Despite hours of sleep and bowls of homemade matzo ball soup (courtesy my friend Jenn’s mom), I’ve only gotten tireder, my throat only sorer. I called my oncologist’s office today to ask them a question (Should I go to the doctor?) to which the answer was obvious (Yes, you fool). After eating a bagel, napping, eating some pasta, and napping, I finally dragged my ass the block and a half (I am not even kidding) to the walk-in clinic where I plonked a mask on my face and waited for an hour and a half before seeing a doctor. I then proceeded to give her my medical history (which she asked for) even though the type of cancer I have is really irrelevant to the sore throat for which I was seeing her.

She noticed in my file that I’ve been to that clinic three times before for a sore throat — though, to be fair, two of those times were for the same sore throat — and I chuckled that, yes, I seem to have a problem with strep. Which she thinks is what I have. Even though my throat isn’t nearly as sore as it usually gets with strep. However, my swollen lymph nodes, low-grade fever (which I swear I didn’t have before), and the white spots on my tonsils all indicate strep even if the rapid strep test didn’t. Which brings up this question: has anyone ever had a positive result on a rapid strep test? I never have, though I get strep something like twice a year. Anyway, I am now on some kind of super-antibiotic to force this infection into submission.

It’s kind of nice to know that there is a reason to my fatigue other than chemo. I hope that as the infection clears up, my energy comes back as it usually does after a round of strep (which always leaves me knackered). Because right now I am so totally tired that I understand why they ask cancer patients on assessment forms if they are too fatigued to shower or bathe. Friends, I think I last showered on Saturday. When it comes down to it, I’d rather sleep. Or lie on my bed and think about sleeping. I even dream about sleep while I’m sleeping, if that’s any indication of how tired I feel.

This is the first time during chemo that I’ve felt like I’m actually going through chemo. Where something in my brain clicks and goes, oh yeah, I remember this. I think it came on more gradually the first time I did chemo, though it’s hard to remember. And maybe this is just regular ol’ infection fatigue, not chronic treatment fatigue. I sure hope so, anyway. I notice myself doing things like saying something that is close to what I mean to say, but not entirely my intended meaning and then not clarifying myself because I’m too tired to try to figure out how to say what I mean. Or (and this is a strange one) seeing people I think I know, but not being able to remember who they are or how I know them, so avoiding eye contact OR simply greeting them like I know them, hoping their name or occupation or place in my life will come to me, only to realize that I have no fucking clue who they are and, even worse, they have no fucking clue who I am. So if you pass me on the street or see me out somewhere and I seem to be snubbing you, please don’t take it personally. I’m probably having an anxiety attack trying to remember your name and it isn’t that you aren’t a memorable person, it’s just that the part of my brain responsible for holding on to the names of things and people is not as accessible to me these days as it usually is.

And on that note, I’m going to take a nap.


About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
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One Response to Goddamn!

  1. dusterbed says:

    Dear strep,
    EFF YOU.
    With warmest regards.

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