Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 2008: breast cancer treatment plan and start chemotherapy

Okay, moved to Florida and getting settled in. Saw my new oncologist and the plan is a 3-drug program: start with two, A & C – Adriamycin & cytocin – four treatments every 2 weeks. Followed by Taxol, weekly, for three months. Total of 6 months of chemotherapy.

I had a port surgically implanted in my upper right chest area for the chemo; it saved my veins from having to be punctured every time with an IV.

I started chemo in September 2008. It was really horrible. It hit me every time about three hours after treatment ended and it lasted about 10 days. I felt tired, dizzy and nauseous constantly. It was horrible. And it was cumulative, even though the doctor said it would not be. It was so bad that I refused to have the 4th and final dose – I just couldn’t take it. I told the doctor that I felt as though I should be admitted to the hospital to have this chemo. It was just too much for me. I was going through this hell and had to take care of my girls, too, and it was just so hard.

Forgot to mention, my hair started to fall out on day 13, the day before my second round, so I had Chris just shave it all off right away. Why bother going through it gradually? He didn’t realize how emotional it would be for me and he just laughed. The girls took a couple of days to get used to it, but they handled it pretty well. I chose to use a scarf to cover my head; the wig that I had purchased beforehand was too itchy and hot.

While I took a few weeks off, I found a new oncologist at a breast cancer center much closer to home. I was a great place. I started Taxol there and it was like night and day compared to the A/C. I was tired on the day I received the taxol, but that was just from the Benadryl that they give you to avoid allergic reactions, but that was it. Actually, I often felt exhausted a few days later because I felt so good that I was doing too much. I kept forgetting that my body was still receiving chemo and going through a lot and I shouldn’t over-do it.

My hair started to grow back a few weeks before I finished the Taxol. A few weeks after I finished the Taxol, my eyebrows and eyelashes started to fall out!

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