Yesterday I’m on my way to my 10:30 class and I stop at Starbucks for my quotidian latté. (I love that word!) Half the parking lot was being stripped and repaired and asphalt and concrete dust was flying everywhere, thanks in no small part to a guy who inexplicably wandered around with a leaf blower. I parked close to the store, took a deep breath and tried to hold it until I got inside. It didn’t work and I inhaled a lung full of the particulates swirling around.Annoyed, I went in, got my latté and grabbed a napkin to hold over my mouth as I went back to my car. I wish I’d thought of that on the way in, since I have napkins in my glove box.
I should give some context at this point. In August of 2011 my husband and I both caught a flu and after it had run its course, my cough didn’t go away. In fact, it got worse. I called my oncologist who blew me off with some Claritan and my GP who decided it was asthma. Nobody did a chest x-ray until I accidentally inhaled some spray fixative fumes that our brilliant art students still spray indoors, despite warnings and threats from the faculty. I went to the ER and got an x-ray and low and behold, they saw cancer lesions in my right lung. One biopsy,collapsed lung, and PET scan later we found that my breast cancer metastasized into my lymph nodes, right lung and bones. Chemotherapy reduced my lesions by over 80%, especially those in my lung, but the scarring left behind, along that from my radiation therapy in 2009, left me with chest pain and little stamina. Okay, back to my story.
I got to work and started feeling pressure in my chest and go right home after class. By the evening, my chest was burning and I started coughing in fits. This morning I’m starting to wheeze. As long as I stay quiet and don’t talk, I don’t cough much, but it still burns, so I’m canceling my class today.
I’ve been on a chemo holiday for three months and lately was feeling good. Todd and I had a wonderful wekend for my birthday and we’ve been decorating for Halloween. But cancer always has to remind you that it’s there. while I try to live it has to remind me that I’m dying. I feel like crying but that will just make it harder to breathe.
I’m scared out of my mind. I don’t want to die.
I’m sorry to be such a downer today.
I called my onco’s office and they sent me to the emergency room. Overall I’m fine but my lungs are irritated and just need to rest. Lucky for me I have a full day tomorrow!