Wednesday, 10 March: By last Wednesday evening I sounded like I was trying to cough up my lungs and had a bit of high temperature, fortunately brought down with a couple of paracetamol.
On Thursday I met with a friend for a socially distanced walk. In the spirit of doing shorter walks, as recommended by the oncologist, I suggested we just went to the local park – masses of snowdrops, crocuses and very active swans. The weather forecast, she emailed, said there was a six per cent chance of rain. It arrived as we started out – we were appropriately dressed, hadn’t seen each other for months and had much to talk about so carried on. I think it stopped raining when we ended our walk.
My temperature was raised again in the evening – much higher than the previous night. The DH was making noises about going to A&E or calling whatever the out of hours number is. I took more paracetamol and said I’d see what news GP had next day on the urine test. Of course, it was clear so no UTI. Whatever is causing the temperature spikes is a mystery. The GP prescribed a course of antibiotics. Almost at the end of the course now, there’s no change to the hacking cough so it would seem to be safe to conclude it has nothing to do with whatever infection I have.
On Sunday the DH and I ventured round my on-loan field. I don’t think I stopped coughing and felt I ought to shout tot he fisherman in his boat on the river that I truly don’t have Covid.
When the specialist nurse called today he asked if I’d heard anything about the brought-forward scan appointment. When I said I’d heard nothing he looked it up on the system – and found I was booked in for April 12. That would be the original scan date, 12 weeks after the end of treatment. This is not a brought-forward date! He says he’ll look into it. And will I get bloods done after I finish the antibiotics?
Right now, I said I need something which will suppress the cough for an hour or so while I deliver the creative writing workshops. In fact, right now, I doubt if I could lie still on my back for the scan without coughing. He has asked the GP to prescribe a ‘simple linctus’ – which he did. To be honest, it’s not going to make any more difference to my cough than Manuka honey, boiling water and malt whisky. I do promise that I will find a way to not cough throughout the workshops.
I forgot to mention last week (probably deliberately because I’m so mortified) I was weighed when I went to meet the oncologist and, since I started chemotherapy in September 2020, I have gained over a stone and half in weigh – 21 pounds – no idea what it is in kilos, which is actually what they weigh me in. This is not steroid-induced. This is weight gained because I’ve hardly exercised like I did before when five or six miles several times a week was the norm – and I’ve fallen into the habit/trap of allowing myself treats, lots and lots of treats.
It has all gone on around my tummy, creating the classic apple shape which is so unhealthy and carries higher risks of health issues such as heart disease and/or Type 2 diabetes. Like having lung cancer isn’t enough. My jeans, trousers and skirts are all way too tight and I really don’t want to buy a bigger size – not quite ready to give in.
I’m thinking about this and how long it will take to lose the weight I’ve gained over six months and I reckon it will take at least a year of healthy eating (cutting out the killer treats) and proper, regular exercise (which is a bit of a problem as I am permanently knackered). That’s a long time. I don’t know if I have that much time – and if I do, do I really want to deny myself, chocolate, ice cream, tablet….? Even more so if I don’t.
Then, another thought pulls me up sharp. My funeral. I’m fine about there being a need for one, sooner than I once expected. It’s not the being dead and cremated which bothers me – no, specifically, it’s the funeral director. I live in a small town. I’ve known him practically all my life. He’s a lovely guy. He’s patted my shoulder and hugged me at funerals. His wee brother was in the same class as Wee-sis. Now, a first class roofer who has clambered over my roof many a time, he was a naughty boy in school. His sister was a year above me at school and I was so in awe of her sophistication and older boyfriend. Next generation down, I took her daughter on her first ever job as a local newspaper photographer. Thinking about it, she drove. Their dad ran a sweetie shop which we kids loved – then he opened a sports shop which my dad loved better.
Bad enough my funeral director friend would see me naked at any time – so much worse when I’m a stone and a half overweight with wobbly bits. Wee-sis says he could promise to keep his eyes shut as he says he did for a friend with the same dilemma a few years ago. Do we believe him? When he retires his gorgeous daughter will take over completely – she’s so slim – hope she doesn’t judge!
I guess city folk don’t have this problem. The funeral director is probably a total stranger who has seen more wobbly bits than the rest of us have had hot dinners. And, I do know logically when the time comes for him to get me into that casket I won’t know a thing about it and won’t hear see his surprised expression – he wouldn’t comment, surely – about my wobbly bits.
I didn’t meet any lambs this week so enjoy the splashes on colour in the garden.