Taxol…Bad To The Bone

Here is the 80’S CANCER JAM OF THE DAY: (I couldn’t resist):)

I am officially almost 72 hours out from my first Taxol chemotherapy infusion, so I think it’s safe to give you a preliminary update. Here’s how it went down:

THURSDAY (INFUSION DAY)

Taxol infusion is a longer affair than AC (Adriamycin/Cytoxan), mainly because there is a much greater potential for immediate allergic reactions, and you have to be monitored more closely. Therefore, they drip the medication in very slowly over 3 hours or so. By the time all is said in done, you’ve spent 4 hours plus in your “chemo suite”, which is really a misnomer, because there is no minibar, mint on the pillow, or even HBO. I won’t really be recommending this on Trip Advisor, although, sadly, it’s better than some hotels I’ve stayed in. All in all, Thursday was leaps and bounds better than than AC, which is spawn of Satan. I had zero nausea and went about business pretty much as usual. I still let my hubby cook dinner; I have to use the cancer card sometimes!

FRIDAY

Friday was a great day. I was a little tired, but I had been very restless the night before from being hopped up on steroids, and I couldn’t sleep past 5 am. I went in for my Neulasta shot, went to the acupuncturist, and took the kids to lunch and to do a little shopping. I made dinner and turned in early. I was sooo excited that this Taxol stuff was going to be a breeze.

SATURDAY

And this is usually when the Gods look down on my self-satisfied smugness and let out a long, evil belly laugh. Let’s just say, Saturday they were really having a ball. I was ok when I woke up, but a steady ache had started to settle in my pelvis. Still, I managed to get out with the family for a few hours. By the time we came home, the ache was more like a pain and the fatigue was much worse. I just started to feel really “unwell”. I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed, trying to find a comfortable position, which is very difficult when angry Lilliputians are drilling wood screws in your hip bones and putting your ovaries in tiny vices.

I think a lot of my “crash” had to do with the steroids finally clearing my system, ending my artificially induced high.

SUNDAY

Today is a better day. I’m still achy, but I am functioning. I will be off to the drug store later to buy some Claritin, which I have read on some cancer forums may ease bone and joint pain. I’ll let you know if it works.

Also, I am almost done putting together a post on supplements which have helped me tremendously with this journey. Stay tuned…

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Tango With Taxol, Part 1

80’s CANCER JAM OF THE DAY:

 

HALFWAY THERE

Well, here we are again at the Bureau of Poisons and Profits (also known as the oncologist’s office, wink wink ;)).

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After a wonderful 3-week “chemocation”, I’m back to start my first round of Taxol. First, the CBC to see how my blood counts are holding up. My hemoglobin is bouncing back at 12.2, up from 10.2 last time.Yay! But my white blood count is still pretty low at 2.5, even though I had Neulasta after the last round. I almost got sent home for bad bone marrow behavior. I imagine that my white blood cells are holed up in a dark, cozy corner catching up on “Breaking Bad” reruns, refusing to come out. At $8,000 per shot, I’m gonna drag those bitches out if I have to reach in that bone marrow myself!

This time, I am getting extra pre-meds above and beyond what is given for AC (Adriamycin/Cytoxan). There is an extra steroid, Decadron, combined with Pepcid. Then a whopping dose of Benadryl to prevent an allergic reaction. Let me tell you, I never knew that Benadryl could pack such a punch. Talk about loopy! After about an hour of pre-meds comes the star of our story, Taxol. Dramatic music plays here. If you haven’t read about my horrid experience watching an allergic reaction to Taxol, catch up at https://drlisamallen.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/trampled-by-the-kool-aid-man/. I’ll keep you posted on how everything turns out.

SUPER-HOT BREAST CANCER ACCESSORIES

I took some advice from several fellow breast cancer warriors and decided to ice my hands and feet during Taxol infusion in an effort to prevent peripheral neuropathy. This is a more common side effect, causing anything from numbness and tingling in the hands and feet to severe pain. Being a runner, feeling my toes is not really optional, so I put some ice in ziplock bags, dug out some snazzy electrical tape, and voila! The stunning results are below. I’m thinking this could be an overnight sensation. Think of the possibilities! These can go to the beach, the pool…or, you can just slip them on to keep you cool while you tan. Genius!

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