I now get a 4-week break before I start the next round of chemo, which will be Taxol. These will be done as weekly treatments; 12 in all.
The Taxol will have its own share of side effects, including nausea, hair loss, dizziness, joint and muscle pain, diarrhea, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, etc. But the dosage is supposed to be lower than the A & C and so, the side effects will be lesser (which is why it will be given weekly). Of course, all will depend on how I react to the drug. I am hopeful that the side effects won't be too bad.
The Taxol will be followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments.
This morning, daughter and I left the house at 7:30 a.m. as usual for the 8:45 a.m. appointment. I had to wait for almost an hour and a half before I was called in to consult with the nurse practitioner and it was 10:45 a.m. before I was hooked up to the IV for the actual treatment. By which time I was hungry!
So, daughter went to a nearby fast food place and got me a small hamburger! The patient seated next to me was eating a submarine sandwich which included raw vegetables, a healthier alternative to a burger, but, at the same time, totally disregarding the recommendation to avoid eating raw vegetables! When I first went in for treatments, I didn't want to eat in the treatment room out of consideration for the other patients, but I soon realized that several patients had their lunch during treatment and I presumed it was OK as the staff didn't say anything. So, now, I, too, eat lunch during treatment.
Today, I also made an appointment to be fitted for a wig! They are provided free to patients by a non-profit organization formed in the memory of a lady who died of cancer. I had been resistant to the idea of a wig; I had planned to wear scarves or hats, instead. However, I saw another patient with her new wig, today, and it looked nice and she persuaded me that a free wig would be something good to have. It will give me another option. I have to shave my head before I go in for the fitting, so I'll do that. I have lost quite a bit of my hair and it's time to complete the process.
Here is how my hair looked on December 14, 2015, ten days after the 1st chemo session, still long and abundant:
|December 14, 2015
Ten days later, on December 24, 2015, Christmas Eve, I had daughter cut it short for me, as I was combing out clumps of hair:
|December 24, 2015
And this is the back of my head, today, February 19, 2016, after my 4th chemo:
|February 19, 2016 - Going Bald!
Sigh. Oh, well, one of the tenets of my religion (Buddhism) is that all things are transient and subject to change. The loss of my hair is just another change. And my mother always insisted that change was good! So, I shall take this in stride and move forward. One of my friends thinks I should get a fun, blue wig, just in case. My daughter has offered to buy me a purple one because, when I started to go grey and various members of my family and some friends urged me to start coloring my hair, I threatened to dye it purple! (Purple is a favorite color of mine). LOL.
|White with Blue Stripes Scarf in Progress
My gardener bought me 5 rose bushes (purple/burgundy iceberg roses) to fill in some of the bare spots in the garden and a bag of gladioli bulbs. He will also buy me some planting mix and bone meal, as well. As I don't go shopping these days (due to my compromised immunity), I give him the money, he does the purchasing and brings me the receipts, and we settle up accounts as needed. He was feeling a bit under the weather, so after he dropped off the plants, he left. The new roses will be planted next week.
In the afternoon, I worked on office work (received new assignments, today). I plan to work on office work during the days when I feel well enough, next week, to minimize the amount of sick leave I have to take.
I haven't made any plans for tomorrow. It all depends on how I feel, in terms of side effects. Of course I am hoping that there will be minimal side effects.
Today, I am grateful for:
- Reaching the milestone of my 4th chemo and the last of the A&C ones!
- Having climbed the hardest part of the mountain!
- Milk shakes (even if the taste has changed!)
- Never had to contend with a metallic taste in my mouth, just changed taste buds (can't taste salt, for example)
- Knowing that all things are subject to change and change is good!
Thank you all for coming along with me this far on the journey and mountain climbing.
How was your Friday?