I stopped smoking five months ago due to emphysema of the upper lungs. Why does my breathing seem to be getting worse?

Worsening copd? Patients have told me that they experience cough for a few weeks after they quit smoking. It is not common for that to last for more then 1-2 months. It is possible that COPD is worsening or there is something else going on. Recommend following up with your physician.
Worse before better. It may be that your breathing is getting a little worse before it will get better. Once you stop smoking, the lungs' ability to clear the lungs from all the junk that was stuck there slowly comes back. There are little hair cells called "cilia, " and they stop working when you smoke. Once you quit, they start working again. Maybe that is why. Bottom line: don't start smoking again. Good luck.