Ally Mclaws – Living with cancer during a pandemic: So I’m now in a Covid ward … and fast losing quality of life

As I lie in bed the hours tick away slowly. The day is long and the nights are getting longer. The quality of life has slipped away and I hang on in the hope that it will return as the chemotherapy impact diminishes. If it doesn’t, then, well – it’s time for a rethink.

These last few days have been the toughest so far. The side effects of my treatment and the way I feel about my situation add up to combined misery.

Given the side effects of this particular treatment and how horrendous I am feeling just now, and knowing that there are still two more come, I may have to consider whether these will be a wise option.

Laura and I have already had this discussion. There has to be quality of life. At the moment I have none.

There is weakness in my hands and legs, numbness in my feet, the utter revulsion to food and the almost immediate excruciating wind pains and diarrhoea to name but a few of the side effects – and believe me, the list is long.

I was admitted to hospital on Tuesday, acutely unwell. Laura was allowed to stay with me which we were both so grateful for. Then on Wednesday medics confirmed I have a bacterial infection in my right lung – and I also have tested positive for Covid.

To say that was a shock is an understatement. I was then transferred to a private room in a Covid ward where Laura was allowed to say cheerio but then had to leave the hospital and self-isolate for 10 days by herself.

Thank goodness for mobile phones. We have lived in a bubble since pre-Covid and the only time we are out is when I go to hospital for treatment. Our house has gone from being one of the safest places for me to a danger Covid area.

My eldest son, Cameron, was admitted to Glasgow Royal Infirmary with suspected Covid but fortunately his test was negative. However, it is still very concerning that one of his lungs has fluid in it and is currently on a very high dose of oxygen therapy. We are anxiously waiting for test results.

But, thankfully, everything is in place and, of course, there still lies the option of recovery.

I managed a small bowl of porridge this morning – my first real food for over a week. Laura was ecstatic to hear that news.

I’ve just got to hope that the antibiotics and IV fluids they’re pumping me with will do their job.

I am still hanging on – just.

Ally McLaws is a freelance specialist in writing, business marketing and reputation management. See the full range of services on offer and view all previous back issues of his column at www.mclawsconsultancy.com

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992