Digging out: slowly

Under the weather

Under the weather

When I decided to start blogging about my experience, I wondered if I would ever be at a loss for words. No, actually. However, that doesn’t mean I am always able to get them down on paper. My preferred excuse for lack of content is that I am just too busy going about the business of living to write; ie: having a fine old time.

Sometimes the opposite is true; I am either deeply depressed or feeling physically miserable. Either condition has a stultifying effect on me. At its worst, I lay on the couch in a fetal position. At its best, I am able to trudge through simple tasks like doing the laundry. I console myself with the notion that at least I am not bent toward self destructive behavior at these times—no excess, bingeing of any sort, and certainly no raging. Just an utter and totally useless stillness.

For the past week and a half, I haven’t felt very good, and by the end of last week I felt so crummy (low grade fever, congestion, and just hurting everywhere) that we went into Boston for a chest x-ray, blood work and a quick exam with Dr. Shaw. Alice (Dr. Shaw) extended my prescription for the antibiotic, but felt certain that this was primarily viral and that between chemo and my already low white blood cell count, my body just was just going to have a hard time kicking it.

So I’ve been drinking lots of fluids, coughing, blowing my nose and pacing about a bit. Of course at these times there is much going on in my head, but my thoughts tend to be quite weedy. And to not make very good copy.

That’s my long winded explanation for the lack of a proper update.

32 responses to “Digging out: slowly

  1. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way for a quick recovery!

  2. every single time you write and let us know how you are even if feeling crappy or angry or whatever you show how remarkably strong you are. hoping you eventually feel better – praying for that.

  3. Thank you for checking in. Even this kind of update is good in its own way (and still well-written, too). Prayers for your recovery from this. And your post reminded me of “Be still and know that I am God.”

  4. Any words from you will do. Especially after trudging through all the crummy stuff. Feel better very soon.
    Love love!

    • Ah Joan, it was only laundry I trudged through—the virus has been the path of least resistance (as in, futile). PS: I failed to comment, but loved your blog where you talked about every creature’s love for life. I must go back to it to retrieve the exact way you put it, but it was beautiful. I hope Mochi’s leg heals quickly…


  5. Carolyn Kersten

    So very sorry Linnea. I’m wanting to know the truth but painful to realize how hard your life is. I’m in the Dallas airport heading home after a great visit with the Paz family. Micah is precious and of course Indigo is a darling baby. Do hope that sibling reunion is a fun time for all. You have to get well! Love Carolyn

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Kathleen Gereghty

    It is always a JOY to hear from you. Sorry the ole Flue has you in its grip.
    My thoughts are with you.

  7. Hope you’re feeling better soon. I experienced a similar problem for the month of January. Actually went off Xalkori for about 10 days to get my immune system back so the antibiotics could work. This virus seems to make for a loooong recovery.

    • Oy Roni, the month of January sounds like a long time. It is weird isn’t it? I have been sicker, but this is just so bloody persistent—one day, just like the next. Hope your immune system is kicking A now!


  8. Dear Linnea — I just wanted to let you know that , if some days all you can do is lay on the couch in the fetal position…….that’s OK. We will lay down with you! X

  9. Dumb question: If a virus, is there an antiviral drug that might help?

    Sorry it is so rough on you. Gesundheit!

    Best hopes,

    • Craig, I don’t think you could ask a dumb question if you tried. And I thought of the same thing but I am on an antibiotic and an antiviral now (acyclovir) and the virus is frankly unimpressed. I’m just going to have to sit this one out.


  10. donna schielack

    truly understand in every way. All we can do is our best and some days like this week for me is down and not feeling well.
    take care

  11. It’s always good to hear from you, even though we know it can be a strain on you to stay in touch. It takes an act of our strong will to do so sometimes, I’m sure. I hope you ride this one out soon. With love and thoughts going your way xo

  12. Dear Linnea, I’m sad to hear you’re having a rough time, hope the virus will give in soon. Sending you strong hugs, keeping you company on the couch and helping you with the laundry.

  13. Hi Linnea,

    I just wanted to wish you feel better soon and thank you for your blog. Your positivism, your honesty, your openness when you are in pain, your amazing writing skills, your artistic side, the way you just stand out and how knowledgeable you are of this road we are traveling, has really helped my husband and I.

    On 1/2/13, I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer stage IV with ALK mutation. It has spread to both lungs (60 tumors) and brain (30 tumors). I got whole brain radiation and I am taking Xalkori now.

    The last two weeks of January were extremely hard for me. Ironically I was having a lot of stress for other reasons than my cancer – which were making all my symptoms even worse. My husband found your blog and it really got me through that crisis. He is a medical physicist at a Cyberknife clinic; however the road is very different as a husband. He also travelled it before as a son 10 years ago when his father had esophageal cancer. Now we both check your blog every day. Some of the ones from the past, I have read multiple times (ie 12/7/11). As I said before the unique way you write provides comfort and understanding. So from San Francisco sending you lots of hugs! Feel better and if we lived closer I will go and help you with that laundry.

    • Johanna, I am sorry you have joined this club but glad that they found you to be ALK positive and that you have started on Xalkori. I sincerely hope that between that and the WBR you can keep the cancer in check. This must be very hard for your husband too but I would imagine he makes for a very educated advocate.

      I thank you for the kind words and (yet another! who knew?) offer of help with the laundry. I received your email and hope to respond later today.


  14. Wishing you the best of possible ‘digging outs’.

  15. Blah! I feel you. Know that I am guarding my post on the couch as well, after my second round of cargo-gemzar. I’m looking at the pool, which my husband has hooked up to his diy heating tubes, thinking of your first swim in your pool. I hope that day is soon and you can savor the idea.

    Sending love and wishes for a speedy recovery,

    • Jazz, thanks girl. I hate to think of you couch surfing as well, but we do what we have to do. Hope he gets that pool comfy warm and that you can hang out there as well.

      love, Linnea

  16. Linnea, being still is just what is needed to fight the virus now. I love the idea of stillness, allowing our body to gather strength. Steve sometimes has to move from the ever present recliner to the couch for a rest in the fetal position, too. Going back to our start, regrouping and withdrawing for a bit. Nothing wrong there. Please, know we are there with you. Stay Still, Hedy

    • Hedy, that fetal position comes in handy our whole life long. And I guess that sometimes just keep moving can mean from the recliner to the couch. Best to you both…


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