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Today I was uploading and annotating this latest video on Youtube, watching myself clear my throat mid-sentence. I do that a lot lately, never noticing the habit until seeing it over and over in my videos. It seems there's always just a little bit of fluid stuck in the back of my throat.
Jim says this began after my mastectomy.
Not a big deal, I told him, perhaps a leftover side effect from the anesthesia. It can take a long time to clear the anesthesia drugs from your system.
Or maybe it has something to do with the chemo.
But today a new thought stopped me cold: Could this be cancer? I was frozen for a long instant, as if a heavy weight were crushing my chest.
I've heard that a subtle cough, or a minor ache, persistent but not alarming, can turn out to be the first sign of metastasis.
But then my lungs sucked air and I shook off the fear, got back to the task at hand.
It's probably nothing, I told myself, and I believe it probably is nothing. But, just to be on the safe side, I'll bring it up with my oncologist when I see her on Monday.
I suppose this is part of life on planet cancer, a regular feature of the landscape - where red flags fly over every ache and gripe, and the gravity of the disease you're battling, the preciousness of the life you don't want to give up living just yet, hits you over the head.
I hope I never get used to it.