Usually, it’s easy, or at least doable, to post to this blog. Even if things aren’t going well, I can find some bright spots.

And I’m trying to be honest about it all, since others may be going through the same thing and if I just say, “Hey, it’s all great.” I’d be making them feel something’s wrong with them if they aren’t happy and positive all the time. Charlie has a real problem with people being praised for fighting cancer well, because what does that say about those who die from it? Are they losers who didn’t fight hard enough? (And remember, the only two people Charlie knew with cancer before me, his grandfather and my mother, died from it. Neither of them were losers.)

Anyway, I’ve spent the last week in agony and haven’t been able to find anything good about it for most of the time. I’ve had lots of back and hip pain. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry and have the world go away, but curling up in a ball hurt too much. Everything hurt too much. I thought it was sciatica. The guys in the emergency room Friday night thought it was sciatica.

Then I went to my family practice clinic and got what I figured was worse news. I’d had a rash develop in the same place as the pain Thursday, I figured from my hip being sweaty from being on the heating pad. Prickly heat, right? The doctor took one look at it and said “Shingles.”


All I knew about shingles was that they’re incredibly painful and hard to treat and not something I want to have at all. I mean, I’ve had cancer. Isn’t that enough for the year?

But no, I have shingles. Now, it does make sense. It hits when your immune system is low, which mine has been. Charlie was upset at how lethargic I’d been after my last surgery, but you can have symptoms of shingles weeks before the rash and, yes, one of them is lethargy. All the little (and big) things that have been wrong can be explained by shingles. I may not even have sciatica at all.

But, the morning after, the good news is, the shingles treatment seems to be working. I’m sore and achy. I had trouble finding a position that was comfortable to sleep in for more than 2 minutes and think I was spinning like a top last night. But I’m not in excruciating pain, so I have to be pleased.

I haven’t said “It’s just not fair” through this whole thing yet, but if I were going to, I think it would have been during this last week. But, once again, a good doctor is doing all he can to help, I’m getting better healthcare than 90% of the world, and it’s working, so it really isn’t fair. But I’m the one on the “unfair good” side.


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