4 Years and It Got Me

I have had lung cancer for 4 years and 3 months. Overall, I have been healthy. That does not include the side effects from my different treatments but I am referring to catching any type of infection. People with lung cancer are at higher risk for developing infections, both from the cancer itself and as a side effect from treatment. Well, last month it caught up with me.

Avoiding germs isn't always easy

A guest came to my home to spend the night recently and the next day after she arrived, she was down for the count. She went home sick with a head cold and chest cold. I didn't even think twice about it because "she wasn't sick at my house."

Unfortunately, she was contagious the evening before and I caught it. Sometimes we're exposed to germs and we don't even realize. About a week later, I started waking up at night with fevers and during the day I would have a low-grade fever. After the second day or so, I started coughing a really odd cough. It reminded me of a croupy cough a young child would get.

Concerning symptoms

My doctor didn't want me going to the emergency room because she was afraid of other germs I would catch, so I saw her in her office. She immediately ordered a STAT CT scan. She indicated that my lungs sounded much worse than she had ever heard and the weird thing was, other than an odd cough, they didn't feel any different to me.

Well, after the CT Scan, it was determined I had pneumonia. Never in a million years would I have thought I had pneumonia. She started me on Levaquin (I call that the devil's antibiotic due to how it makes me feel.)

The weirdest this was, it wasn't until the day I started the medication that I started feeling out of breath. I mean really out of breath. The smallest movements, like standing up from the couch, had me panting. I suppose the antibiotic was loosening the junk in my lungs and as things moved around, it affected my breathing even more.

Don't ignore symptoms

The moral of this story is, you may never know how seriously sick you are until you go to your doctor. Don't do as I did, do as I say. The minute the first symptom appears - call or go to your doctor immediately. Run, don't wait.

P.S.  10 days later after Levaquin, I feel wonderful - still feeling a bit winded and out of breath in certain situations, but not nearly as bad as the week before.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.

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