Cancer and coronavirus, part 2

Hi all,

Have just learnt today that it is highly likely that I have got/had a mild form of covid.

Started with a cold (definitely) at the beginning of the month. I then told school I was going home (I work Monday only) on the 16th as I just didn't want to be around crowds. I have NOT been out since. Boy at school had covid on the friday 20th.That weekend I was short of breath, tight chest, green catarrh, sometimes diarrhea. Chose to ring GP rather than 111 and was put on antibiotics. Roll forward a few days and breathing improved but still not good. Cold now gone. Antibiotics finished and within a couple of days the breathlessness and sore chest is back. Cough if throat dry, this has happened all through, so still drinking like a fish. Gave up this morning when the second government letter arrived, and rang 111. Wait not too bad at half hour, and they said to ring GP. GP confirmed that likely to be covid, put back on antibiotics, keep isolating (even from family as per rules, as much as possible) and see how things go.

Good news, rest of family not caught it so far. And I have the pony field to sit in.

So. No fever, no persistent cough. Happy to answer any questions if I can. 

Stay safe and at home! Xx 

  • Update late July 

    Further blood tests and a chest xray are all clear. Static oxygen levels are around 95%, but dynamic ones can drop to 78/84%, after about 200m walking, then slowly rise to 88% at about a km. If I keep going (slowly!) then it will increase to 93%. I have no idea why, whether I'm supposed to walk through it or not. Cannot get any answers, and there is a certain amount of disbelief at the surgery that I even had covid, putting it down to anxiety. Yes, some for sure, that I cheated death for the second year running. They even had me wondering if I imagined it. But no, I definitely didn't, and they found a crackly chest at the only real checkup. Now they think it is post viral deconditioning. Again, it will be some but generally I beg to differ. Review in 12 weeks the letter said. I now hate phone appointments. Back to me to save me, somehow. Forget the medics they don't seem to be any use. Rant over!!!

    Stay safe, you definitely don't want this, it doesn't want to go away.

  • Further update, end of August.

    Oxygen levels would appear to be stabilizing, as in not getting below 90%, and 92% on exercise, 95%+/- 1% normally. On a bad day I rang 111 again, and got to speak with a doctor on the Covid team. Went through everything and he wrote a report for my GP. The result of this was an ECG and a 24hour trace. There was one incident, so am being referred to cardiology. Just what I need, NOT!!

    Decided to challenge myself and do the 5km race for life in Sept. Haven't walked this far for months, to my disgust, but have been totally unable to.

    School starts back next week, so it will be very interesting to see what happens, as haven't really been out anywhere since early March.

    Stay safe out there!

  • Update, early October, nearly 7 months in.

    School went ok, they have a good regime going. Very weird actually going out after so long! Main problem is the shortness of breath still. It also affects my voice, but at least the doctors can hear that on the phone!

    Had an appointment to check for blood clots on the lungs at the hospital. Bloods, chest xray, but didn't get the CTPA. They are happy there are no clots, but at some point I will get a 72hr ECG trace. GP in the mean time has referred me to the respiratory team. There is now general agreement that I have "long covid".

    From a cancer point of view, the last few months have seen a deja vue in that the chemo after effects suffered last year have reappeared. In the absence of any real info, my guess is that the covid has attacked my weak points, ie the chemo effects. But at the moment no one knows.

    I managed the Race for Life round a local wood, 5km in a pathetic 1hr40. But I did it!!! 

    Just be careful out there.

  • Hi, thanks for your update  and it sounds that you have made positive steps over the months.

    As my granddaughter would say ‘pants’ about the ‘long COVID’ abd I can totally see how it would target your OST treatment weaknesses but let’s look for you to navigate this..... but doing the Race for Life... a high Hand splayed from me.

    Very encouraging that school has been ok, I just can’t imagine going back into an education environment during these crazy times.

    Do take care and keep in contact x

    Mike - Thehighlander

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Hi Gemmary, I absolutely love your spirit of determination and courage to help yourself.  You deal with the hurdles with such positive focus.  It is always such a pleasure to read of your progress and yes, I agree there are such parallels beween chemo and covid.  

    1hr and 40m doing the race for life is phenomenal in my book, considering what you have been dealing with.  I really don't think I could have done it that quick!

    Keep taking those steady steps of progress Gemmary, this is  so encouraging.

    Take care and keep safe xxx