Taxol Chemo #1
After a month off of treatment, and a switch of the schedule, I went back for my first of 12 Taxol chemo treatments last Thursday.
I did MUCH better than the last appointment I had in that building (which was just to see the oncologist). That time, I was nauseus the entire time, from the parking lot through the end of the day -- and I didn't even GET a treatment. So I was pretty worried about how I'd feel going back for more chemo. But other than some pacing and a little bit of anxiety right before I left for the appointment, I handled it well. I did let Ben drive me though, which ended up being a good choice.
These treatments start with several pre-meds to help prevent and treat all the side effects -- Tylenol, Tagamet (antacid), Benadryl, Kytril (anti-nausea) and Decadron (anti-inflammatory). Then the Taxol, which takes about an hour.
As soon as the Benadryl hit me, I started feeling a little dizzy and woozy. The nurse said that was normal, and the feeling lasted for several hours, so I'm VERY thankful Ben was planning to pick me up.
About halfway through the infusion, one of the nurses came in and told us all that someone had sent us an ice cream truck and we could wheel our poison-poles out to the front parking lot and pick out some free ice cream!
I had NO desire for ice cream, but so appreciated the gesture that I immediately set out on the little field trip! It definitely made for a positive spin on a day when I wasn't sure how everything would go or how I would feel.
Honestly, the ice cream tasted terrible and I only ate half of it. But it definitely helped me add some fun and levity to the situation.
I felt fairly similar to how I've felt in the past leaving the cancer center after a treatment -- puffy, tired, a little off-balance and that Benadryl had REALLY knocked me out more than normal. So I'm VERY thankful Ben was there to drive me home. I essentially fell asleep on the way home, and immediately got into bed.
But, about 2 and 1/2 hours later, I woke up feeling pretty good! Still slightly off-balance and puffy, but I was able to eat dinner, wasn't nauseus at all, and my head felt so much clearer.
How I'd be affected by this drug remained a mystery, so I've waited a few days to blog about it. But four days later (Sunday) other than Thursday afternoon, I've felt completely normal!
I woke up early on Friday morning and went for a long walk in the neighborhood with a friend, worked all day and had plenty of energy. Saturday I slept in pretty late, but again, woke up feeling great, did my normal HIIT workout, and had a fun 4th of July with family and friends. Today, I cleaned the whole house and did a few loads of laundry. So it's been business as usual. The only side effect I've noticed so far has been slight constipation from the anti-nausea meds, but otherwise, I feel totally fine so far.
Until I know how and whether my white blood counts will bounce back on their own after each of these treatment, I'll probably try to keep a little more "social distance" than I did in June, but I'm hopeful that infections and sickness won't be a problem--though it's certainly a general concern for anyone getting chemotherapy. So I'm *trying* to heed warnings and be cautious, even though I feel good and want to SEE people and DO things.
Maybe my doctor wasn't lying and this really *will* be significantly easier to handle! So far so good...1 of 12 complete!