I have now completed half of the last phase of chemo. Last Wednesday I spent the day at the oncologists office getting loaded up with Taxel. I was told that this would be easier than the lovely cocktail that I got the first four visits. I am not sure what scale anyone uses but I am finding this to be actually more difficult.
As before, I go to the office, visit with my amazing doctor and them go to the chemo room. I get all the same anti-nausea meds that I usually get. Taxel is different from the cocktail though in that it is not water soluble. It gets put into a medium that apparently many people have allergic reactions too. I was given Benadryl the first time and Natalie, one of the amazing nurses at the office stayed with me for 15 minutes to watch for any allergic reactions. Thankfully, I did not have any. The first visit was about six hours long and the second was no shorter. The drug has to go into the body so much slower.
I go back to the oncologists the following day so that I can get my bone marrow shot. I think I have stated in the past that it boosts my hip bones to pump up the production of both red and white blood cells. I was told that one of the symptoms could be bone pain. The word pain does not adequately describe what I felt. I could feel my heartbeat throughout my hips and legs. It was excruciating. I was given the same pain meds that helped when I had the surgery. Taking a double dose doesn't do anything to make the pain subside this time. The pain was so bad the first time that sleep was not possible. I tried to take a warm soak in the bath. I love baths, they are always so comforting to me but, not this time. Again, every heartbeat was exaggerated by the warmth of the water. My legs felt like they had weights on them. Again, probably the worst pain I have ever felt. It took a good four to five days to where I was able to move comfortably.
This second visit I feel like I am more prepared. As soon as I wake, I take a dose of Motrin. I have the pain meds when I come home for the evening and take the steroid in the morning for six days versus the usual three. I am in some pain now, very achy but it is manageable at this point.
On Wednesday when I finished my chemo the offices were already closed so when I went for my bone marrow shot the next day I made my next chemo appointment two weeks from now. They usually do not allow you to make more than one in advance. I asked if I could also schedule my last one, explaining that I would really like to get it on my calendar. They smiled at me and said that I could. So, October 18th is my seventh and my last chemotherapy appointment is scheduled for November 1st.
It feels good to say that I am toward the end of this part of the journey. It has been a long and difficult road. But, I see the end coming toward me and it feels good.