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Nov 27, 2020 03:44PM
Nov 27, 2020 03:56PM
Hi November 2020 chemo ladies!
Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, despite these crazy times, and your simultaneous personal cancer journey. Whoosh! It's a lot, right? Thank goodness we have bc.org and each other.
First, sorry I dropped off the face of the earth for a bit. My first treatment was Nov 19th, and I wanted to take some time (it's now been a week) to recover a bit, get a grip, and see what happens before I started posted again.
My infusion day schedule, to give you an idea of how the timing goes:
7am Quick blood draw and IV insert into hand/arm.
7:30am 30-minute consult with oncologists, after they look at the results of your blood draw.
8:30am 30-minute pre-infusion cold capping– to try and keep hair– with Paxson machine ($1200!) We'll see if it works.
10am-12pm 2-hour chemo infusion, one hour each (Taxotere & Cytoxan) I wore ice mittens and ice slippers (with thin socks) during the whole thing, on and off as much as I could stand. (Maybe 2 minutes on 30 seconds off? I just slid my hands in and out. We'll see if it helps keep neuropathy away!)
12pm-1:30pm 1.5 hour cold capping post-treatment chill. I just dozed and relaxed at that point.
All went pretty well except that I experienced an 'allergic' reaction to the Taxotere about 2 minutes in. I felt funny, went flush in the face, and then felt funny in my chest. As soon as I started noticing things, I would share it aloud with the RNs. "I taste metallic." (That's normal.) "I feel funny in my chest..." (That's NOT okay, and they immediately responded.)
My oncologist had told me that an allergic reaction 'could' happen, but was rare. During my consult that same morning, I had asked, "If I do have a reaction, what will you do to help me?" So glad I did! As a result, when it happened, I could tell what they were doing to help (as six nurses flurried around me!) and felt less scared:
They simply unplug the Taxotere tube from your IV, give you a bag of Benadryl and saline instead, and watch you. I guess you get a shot if it gets worse. I got better, and 20 minutes later they tried T infusion again and it went well.
(Now I'm reading on bc.org community that some ladies get a Taxotere reaction even days after treatment? Yikes!)
The next day, Friday...
I took all my meds on time (do this!) and felt good. I even went for a 2 mile walk with my husband.
Over the weekend (Day 3 & 4 if Day 1 is chemo day...)
I felt fatigue and my stomach felt super acidic. I ended up depending heavily on the anti-nausea Zofran to keep it at bay, and Ativan a couple of times at night on top of that at night to sleep.
Felt a bit better on Monday, better on Tuesday, and much better on Thursday (Thanksgiving!)
Tuesday I developed a bit of 'thrush' (white spots and slime on tongue) and a sore spot on my tongue which made it a little tricky to eat. I had been rinsing after each meal since chemo with 1 cup water, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1/8 tsp salt, but for some reason it showed up anyway. Contacted my oncologist asap and requested a prescription for Magic Mouthwash (Yes, this IS what it's actually called.) That stuff is SUPER numbing, so you only need a bit, or you can dab it on the spot you need it. Glad I have it for the future of need be.
Okay... last bit of business: Two tools I created for myself so I could go on "auto-pilot" during this complicated time. Feel free to download and customize, just click the link! : )
1. Renbird's Chemo Schedule- download as MS Word, edit, and use for yourself! : )
-Tells me what to do when and why, to stay motivated.
-I printed ONE copy of this and use this starting the day before, the day off, and for a week after chemo.
2. Renbird's Chemo Logbook - download as MS Word, edit, and use for yourself! : )
-Tracks what I actually DID and when, so I can be sure to stay on track.
-It also helps me to assess what worked, what didn't, or why I feel good/bad. Example: "Why am I sad?" Oh! I haven't slept for more than 4 hours in 3 days! "Why does my tummy hurt?" Oh! I haven't taken a Zofran for 8 hours!
-I printed 80 pages and had them bound at a UPS store. I use it faithfully EVERY DAY.
Hope all this helps! I'm already nervous for Round Two (Dec 10th) but trying to enjoy feeling better than last weekend.