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Breathe, breathe in the air

20 Oct 2006 / 0 Comments / in general stuff

Two weeks ago I mentioned that me and Moth quit smoking because of the news that my best friend has been diagnosed with cancer.

One of the symptoms of the disease is that for the past three weeks fluid has been building up in her pleural cavity resulting in the complete collapse of her left lung.

She says: “I can’t remember ever having been in so much pain. No position was comfortable and I was too weak to stand. Anywhere I moved, I was bent double like an old woman. Breathless, I could only whisper between bouts of coughing and retching. Trying to get upstairs, or to have a wash, really took it out of me; generally I needed an hour to recover from a wash. Exhaustion and pain finally drove me to bed, where my insides seemed to turn to stone, and I could not sleep.”

Earlier this week she had an operation to remove the fluid and to try to find out more about the primary source of the cancer. She said: “After the operation came the coughing: five and a half hours of continual racking coughing as the lung re-inflated.” A chest drain had been sutured in place during the operation so more fluid could drain off afterwards. A total of nine pints of fluid was drained from her lung.

I want to pass on something she said:

  • “1. The next opportunity you have, please drive to a beautiful hill in the country, go to the top, look out over the land before you and do some really deep breathing. Enjoy every moment. Take a deep breath now. It’s beautiful, priceless, and something we never think about.

  • 2. If you smoke, please stop.”

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