Warning: rambling ahead

I haven’t written for a while. I think my last blog mentions hitting the halfway mark of my chemotherapy. Since then I have passed another halfway milestone. I’ve completed 6 of the 12 Taxol treatments.  While I have been saying all along that side effects are not mandatory and I had no intention of volunteering for any, I’ve kind of hit a bump in the road Image. And yes it feels as big as the obnoxious sign mid-sentence. Today was the first day in a week I’ve left the house aside from my weekly cocktails with the girls.  By cocktails I mean poison chemotherapy being pumped directly into my chest and by the girls I mean Dr. T and the awesome nurses at the center.  In the way of drinking pals I could probably do worse. However the cocktails suck and this is one major ass hangover. I still have no nausea or neuropathy. I have daily nosebleeds and numbness of my fingers that I am assured is not neuropathy because I can “shake it off”. However it is happening more and more frequently.  My hair continues to grow and is about 1/2 inch long now and starting to curl. Still no sign of eyelashes.  I kind of miss em but in the grand scheme of things.. meh.  What has left me housebound for a week is just being plain exhausted.  I swear I can feel my marrow moving thick and sluggish through my bones and my joints ache nearly constantly.  I have muscle pains and headaches but they come and go. Most of the time I feel like I am moving through mud.  I have some energy in the morning, so I do whatever computer work I have waiting, clean the house a bit and exercise (and yes,  remaining upright counts as exercise some days), shower, eat lunch and then at the time that I would be heading into town with whatever errands I have I end up lying down for “just a minute”.  If I’m lucky I wake up before the mister returns from work 5 hours later. I’m still waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. but instead of waking up to those crazy dreams I blogged about earlier, I’m up thinking about all the things I want to accomplish, but just can’t seem to get done.  It will all get done but unfortunately I don’t think I will be contributing too much to the effort and I hate that.  The effects of this treatment really are cumulative and I’ve gone from one day of recovery with the first one to not leaving the house for a week with the 6th. This wasn’t part of my plan. I was going to breeze through it. I guess it’s time for a new plan. This week I will be content to get in some pansies.  Image  If that’s all I end up planting this year, that’s enough.

Since I’ve been on house arrest I decided to catch up on some independent films I missed. Can I just say.. Tree of Life.. what? This is a movie you can nap through and really, it doesn’t matter.  For real. Image

I’ve seen a few other films but they were fairly underwhelming and hardly worth a mention.

In other news.. coupons.  Who doesn’t love a  good coupon? Last week I came across 4.00 off Claritin but I didn’t need any and am not sure how long I will be taking them so I very kindly left two coupons on top of the boxes for someone to use.  This week I noticed it was on sale and wouldn’t you know I’ve been using it daily. I thought about those coupons I had left. On a hunch I looked and they were still there. A week later! There are two things that make this worthy of a mention. First.. no one bought Claritin in a week? Or if they did they ignored the savings?  Two.. and this kind of grossed me out.. that shelf wasn’t touched in a week. This is an allergy med in the pharmacy department and no one dusted? Really? In a whole week?  That shouldn’t surprise me, but it does.  I wonder what other things have been deposited on those shelves and left to fester.  *shudder*.

My thoughts have been all over the place in this post, but I want to mention a little girl in our community who lost her battle with cancer this week. She was six years old and had faced many challenges since her birth. I didn’t know her, but I understand she loved all that was pink,  purple and princess related. If you pray, please send up a prayer for little Megan and her family.  Image Balloons optional.

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31 comments

  1. hestertingey · April 29, 2012

    Stick with it, you are doing so well. I too am half way through chemo (nearly). Not such a long course as you though. Sending you strength to get through it. Don’t worry about the chores, just stick with the very basics. Absolute best of luck.

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  2. hestertingey · April 29, 2012

    Maybe you could ask a homeopath to give you a constitutional remedy as it has been helping me with the dreaded Taxol aches….? worth a try. (mine is Carcinosen 200). Have heard that B vits can help too. and drinking loads of water.

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  3. Tracey · April 29, 2012

    Hang in there. You won’t be having cocktails with the girls forever, and then you can go out and get real cocktails with your real girls in no time. The Taxol is rough. Taking Claritin on the day of chemo worked for me. Ask your Dr. about it.

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    • mainelyhopeful · April 29, 2012

      I will ask about the Claritin. I have been taking it anyway for allergic symptoms (damn.. now I miss my eyelashes again!), but not daily.

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      • Tracey · April 30, 2012

        The eyelashes will come back same as the hair. Mine are still a little stumpy, but they’re back!

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  4. Tia · April 29, 2012

    Praying to him always, pleading with him somedays, questioning on occassion if he’s tuning me out or what, lol, I love your blog, as the wife of a lung cancer patient your blog helps me. Some days you give me a smile when things seem hopeless, other days you give me strength when it seems we’ve reached the end. Thank you for writing.

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    • mainelyhopeful · April 29, 2012

      Honestly, I think it’s easier to be the patient than the caregiver. I’m glad I can give you a smile every now and then.

      Like

  5. leona · April 29, 2012

    xoxo

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  6. eddiesandcurrents · April 29, 2012

    I’m sorry to hear the side effects have worsened. I had nosebleeds, too. But they didn’t last forever. I had bad aches early then they subsided some. The fatigue was the worst part. Take it easy and do not worry about getting things done. Your job now is to get through this and then heal from it.

