So yesterday I had my first round of Taxol in the chemo chair. The 2 months of AC chemotherapy had me so nauseous, exhausted, and dizzy that even by Day #14 (which was Wednesday) I still woke up tired and needed to nap and just felt bad for most of the day (sigh).
So yesterday I was really *hoping* that everything that the nurses and doctors told me about the Taxol (which was the next chemo treatment they are starting me on for the next 2 months) was going to be easier on me than the AC. And so far, I think they are right!
Anyway, here's a photo of me in the chemo chair:
Matthew took another photo of me because he thought I didn't look happy--to which I said, "Who could be happy in the chemo chair?!" but I obliged and smiled for the camera:
[notice my "strawberry syrup wig!]
And in addition to Matthew our friend Shaun Lopez came from Seattle via DC to help see me through the first round of Taxol--so here's Matthew and Shaun hanging out with me in the chemo ward:
[What you don't see is the scrabble board -- Shaun and I played a match and unfortunately he beat me by 30 points, but I put up the best fight that I could while being infused with chemo, a bunch of steroids and liquid benadryl]
So one of the concerns about Taxol is that about 30% of people will have an allergic reaction to the chemo drug, so they give you a bag of saline solution along with benadryl and steroids to help prevent against these reactions, but it turns out that I did have a small reaction--I felt like my throat was getting scratchy, and I also noticed that it was a bit hard for me to swallow. And as soon as I told my nurse, they turned off the taxol, let the side effects subside, and then starated em back up.
Because this was my first time with Taxol they gave it to me s-l-o-w-l-y. How slowly? I was in the chemo chair at 10:15am and didn't get up until 4:15pm (sigh).
Anyway, I can tell you that Taxol IS easier on me. My stomach still doesn't feel great--I did feel a little queasy afterwards. But NO NAUSEA! And my fatigue level is even lower--partly because it turns out that the anti-nausea meds that they gave me for the AC made me fatigued. But I don't have to take any of the anti-nausea meds unless I really need them. And so far, I don't need them.
Unfortunately my exhaustion is probably going to be a constant--my red blood cell counts have dipped below normal levels--just barely below normal levels, but none-the-less the reason, at least according to my docs, that I'm probably feeling tired all the time. But since I don't really have any place to go and anything to do, I can just continue to take naps, watch MAD MEN on Netflix (I'm making my way through Season 2) and finish reading some good fiction (I'm half-way through EDGAR SAWTELLE). Hope every is keeping happy and healthy and well!