Monday, December 10, 2012

No Expectations

Last Wednesday I began the new round of chemotherapy, with 4 sessions of the drug Taxol. I had to sign a release form before they began dripping it, but to set the stage they dripped steroids, Phenergen and Benadryl into my system to suppress my system, so I wouldn't have an allergic reaction to the Taxol.

I had been given a head's up by several cancer survivors who said Taxol didn't cause as much nausea, but it causes bone and joint aches and a decreased immune system.
So - all week I've been waiting to see how my body was going to react - tada, here it is:

Increased appetite, increased nausea (but no dry heaves!).
Finger aches and numbness (almost as if my hands are dipped in wax), and my finger tips hurt, even as I'm typing.
Bone aches - I thought it might be the cold weather, but it's the Taxol. My thighs, knees, shoulders, ankles, right wrist - weird and random when it hits. Almost like a giant toothache.
My mouth is filled with sores, similar to cankers, and my gums are totally raw. And I have chemo breath - yuck.
I see myself getting more tired, more weak, less energy overall. I can do one thing, then I have to stop, not just for a moment, but a clear stop, rest, then I can begin again. Things as easy as climbing up and down the stairs to do the laundry tire me and make me breathless.
I have the tremors in my hands, sometimes in my legs and feet. Still not sure what that is from - possibly the steroids. Also pins and needles in my feet, lovely.
My blood count keeps getting lower - I'm having to watch who I'm around, who I hug, where I go - tough at Christmas time!
This also means re-evaluating Christmas family celebrations - my 6 children have been so good, how much more can I ask from them?
I am hoping I don't need the every other day IV hydration, had it on Friday, hope to wait until Wednesday for another series.
No headaches, I can think a little more clearly - and the morning naps are sure helping.

Not nearly as worried right now as I was with the first 4 treatments. I think I'm finding my peace and a routine in this whirly twirly world - and that routine is - pace myself and let the rest be. 

When I have no expectations, any thing accomplished is a success - and a brilliant one at that!

PS - I hate it when someone tells me what they think I should be doing - I still know my body, my system, my thoughts. I may need help, but damn it, don't tell me I am sick and I need help and don't use me as your excuse for not living your life! "Ronda needs me," just isn't going to work.
June 2011, Talkeetna, Alaska

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