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    • mainelyhopeful · April 30, 2012

      Did you ever think you would be the voice of experience in surviving breast cancer? I will too some day 🙂

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  7. embracingchemo · April 30, 2012

    I’m feeling for you. I did taxol (or maybe it was taxotere) too. My naturopath dosed me up on some great supplements to help with the nerve issues. And it seemed to help a great deal. You could contact Robyn at robynchuter@optusnet.com.au. And although we are a world apart, the internet bridges the distance beautifully, doesn’t it. She is incredibly knowledgable on what vitamins / herbs to use to help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment after a close relative of hers went through the experience. And she worked in with my oncologist beautifully.

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  8. lianne cawood · April 30, 2012

    Gosh, reading this brought back such memories. Taxol and I weren’t best pals either. I had a severe allergic reaction resulting in an anaphylactic shock …. and I get you cos up until that point I had been handling so well. This was not part of my plan. Ha. So, just take care of you, rest when you need to and remember the two things that got me through … your attitude is everything, absolutely everything and my mantra of ‘this too will pass’. And it does. Take care.

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    • mainelyhopeful · May 2, 2012

      wow.. at one point in the treatment did you have the reaction? Did you have to stop?

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  9. Susan · April 30, 2012

    I had all you are experiencing as you know. The only thing left is the numbness in my fingertips and toes. No big deal considering what you are going through now. Big hugs to you, hang in there!!

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  10. loopynutter · April 30, 2012

    Hey you, love love the blog today… Feel as if I could’ve written the exact words myself..: keep going you are amazing! Plant the daisies as these are, to quote a good film ( you’ve got mail) such “friendly” flowers xx

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  11. jelebelle · May 1, 2012

    i hear every word lady…taxol is one bitchy drug. it truly is “taxing” as i love to say in my writing. my hands suffered but am happy to say are springing back, along with the eyelashes shortly after I had to stop the taxation. hang in….rest when you can and keep up the good work. try watching “Tiny Furniture” for an indie film (if you need some suggestions).

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    • mainelyhopeful · May 16, 2012

      Thanks for the indi recommendation! I’m glad you are springing back from the worse of the side effects. I still don’t have an eyelash to lay claim to, but ironically have had to pluck a few hairs on my chin. So unfair 😉

      Like

  12. mybreastscancerstory · May 16, 2012

    I can relate to the fatigue, make sure you get extra sleep and rest in between the chemo. I took high doses of a B-complex vitamin and took ice packs in a ice chest to my treatments and placed my feet in the ice chest and put ice packs on my hands/feet during treatment, and I never developed the numbing of either my toes or fingers. I seen this method in action, when I had a pre- chemo tour, and it stuck with me.Glad I gave it a try, it really did the trick.

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    • mainelyhopeful · May 16, 2012

      Thanks! I had number 13 today. 3 to go!

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      • mybreastscancerstory · May 16, 2012

        How often have you had your treatments apart from each other? 13 chemo rounds, must been brutal, for you. I’m glad the end is right around the corner.

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        • mainelyhopeful · May 16, 2012

          I had 4 rounds of AC (every 3 weeks) and now 12 rounds of Taxol weekly. Not too brutal. Not much fun either 😉

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          • mybreastscancerstory · May 16, 2012

            I guess each hospitals does there treatment differently. I had both drugs at the same time, but only 6 rounds for the same type of cancer stage 2 and I had it in my lymph nodes too. No, there is no fun, putting your self to the edge of death and back again to stay alive. Keep the positive attitude flowing, before you know it you will have your life back again. I heard that aloe vera helps with the side effects of radiation burns, if you are going to have that next. Also cotton t – shirts feel good on radiated skin.

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            • mainelyhopeful · May 16, 2012

              My doc opted for the 12 weekly Taxol treatments instead of 4 dose dense ones to lessen the side effects. I had assumed that meant I would get 1/3 dose each week but it’s just over 1/2 each time. So far I have had no neuropathy (which is often permenent) no nail changes or severe bone pain. Just aches and pains and fatigue, a recurrence of carpal tunnel in my hands. I seem (knock on wood) to have turned a corner there. Good tips for the radiation.

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  13. mybreastscancerstory · May 16, 2012

    That explains why I developed walking problems from chemo and had to be hospitalized. I wish I had that choice last year to divide up the treatments.

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    • mainelyhopeful · May 16, 2012

      yeah, I was really disappointed to hear I would be getting chemo weekly for 3 months until I heard about all the side effects other women experienced. The DD Adriamycin and Cytoxan was rough but with the 3 weeks off to recoup I felt like I had 2 good weeks per treatment. I was worried I would have no “good” time at all with a weekly regimen but that wasn’t the case. I hope none of your side effects have been permanent.

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  14. bgillen · May 24, 2012

    Just keep taking baby steps and it will be over soon. We are all behind you.

    I hated it when the leg hair came back. Not shaving for a year was a bonus.

    Like

    • mainelyhopeful · May 24, 2012

      Just two more to go! Feeling much better these past few weeks. I’m sure getting outside and digging in the dirt has made a huge difference.

      Like

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