INTRODUCING….TAXOL

March 3, 2017

I’m a bit nervous about this stuff.  The routine is familiar enough with a bag of chemo and a bag of steroids, but what’s this?  A third bag.  Benadryl.

A LOT of Benadryl!

Apparently they’re prepping for some kind of allergic reaction.

Nurses are hovering around me like busy bees, concerned, but doing their best not to cause alarm.  Nice try!

Turns out everything is ok.  I’m not allergic to Taxol.

Wait!  Why is the room spinning? Oh yeah, the Benadryl.  Whew!  Thought I was dying for a minute.

Think I’ll just take…a….little…..snooze…..

March 4, 2017

Just call me Wonder Woman, cause that’s how I’m feeling today!  I kinda like this stuff!  Slept really well last night, too, right through the hot flashes!  Woke up soaked, but that’s OK.

Can I get some of that Benadryl to go, please?

March 5, 2017

The bus hit. Ugh.

March 6, 2017

Bring on the bone pain.

They told me it might happen, but I thought, “Not to me…I’m Wonder Woman, remember?”

Centered mainly in my deep pelvic area and legs, the stabbing, intermittent pains are accompanied by a strange weakness, like when your back sends “zingers” down your legs and they feel like they’re gonna buckle.

Trying triple doses of ibuprofen  during the day along with attempts at more moving around.

Night time will begin with a couple Motrin PM so I can sleep through the pain.

March 8, 2017

Back in the saddle!

Except for the terrible head colds hubby and I caught from the grandkids.  Hopefully this won’t grow into any kind of upper respiratory infection.  Fingers crossed.

Seeing those babies was so worth whatever amount of tissues we’re blowing through.

March 19, 2018

Chalk up another round of chemo…number six is done.  Two to go.

All in all I’m feeling pretty good except for the first few days after infusions, when lightheadedness is the most prevalent side effect.  I’d like to go see my daughter-in-law for her birthday tomorrow, but driving might be rough and I’m moving really slowly to keep myself upright.

I’m just a party in a package!

So, Taxol, is that all you’ve got?  You gave me back my appetite and substituted lightheadedness for the queasiness.  You’ve added bone pain, which isn’t fun, but is manageable. Neuropathy in my hands makes them feel like they’re falling asleep.

Cool.  I’ve got this

Lately, though, thoughts of what comes next are haunting me.  In about a month I’ll have to make a decision that can make the difference between being rid of this cancer or facing an early recurrence.

Is Wonder Woman scared?  Hell, yes!

If I choose to have a lumpectomy, as was the plan, what are the odds that it will come back in the other breast?  That side has a tendency to produce nasty abnormal things like atypical hyperplasia.

The surgeon said, a little too casually for my tastes, “We’ll just take that out too.”  While his casual demeanor was slightly reassuring, it seemed like an afterthought.

Like “Honey, while you’re out can you pick up some groceries?”

Still, I sense a darker side.

This ER/ PR+, HER2- cancer can come back in another form, even triple negative, and it’s like likely to return in the bones, lungs, brain or liver.  While I’m  negative for any of the genetic mutations they tested, I am at higher risk because Mom had breast cancer and even just because I have it.  Will this ever be over?

I’ve read that it’s common for cancer patients to be afraid of discontinuing chemo.  It’s not a fun time, but what happens next?  How long will the drugs continue to work?  Sure, the cancer is slowing now, but will it spring back to life, like the villain in a horror movie you think is a goner, till his seemingly lifeless hand reaches up and grabs you?  Will life ever be normal again?  What treatments will I need?  I thought chemo was scary.  Radiation terrifies me!

I wish this uneasiness was something a shot of whiskey would erase, but it might take a bit more than one and that wouldn’t be pretty!

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