Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Is a cough ever just a cough?

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Here's what might be a typical train of thought for someone surviving cancer. That someone, in this case, is me.

I have been getting sicker and sicker for the past three days. Sore throat, sore ears, and a heavy head made me think at first it was some sort of sinus issue. Add a cough, a rumbling and painful chest, sore gums, chills and sweats, and a fever roaring past 102.8 and the worries start rolling in. I feel like I did twice before, just before I was admitted to the hospital with dipping white blood counts.

The worst of it hit Friday night and since I just couldn't make myself sit in the ER for hours on end, I overstepped my boundaries, tracked down my hospital's on-call oncologist, and listed off my symptoms. Since my treatment for breast cancer concluded one year ago, the doctor wasn't worried. He called it an infection and called me in a prescription. In a few days, when my course of antibiotics run out, I should be fine.

Kris Carr said in her documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer, "Is a cough ever just a cough?" For someone surviving cancer, like me: No. It's is always something else first. Only after a little panic does it usually turn out to be just a cough.

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