Round 5 (First Taxol Treatment)

Monday was my 5th round of Chemo and my first round of Taxol.  This marked the halfway point and the time where we switch my Chemo drug.  Taxol, while still very serious, does not come with the digestive side effects that Adriamyacin and Cytoxin have.  For that I am thankful.  But the side effects of Taxol are pretty scary.  Neuropathy is the numbness and tingling in your fingers and toes.  This may occur and could be only temporary, however, it can also cause permanent nerve damage.  The goal obviously is for this not to happen.  There is also serious bone pain, as with the nuelasta shot, feels flu-like and achy all over.  You also get pain in your abdomen which feels like the worst menstrual cramps EVER!!  Sorry guys, I  know you might not be able to comprehend that one.  Let’s just say it feels like little gut punches every few seconds for, oh I don’t know, say HOURS!!!!! 

Treatment day is the same.  Go to infusion center, have blood drawn through Port, go see doctor, doctor gets labs, gives ok for treatment, go back to infusion center for treatment.  My pre-meds are pretty much the same as well.  I get anti-nausea meds, steroids etc and now I get a HEAVY dose of Benadryl.  This is because Taxol can cause a severe allergic reaction.  Taxol takes 3 hours via IV to administer.  When I got the Benadryl I told my mom and Chris that I suddenly felt exhausted.  Now I know why the nurses told me most people sleep during Taxol treatment.  I will most definitely take their advice next time!  All in all it wasn’t that bad, and so far I’ve just been experiencing slight side effects, nothing to serious, except for feeling very very tired all of the time.  I feel like I could sleep for a week.  Last night though, I woke up several times.  It felt like I was cramping up all over, like I couldn’t quite stretch my legs enough.  Then this morning I woke up and had the abdominal cramping.  I took Aleve once I got to work and it seems to be getting better.

Another thing that happened on treatment day  ******WARNING WARNING THIS COULD POSSIBLY BE TMI FOR MY MALE FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!************I started spotting.  At first I thought it might just be because I finished the AC treatment and had moved on to Taxol.  Then I realized that is normally when I would be due.  See I haven’t had a monthly cycle since starting Chemo, and really didn’t expect to have one again til I was done.  Well it turned out to be four days of a normal cycle.  So I will be talking to my Dr. next Friday about what this means if anything.  If it is because of the Taxol or if it is any indication of my body trying to fight to be normal.

Night sweats and hot flashes have been very minimal.  Which is fine by me.  I mean seriously, who the hell wants to go through menopause not once, but TWICE in their life????  Not this lady!  Next treatment (Round 6) is Christmas Eve.  I’ll be sure to sleep that day and get some rest so I’ll be good to go for Christmas Day. 

SIDENOTES:  I’ve been having mixed emotions about Christmas and the holidays as well.  First off, I’m broke so christmas automatically looses it’s fun.  This is mostly due to the fact that we finally closed on our house at the end of October and began the renovations.  I don’t mind being broke because in a couple of weeks we will finally be in our new house.  Which I can not wait for.  But I love Christmas and gift giving.  I know people will understand.  Things happen and we have these cycles we go through where one year you can buy so much stuff, then the next it’s limited or non-existent, and then repeat.  It happens.  I guess I wanted this year to be different given this pesky cancer crap.  I mean, we don’t have a tree either because we are in between moving etc.  It just doesn’t feel like Christmas.  Then I think about my brother and the fact that he is spending Christmas in Afghanistan away from his wife and son and the rest of us.  Then I shut up, because I shouldn’t be complaining at all.  It’s not about gifts and money, it’s about love and friendship.  Spending time with those who matter in your life.  Even though things might seem down, count your blessings.  I’m sure you will find, as I did, that they are many.  So from me to you, all my faithful readers, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  (just in case you don’t hear from me until after Christmas)  I hope you all get to spend time with your loved ones over the next few weeks.  And for my locals, I hope to see some of you as well.  Love to all!

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Oh Hello Emergency Room

Monday turned into the day from hell.  I came home from work early because I just didn’t feel well.  I was beyond exhausted.  After a few hours of trying to sleep I began to feel nauseated.  That quickly turned into me throwing up before I could take any meds.  So I took my temperature because I just didn’t feel right.  This had never happened after any of my treatments.  And wouldn’t you know it, the dreaded numbers I have been trying to avoid show up on the thermometer, 100.4.  I called the doctor and they told me to go to the ER so I could have labs done to check on my blood cell counts.  I managed to get sick on the way to the hospital in a parking lot, again in the waiting room bathroom, and then once more as the doctor was talking to me once they took me back and got me in a bed.

After a dose of phenergen and zofran, I was in sleepy land.  My labs came back fine and they were guessing I got a virus.  I had my flu shot before I started chemo in hopes this would not happen.  So they sent me on my way with a prescription for Zofran.  After the vomiting stopped I was fortunate to get some sleep, before I spent the next day in the bathroom. Oh joy.  So it appears to be either contaminated food I ate or a 24 hour bug. Either way, this is not what I wanted to deal with.  Not only am I past the point of exhaustion, my digestive system has been through the ringer with the Chemo and now it hurts to eat or drink anything.  I can see the recovery from this isn’t going to be as easy as it normally would.  Guess I need to get over the thoughts of my usual bounce back.  Just not that simple these days.

Maybe I am trying to hard to be normal and do all of my normal daily activities.  I can barely make it 5 hours at work without feeling like I need to sleep.  Wondering if I should re-evaluate my working situation with my doctor.  Looks like we will be talking on Monday when I have my next treatment.  I think it would be helpful if I could find someone who has been through the same treatment regimen that I am on and find out how they handled it.  For now I will just try to get as much rest as possible and take it easy.

More to come after treatment #5 on Monday!