3rd Time is the Charm Once Again….

by Bridget on October 8, 2011

The first two Taxol chemo treatments (overall treatment numbers 5 & 6) were a cakewalk compared to the first two months of drugs. Unfortunately, by Taxol treatment number three (lucky number 7), the drug had accumulated enough to give me a run for my money.

I have had a little neuropathy in my hands and feet. Mostly numbness (no tingling or burning sensation) for short amounts of time, usually in the morning. After the first week of Taxol, I found out that similarly to my experience post-surgery, my body is not overly receptive to pain medications. So, my brilliant chemo nurse suggested adding back the steroid I had been using for nausea to kick the pain meds up a notch. It made all the difference in the pain management! Unfortunately, one must taper off of the steroids after 4 days, and up to this point, I had been fine by the Tuesday following my Wednesday chemo injection.

I was fine over the weekend. Not overly lethargic. I rested when I needed to and laid low on Sunday, so I could be fresh for the school week. I had tapered off my steroid and pain meds on Sunday.

By Tuesday morning, my entire body ached like I had the flu. Every single joint in my body felt sore and tender. I took some over-the-counter pain pills thinking it would nip it in the bud, but the discomfort got progressively worse as the day wore on. By the time Gary got home at dinner, I had scrounged something up for the kids to eat and was in bed. I took some of my prescription pain pills, but they did not make a dent in my discomfort and the entire night was one achy toss-n-turn.

By Wednesday morning (one week post-chemo treatment) I had no feeling in my hands and feet or lips. It felt like novacaine had been injected directly into my lips like collagen. I called my chemo nurse, Lora, first thing with a cry for help. I needed more steroids and she mercifully called them into the pharmacy and renewed my pain meds, too. Even arranged for them to be delivered.

I must have looked as shitty as I felt because while dropping off my little guy at school three different mom friends asked if I was ok. My dear sweet johnny-on-the-spot-friend, Dawn, offered to bring Declan home to me after school so I could get a nap in – which I did. Made me much more civilized. And, by Wednesday night some semblance of my old self had returned.

Still fighting some fatigue and have not bounced back quite as effortlessly as the the previous two weeks, but I still believe that Taxol is the kinder of the three drugs I have had to receive. And, my reaction has been milder than in many people, so again, I will count my blessings. And, push though to my very last treatment……

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