08 November 2009


What comes and goes

I've been a little sick this week. Not with an infection, but with what I think are side effects both from my cancer medication and from the H1N1 and seasonal flu shots I had last week. My right arm, where the H1N1 vaccine went in, is still sore like I've been punched. I've had periodic mild fevers all week, I've slept a lot, and the intestinal symptoms I usually have are more pronounced than usual.

I assume it's the combination of side effects that have made me a bit more ill, but it's hard to know. My cancer is growing very slowly in my lungs, but it's not shrinking. So I can expect that eventually it, or the effects of long-term therapies, or both together, will make me weaker and give me more pain. I don't think that's happening now. I expect and hope that as my immune system builds antibodies to the two flu strains (something that takes a week or two), I'll perk up a little.

I can't be certain. I always have some fear that a new weakness or pain I develop won't get better. The fear itself can be tiring, either at its usual low level or when it flares up. But that too is something I've become used to. Fear, like pain, like fatigue, comes and goes.

Some other things, I have discovered, do not. They stay. Love is one.

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I completely understand what you are saying. When my colitis flares badly I think I will never feel well again and that 'this' will be the new normal. It does not work that way thankfully and usually I get better. My almost 3-week H1N1 battle was really disheartening. I am better today. I hope that you feel better soon. Thank goodness for loving spouses who never waver.
If it's any consolation, the feeling like you've been punched in the arm that lasts for several days after the H1N1 shot is, in my experience, typical.

Hope you are feeling better soon!
Um...over the past three years of reading your blog, I've come to love you. Soldier on; you are not alone.
I find that I am sicker when I pay too much attention to my symptoms. That is, when I am well, I'm not so focused on how much pain/fatigue/etc I am experiencing. I guess I'm taking my good health for granted during those times.

That's not to say you are over obsessing - in your case paying closer attention to your body's feedback makes a lot of sense.
And the fact that you share yourself and your fears and innermost thoughts is one of the things about you that I love the most, Derek!
Johann, Matthew and I got our H1N1 and the arm hurts like hell too.