Saturday, February 18, 2017

And Just Where the Heck Have I Been?

In January I signed up for a 5k walk, the Chocoholic Frolic.  5 kilometers is a little more than three miles, and after pushing myself through all the cancer and surgeries and other events over the past three years, I felt that a little challenge was in order.  I signed up, got a friend to join me, and even bought a new pair of walking shoes for the event.  I felt very good about the whole thing.  Yay me. 

The second day of February, my throat hurt.  I went to the doctor for a strep test, and walked out with antibiotics and a steroid shot.  Usually, the medicine works, and I'm back on my feet again after a couple of days.  This time, I started feeling worse, but it wasn't in my throat, it was now in my chest. I used my inhaler often, but I was still having trouble breathing.  I also had no appetite, which should have been a huge red flag for me.  I dropped ten pounds in two weeks, and not in a good way.  No eating meant no energy to do all the things I missed out on while I had cancer.

Larry was very firm:  I was not doing the 5k, he insisted.  I was sick.  He, of course, forgot about the huge amount of stubbornness in my DNA. Nobody can tell me that I can't do something! I was on a mission, to prove that I could do this one thing.  It took on mythical significance in my mind.  If I didn't do the 5k, that meant that I had given up. That was my perspective

I did the 5k.  I woke up that morning, did not have a fever, and felt that I could complete the walk.  So I did.  I showed up, walked very slowly, and finished.  I consider this to be a great accomplishment for me, a generally sedentary soul.  Larry said he was proud of me, but he also yelled a little at me for being so stubborn.  I didn't argue with him. I felt too horrible. 

There were consequences, in the form of bronchitis. I felt as bad as I did when I was on chemo!  I ended up with more antibiotics, more steroids.  They helped a little.  Then came a sinus infection and VERTIGO.  Yes, vertigo. I didn't even know that was still a thing.  If you've never had vertigo, it's like you spun yourself around and around until you make yourself dizzy, but your brain never returns to normal.  I couldn't turn my head without nausea, the bane of my existence.  I will do just about anything to avoid throwing up.

My body had had enough.  I simply had to rest, whether I wanted to or not.  It's no use trying to push yourself when you end up worse off. That sort of defeats the purpose of a challenge, burning yourself out like that.   I took a couple of days and just slept.  I took the third round of antibiotics and the drug for vertigo and I slept like my life depended on it, which it probably did.  I also ate, even if I wasn't hungry.  Taking care of myself became a priority this week. 

And today, I feel relatively normal.  I'm not dizzy, I'm breathing okay, and I'm awake.  I think I've learned a lesson--that I don't have to push myself so hard. I can still do the things I did before cancer.  I just have to take care of myself differently, and do what my body tells me. 


  1. Tina, glad you are on the mend but what a horrible few weeks. Taking care of yourself always needs to be a priority! Hugs :))

  2. I am so sorry that you have been so ill. When your body says rest, it means it. I am currently battling a cold due to pushing my body beyond it's limits. I feel your pain but thankfully not vertigo.

  3. My gosh-I hope your recovery has been progressing. Still make sure to rest and eat chocolate when you want! ;)

  4. I'm sorry you're sick, but so proud that you accomplished that for yourself. Hopefully by now you're feeling much, much better. Vertigo stinks... here's hoping that stays away for good.


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