Sometimes I Get Scared…

Most of the time I rock along feeling that I will be here a long time but any change to status quo is unsettling and often fear provoking.  I have been through more treatment change-ups than I can even count now and those shifts are unsettling, usually because of uncertainty of the side effects.  With as much and as frequent as my chemo treatments change there is a lack of side effect predictability.  I never seem to quite understand the rhythm of any given treatment and am left wondering “Is this a nasty, cumulative side effect, or am I getting sicker from cancer?”.  I’ve recently switched up and have had two cycles of a new regimen.  The first cycle was somewhat as expected, if not a bit worse than I had hoped, but they all are.  The second cycle seemed much worse, but it was also complicated by a UTI along with prescribed antibiotics for that.  I am out and out afraid of antibiotics – with good reason.  Two years ago while hospitalized I contracted C-Diff (clostridium difficile); a nasty little bugger.  It recurred quickly following each of two progressively aggressive rounds of antibiotics targeted specifically for C-Diff bacteria.  The statistics for future recurrence or chronic condition after two recurrences is quite high.  I consider myself lucky to have become symptom free after the third antibiotic round.  That said, it is safe to assume that I still carry the bacteria but it is kept in check by the good flora in my gut.  When asked what I could do to prevent a recurrence of C-Diff, the GI specialist I was seeing at the time said “Avoid taking antibiotics”.  Well, there you go and here is where broad spectrum antibiotics, such as those prescribed for a UTI, are a problem for me.  They destroy good gut bacteria allowing C-Diff to dominate the gut.  I cannot go back there again.  Anyone who has had C-Diff will probably readily agree that it is a very special kind of misery.  It is also quite dangerous, particularly if already battling a health issue. I seemed to be getting sicker each day following my second round of chemo and being especially sensitive to the C-Diff reality, I stopped the antibiotics after 3 days and began the probiotic Florastor which specifically targets wiping out C-Diff.  I began feeling better after a couple of days.  Has my UTI completely cleared?  Probably not and only time will tell.  I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

This is where fear and reality hit.  I may not look it and I mostly may not feel it, but I am fragile.  Complications of cancer covers a broad territory, but basically any health issue, even common infections, can spin things out of control.  I know this. I’ve seen this. This is not paranoia.  Suddenly then, I find myself thinking those dark thoughts of  what-if? and will-my-family-be-alright? and telling God that I-am-not-ready.  Ha! Then there’s the running list in my head of things that must be taken care of that I keep putting off.  That damn list.

I will have my third round of this chemo tomorrow and, without complicating it with antibiotics, this should give me an indication if C-Diff was at play or if the chemo is just rougher than expected.  I’m not even sure what I’m hoping for!

About clamberton

I'm wife, mother of two, former IT professional and survivor of ovarian cancer living in Atlanta GA. I've started this blog to share inspiration and sometimes maybe true gut emotion as I travel the cancer road. My hope is to make cancer a less mysterious and lonely place for others travelling this road and their caregivers.
This entry was posted in Education and Awareness, My Journey and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sometimes I Get Scared…

  1. William Coble says:

    I just got through reading all of your blogs. They are beautifully written and insightful. Glad to be back up to speed on how you’re doing. Positive thoughts being sent your way


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