I have a cold

I have a cold. This is the first full blown in my chest, sinus full of cotton balls, cold I’ve had in a long time. In many ways I’m lucky. I’m lucky that I managed to get through chemotherapy and my surgeries without getting sick. If I had this cold during chemotherapy it would have been horrible, and may very well have led to a hospital visit. Fortunately, that did not happen. In some ways, I think my body knew that it couldn’t afford to get sick then, and suddenly, it can now.

Interestingly, my anxiety levels are way down. This cold feels like a familiar cold. It doesn’t have feelings that remind me of cancer treatment or metastatic disease. The only fear I have with this cold is that I’ll get it every time I try to exercise, or that it will linger on-and-on preventing me from getting back on the bike or back in the pool (this has the effect of making my depression scores higher). Next weekend is Casting for Recovery – the fly fishing retreat that I was selected to participate in. I do not want to be sick for it!

And so, I’m trying to take it easy. I’m mostly reading and watching TV. I’m trying to drink lots of warm herbal tea. I’ll try and get out for a walk later today if it isn’t raining (yes, it is forecast to actually rain here for the next 3-days). It’s a little cooler outside than it has been lately. This morning, I didn’t go to the market because it was only 12 degrees C outside. I’ve become a wimp, but I’m using the cold as an excuse. I don’t need to go out in the cold or the wet. I need to feel better.

  • Becky


  • Rebecca, got a cold right after chemo ended and I think you are right that our body waits until the treatments are over to get sick. Or maybe our body is too used to feeling crappy and seeks a continuous state of yuckiness?
    Cold is gone for me but the perpetual runny nose I’ve had for months won’t go away. Some of it is the still cold weather. We go for walks with the dog at a park where the wind blows all the time and that triggers the nose too. I can riding my bike might be difficult so riding more upright or recumbent might be my next option. A recumbent with a trailer for the dog might be safer? Especially when it’s icy.
    Enjoy the rain, I guess California really needs it. Are there indoor tracks near you for walking or biking?

  • Scott, your perpetual runny nose may be a lack of nose hair because of chemo. When Iost my hair, the runny nose was definitely an issue. Your point about body being used to being sick is actually a real concern of mine … part of the anxiety.
    No indoor anything except the gym (and even the pool at gym is outdoor). That being said the sun is shining this morning with no signs of clouds.

    • Rebecca, I didn’t lose much hair. My chemo was different that the breast cancer mix and many of women at the clinic were jealous until they saw my natural bald spot:-) My body hair has turned lighter, the hair on my head does looks older but my nose hairs seem unaffected.
      The sickness worry came to me while talking to a nurse. I found myself in the role of patient even though I felt fine. Feels like a performance and I don’t blame the medical people for treating me as ill when I’m not. Right now I’m practicing being in the same head space in the hospital as I am in the building supply looking for tips on repairing drywall.
      Do worry about my heart but at over 6 years since the first operation I’m good at feeling the arrhythmia as it comes on and relaxing out of it. Same with the chest pains, the difference between surface and deep pain are easy to tell and most are surface nerves firing. Just had a CT scan for cancer and to image my heart and will find out at the end of the month if the aneurism in my aorta is stable. That said, it’s hard not feel a jolt of fear at every pain–my body responds way before my brain can calm it down.
      Funny, we have an indoor track here but avoid it even in blizzards for an outdoor circle around a summer trout pond. Part of it is the dog can’t use the indoor track with us but for me the main stopper is the track was built by a local oil company and given to the county. Unfortunately, Alberta’s conservative governing mindset hates public amenities so they stuck a $10 fee on each usage. May pay for this later as the nerves in my hand are damaged for being out in the cold. Anything is better than cooperating with conservatives though.
      Hope you can a walk today:-)

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