Yes, It is Hump Day. Today I received my 5th out of 9 Taxol treatments. I wish that meant things will get easier, but I don't think so just yet. So far things are going pretty well. These treatments are not as brutal as all of the other treatments previous to them. I kind of have an expected schedule now. On Monday, I go in for treatments at 10. The pre-medications include a lot of Benedryl and Steriods. The Benedryl makes me sleepy that day, the steroids make me unable to sleep that night and the next day. Wednesday the more unpleasant symptoms set in. I get a sickish feeling in my stomach and my mouth tastes terrible...kind of like sucking on Cold Eeze all day or sucking on a key or something. And let's not forget the fatigue and shooting pains. This lasts and increases through Friday. Saturday feels a little better and by Sunday I am feeling closer to normal. Then Monday comes and we start all over. Other symptoms include numb and tingly, sore feet. While the symptoms are annoying and sometimes quite unpleasant...I am so pleased that I feel significantly better than I did during the four AC treatments and the one Taxol.
It is true that the Taxol treatments compound upon each other. With each passing week, the symptoms get more intense. This last week I had a new sensation...three of my toes on my left foot and my left thumb felt like they were being burned by a fire. It was quite unpleasant...like what do you do when your toes are burning and there is no way to remove the fire? Fortunately it didn't last long, but lingers mildly still. I've had some intense headache shooting pains that I could live without as well. I have some weird bumps on my hands that look like bug bites that started about a month ago but increased in the past few days. Not sure if that is taxol related or what.
My blood counts are low, and I was worried that I might not be able to keep getting weekly treatments. I am so done with this and want to just plow right through these treatments and get them over with. So I am praying that my blood counts just won't go so low that I have to delay treatments. Today I was almost sure they would be too low...but I am grateful to say, they were not.
My hair is growing back. I had been shaving it for the past few weeks thinking it would fall out again, but contrary to what I read on the internet, the doctor says it probably won't fall out again...so I decided to LET IT GROW! As you well know, I don't mind being bald. In fact I quite like it. I am also good with having hair, however this transition phase is an unpleasant but unavoidable phase.
Here is about 1 weeks growth:
And about 2 weeks
It is a bit gray and I did dye it on Saturday a nice auburn fuzz...not feeling like taking a photo right now, but is just darker. I like it a little bit better, but it will be nice when there is some length to at least brush. It is a funny thing to note that I like brushing my hair. While I was bald, I would look at a brush and think of brushing my hair, sometimes I even brushed my bald. I will like having hair to brush again.
I've gained about 10 pounds since starting. Ugh..so unfair! I have made it my goal to lose one pound a week to the end of the year. So far so good...2 weeks...2 pounds. I am exercising at the gym 3-4 times a week. Usually walking, sometimes even running. I have run a mile in about 13 1/2 minutes. The time is not great, but pretty good all things considered. Sometimes my feet and bones pay the price of my exercise. I just want so badly to go back to what used to be normal.
My taste buds are pretty dead. I think they died completely this weekend. Now I just can't taste much of anything. You'd think that might help me lose weight...we'll see. It really isn't a big priority...just a goal that would be nice. Truly it is not the most important thing.
I am learning and growing so much. I have learned so much about compassion. People come to me and tell me their stories and experiences with cancer and my heart feels for them. It didn't really used to so much.
I appreciate how much kindness has been shown my family. For over 4 months wonderful people from my ward and neighborhood have brought delicious meals to our home and have come once a week to clean our house. Even when my treatments were delayed and I was feeling fairly well. I cannot tell you enough how much it has been appreciated. What would I have done without their help and service?
Especially what would I have done without the love and support of my husband? Ron has been so strong and kind and supportive through such a hard time. From listening to me talk incessantly about breast cancer for months (I can get quite intense) to being there for me when I was really sick and worrying about me when I was in the hospital. Not to mention going to work every day to support us and pitching in at home when he gets home. He has done this with hardly any complaint. (He did ask me if we could talk about something else a time or two :) ) He is so very strong and deserves some praise...as well as prayers. He has been amazing!