). It sounds like a lot of driving, 450 km, but it was with my man in the front seat beside me all the time, and we spread it over three days, spending both nights at my sister Heidi’s. I have always loved driving, and prefer to be behind the wheel than kitty-corner to it in the passenger seat (in 2000 I drove Tessa, Graydon, Al and me to Women’s College Hospital while I was in labour with Luka—that does sound like I’m a bit of a control freak, now that I think about it…).

Friday evening Heidi, my man and I were sitting in her den watching the 2008 Canadian flick One Week. It’s about a man diagnosed with malignant cancer and a 10% chance of surviving with immediate treatment, who instead buys a motorbike and heads west across Canada. An odd choice for entertainment considering my diagnosis, but Heidi had already seen it and said it was good, so we watched. She had just baked up a batch of cookies (yes, she baked cookies so we could have something tasty with our tea!) when I started coughing. In the last four months I have had a terrible cough and laryngitis, and the coughing goes all night sometimes. Since November I’ve had attacks of coughing that have resulted in my gasping for breath, and not just gasping, but truly feeling my throat shut off so that no air can come in or go out. Each episode seems to get longer and more severe. This time I had Heidi and my man there, but there was nothing they could do—and all I could do is try to slow everything down and not panic, which is nigh on impossible when you are trying to drag air into your lungs and can feel almost nothing coming in. The technical term is stridor.

It freaked me out. I had a laryngeal spasm at the end of my sentinel node excision in December, so I think this is something serious, and on top of cancer. WTF????

I now have an appointment with an ENT doc for April, and I’m on the cancellation list as well. That appointment can’t come soon enough for my liking.

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2 Responses

  1. Yes, it was a scary thing to watch, so I can only imagine how terrifying it was for you. I’m glad you have an appt with an ENT, sooner the better!

    • Me too, although asking to be put on the cancellation list has got me nowhere fast. Oh well!

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