The Chemo Journal – Round 5 – August 8, 2011

August 13th, 2011

I finally finished the Adromyacin-Cytoxin regimen and started the Taxol regimen. As you can imagine I have read dozens of accounts of what Taxol side effects are going to encompass. Let’s see….more hair loss, low blood count, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, neuropathy, darkening of the skin, discoloration of nails, blah, blah, blah – yes it could be pretty damn bad. I get that. I’ve just been through hell with the first regimen so I’m kinda geared up for the worst. One note of interest: I have convinced my oncologist to try this round of Taxol without making me get the Neulasta shot. My blood count was pretty low going in so I have to hope it doesn’t continue to drop or its back to Neulasta. I think that is the thing that causes all of the horrible side effects I was having.

Read on to see how things have gone.

Day 1  (Monday)
They drugged me up with a weird combination of drugs besides the taxol. Ativan, Benadryl, and Steroids. Wha??? Ativan and Benedryl tells my body to go to relax and go to sleep, steroid tells me to be awake….who wins? Well sleep won because i’m pretty sure I fell asleep for well over an hour during chemo which was fine with me because it took 4 hours. Less time to kill….I went straight home afterwards, and just hung out with the kids. Felt pretty normal, but I did have a few bathroom visits (sorry for TMI but this is a blog about cancer yo). Other than that, pretty unremarkable day and evening.

Day 2 (Tuesday)
Felt pretty good all day. Don’t even have the metallic chemical taste in my mouth. Had a decent appetite, slight headache but nothing a florinal couldn’t fix. Went to a two hour long commission meeting, then had a few drinks with friends. Again, felt pretty good and normal all day for the most part.

Day 3 (Wednesday)
This was the day I expected the other shoe to drop. But it didn’t. I still feel pretty darn good and normal. Not even tired or headachy. I did go to the clinic for fluids to try to prevent a dehydration headache. But I have no muscle or joint aches, no bathroom issues, no mouth sores, no neuropathy….nothing wrong with me at all (and some of my friends would want to debate that). Great and productive day. Wow…either taxol is going to be much easier for me, or there is a big delayed reaction. I should mention that my doctors put me on a drug called Neurontin because I was having some pretty distracting pain in my right hand and wrist that had gone on for about a week which made it hard to hold a pen, write, type. They suspect it might have been nerve related. Hopefully it will actually lower the neuropathic effect that Taxol tends to have so maybe I won’t get a big dose of that. Let’s hope so because I kind of need my fingers to type. And my hand is feeling much better. The pain is almost completely gone.

Day 4 (Thursday)

Another good day. Small headache, few aches and pains here and there but I really can’t complain. I am feeling fantastic compared to the past regimen of drugs. I am really so relieved!

Day 5 (Friday)

Starting out good and strong. Did some cleaning, doing some work…having business meeting with a friend, going to see a concert tonite at Georgia Theatre. Really very surprised at how easy this round has been so far. I’m convinced its the not having the neulasta shot that has saved me. Day ended up with not too much discomfort BUT I did get a pretty big blood clot in my right thigh. Started out the size of a quarter, and was raised visibly. Was the size of a half dollar by the end of the day. Just have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get much bigger.

Day 6 (Saturday)

Well the joint and bone pain started kicking in today. And I can tell neuropathy is taking hold. It is intermittent. There will be times when I feel slight numbness in my feet but it isn’t disabling by any means. I have found that taking the neurontin, raw iron, and ibuprofen seem to make a good difference in the pain and neuropathy. I’ll take these side effects over the Cytoxin Adromyacin side effects any day. It’s really not that bad at all in comparison.

Day 7 (Sunday)

I would say the joint and bone pain were about a 4-5 on the pain scale. BUT I have a pharmacy full of pain killers and muscle relaxers so there are no worries there. I hope the other three rounds are just as easy to knock back with pain pills. That will make the rest of chemo a cinch to get through!

Day 8 (Monday)

Not much else to say…the recovery is just about done. Not needing too many pain pills, just taking my vitamins and off to the races.

  1. Christy Adams says:

    Just wanted to say, Paula gave wanted me to read your blog. I am on the same chemo as you. I don’t get any sides affects until about 5 days later. I also take the shot after. My white cell blood count went to 60 on the first round. I have my 3 rd round on the 18th. Good luck to you.

  2. Good Days says:

    Stay strong! Your blog is inspiring and informative. Have you heard about Good Days from Chronic Disease Fund? We are an organization dedicated to assist chronic disease patients. This includes breast cancer

  3. Ellie Skentrou says:

    I ‘ve been reading you since round 2 which coincided with my 1st round, same medicine combination, cyproxin for the white blood cells the following 2 or 3 days. I ‘ve also been anxiously waiting for your round 5 which, I must say, has given me the courage to go through my 4th round starting today. (I hate it, I hate it, I hate it -see, I ‘m not as patient as you are!)
    Thank you so much for what you are doing here, you are really inspiring and great help!