Good News…I’m Alive (after Chemo #4-Taxotere)

Had the taxotere treatment yesterday and managed not to have an immediate reaction (hives, respiratory distress, death).  Although, I’m still looking a little flushed today.  They packed my hands and feet in ice packs (that was a bit uncomfortable) I think to protect my nails from falling off? or to help with the arthritis that is due to kick in in a couple of days.  I heard I might have trouble walking, because my feet my hurt.

My oncologist said I would be flying higher than Santa on the steroids, but I’m due to crash on Sunday.  On Tuesday when I took the steroids, I was up at 3:00 in the morning, wide awake and bushy-tailed.  Yesterday, I woke up at around 5:00.  I haven’t had this much energy since before I had kids!

The doc. also said that I would be retaining a lot of water, and that salty food would be a problem, and to beware of eating too much… just in time for Christmas Dinner.  Yum.  Today, I have a craving for…. zucchini sticks.  Don’t ask me… I’m going to put them in the toaster oven right now.  Darn… I only have 4 left.  Anyone going to M & M’s store anytime soon?

I told the doctor that I was concerned I would not to able to move in a couple of days.  He assured me I would be fine… what do those Pharmacists know?  They have to write every single side effect on the sheets they give out.  I hope he’s right.  I think my friend (who came with me on this treatment) thinks he’s a quack.  She wasn’t  too impressed with him when I asked him if it was a good idea to go to the gym to exercise and he said something to the effect of… Are you kidding?  Do you know how many germs are in those places?  I wouldn’t eat my breakfast there!  My poor friend thought he was a tad overbearing… too bad she missed the the appointment I had when my husband came (treatment #2), and they argued about viruses, delaying my treatment for a good half hour!

The hospital gave me a bag of goodies for this next cycle.    Hmmm… what’s in here.

toothbrush, sensitive toothpaste, mouthwash (for impending? mouth sores),

nail polish hardener, vitamin E cream, oh oh.. and a booklet about Taxotere.  Do I want to know more about it?   Hmmm…. here are those side effects the doc. told me I wouldn’t have.

Side Effects

-nausea, diarrhea, vomiting (so far so good)

-fatigue (nope)

-stomatitis (sores in the mouth)

-nail changes (had those before I started treatment)

-low white blood cell count (guess I will have to wait and see)

-fever

-weakness

-rash (I have a flush around my face, but I think it’s because of the steroids)

-nerve pain

-fluid retention

-hair loss (that’s okay, I got plenty of scarves, wigs, and hats)

-swelling at the injection site (don’t think I’ll be getting that, seeing as I have that picc.

line – at least the thing is good for something)

Serious Side Effects (ie:  call your doctor when… ’cept no one will be there… holidays)

-muscle pain

-nerve pain such as numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands/feet

-allergic reactions such as trouble breathing, tightness in the throat, rash, hives,

– swelling of the lips or tongue or low blood pressure

-fever or signs of infection, like redness or swelling at the injection site, a cough that

– brings up mucus or a sore throat

– liver problems such as loss of appetite, dark urine, light-coloured stools, yellowing of

the skin or eyes

-kidney problems

-persistent vomiting or diarrhea

-visual disturbances

Okay, enough of that.

Stella gave me a great idea for those Christmas Slippers…. give them to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, seeing as I have all carpeted floors.

I met some interesting people at my last chemo treatment.

A mother of a 3 1/2 year old; named Leanne.  I overhead her telling her mother, sister, and friend that she was worried about telling her niece that she was dying.  I told her about Gilda’s Club and I think she may join.  She told me that she had lymphoma, which metastasized to her throat, breast, and now her lungs.  I felt bad for her.  She is so young and bubbly.  I also told her I had a cousin with 4 different cancers (lymphoma, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma).  Despite given a less than 20% chance of living by doctors, she’s managed to live with all this for over 30 years.  They want her for a study, but she lives too far and doesn’t want to make the commute since she doesn’t drive.

My substitute nurse, was telling me that they had another patient, with the same last name as me who was receiving treatment here.  She said she was coming in today and now’s my chance to meet her to see if she is related to me.  Turns out her husband is from the same italian town as my parents.  I will have to ask them if they know his parents. Anyhow, she was a hoot.  Very lively.  We asked each other what we are in there for and swapped stories.  She has both a 20 and 21 year boys.  I think she said that last year, she went for surgery because she had many fibroid growing inside her uterus.  When they started taking them all out (laparoscopically in pieces), they found 9 cancerous tumours.  But because of the operation, they spread all over the place.  Despite everything, she is back at her job which she loves (real estate homes or something like that), and is very positive.  I liked her and hope she will remain well for a long time.

Well, that’s it for now folks.

I’ve got to go pick up my kids from the daycare soon, and get ready for dinner at Nonna’s and then singing for 3 hours tonight.  Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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