Hard to Breathe

December 02, 2018

Can’t Catch My Breath


I had a problem with the toilet this evening. It just happened to stop up, just after my husband had gone to bed. The water quickly started rising, and I had to rush to get my husband out of bed to come and plunge the bowl. I have never been able to do it right, and now my strength to do it correctly is waning. After he fixed the problem, he asked me why I was breathing so hard.

Well, after my doctor changed my chemo, and I began having trouble breathing. It became bad enough for me to ask my oncologist to put in a standing order with IR (Interventional Radiology) to go in weekly to see if I need to have my chest drained.

Two days later, my breathing got somewhat better – good enough that I know there wouldn’t be enough fluid in my chest to drain safely right away.

(I had to have my chest drained when I was first diagnosed, but after a few times, it no longer became necessary – indicating that the chemo drug I was taking was doing its job.)

The standing order is for 60 days. Someone from IR called me to schedule my appointments for December. I told her my breathing had improved some and I was not sure draining my chest would be necessary. She said it is far easier to have appointments scheduled with IR – so they are ready if needed – as opposed to having no appointment at-hand when I really needed one. I can always cancel an appointment if I do not need to come in. Okay, that makes sense. And, if gives me a greater feeling of security, having them scheduled.

With this new chemo, I am more greatly fatigued, have continued hair loss, edema in my feet/ankles/hands, loss of appetite, edema, shortness of breath, have mouth sores, more insomnia than my usual insomnia, headaches, feeling faint, am more nauseated, and feel worse overall with Kisqali – all listed side effects of the drug. And, my PVCs have gotten worse.

Still, I know such things as my having trouble breathing or doing other things may upset my spouse; something I have no wish to do. Should I try to act as normal (the old me normal) as possible? Should I just be me, as I am now, honestly – yet a me that is striving to be better and overcome what I can; knowing I may not be able?

I don’t have the answer. I’ll just do the best I can, when I can…

But, still it is troubling. And I don’t really know the best answer for it.

I’ll tell you; this life is one big question mark.

So many different battles. So many days when I am struggling to pull myself out of bed and face it.  When it is all I can do to rise from bed and face the day. Anything else I can do from there is a bonus!

Nothing about it is easy. Unless I just let it all slide and give up. I guess that would be considered easy. But that is not an avenue I want to go down; literally.

I do want to make life for those around me; the ones I love and care about, as livable as possible. I’ll be forthright – that is not always an easy task. It is hard enough for me to live a life that is made livable by my actions. Doing so for others is exponentially more difficult, but vital.

I live in a conundrum.



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