From a million dollars to sack of shite in 5 minutes

Things were going pretty well until about 3 weeks ago. I felt the best I’d felt in several years. My energy levels were well up and I was feeling positive (as positive as you can when you’ve got cancer). 

We’d gone to the coast for the day and weren’t overdoing it when suddenly, in the space of 5 minutes, I felt as rough as old boots and needed to sit down. We didn’t get home for a few hours after and when we did I collapsed into bed. Within a day the fatigue had well and truly set in. Foolishly I went swimming, as I had for the previous couple of months in an effort to get through it, thinking a bit of exercise might liven me up. Boy, was I wrong. It almost finished me off. By that evening my neck and top of my back had seized up and the runs had started – they lasted for a week before easing. 

Eventually I went and saw the GP, who wasn’t sure what had caused the sudden and prolonged change from feeling like a million dollars to feeling like a sack of shite. He thought that it could have been a bug but that I’d been affected worse because of scarring left in my bowels from last year’s radiotherapy. I wondered if the hormone pills I’d been on for 2 months might also have played a part, but who knows?

A couple of days after seeing the GP my hands started cracking up, a bit like the chapped hands that I get in the winter but much worse, with fissures in several of my fingertips just for good measure. They’re only now starting to close up after a week of pain and discomfort. You really find out how many nerve endings there are in your fingertips when they’ve got bloody great cuts in them.

I’ve started to get some energy back now after 3 weeks and have been back to the gym twice and swimming once but I’m only managing about a third of what I’d worked myself up to previously and even that knocks me out. Fifteen minutes on the treadmill is really hard going. I’m trying to get through it so I do 10 minutes on a couple of the other bits of equipment, too, before having to go home. It’s not easy. In my head it’s a battle between me and the cancer and telling myself it’s me who’s going to win but sometimes I’m not so sure. I’m determined to get through this latest downturn but, of course, that depends on whatever “this” is being just a blip and not the state of things to come. Surely I’m not that decrepit yet? Cancer is a bummer.

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