Thursday, January 31, 2013
I went to my chemo appointment today. The doctor checked my lymph nodes, my throat, my ankles, my rash (or lack of a rash), asked a lot of questions and we commenced with Paclitaxel.
I did not have the rare but not unexpected side effect of trouble breathing and red face. I told Regis to be on alert for the ruddy complexion and I would be alert for the breathing problems. Kerry told me what they would do and she did not seem alarmed at all that this could, although probably would not, occur.
I'm not sure how I would have been alert enough to notice labored breathing since they had given me 50mg of bendryl and told me it "might make me drowsy". Might make me drowsy is a great euphemism for kick your ass into the middle of next week. I felt like I had a bottle of wine without the fun...my speech was slow, my thinking was slow, and I listed to the left when I went to the bathroom. I completely missed my pod partner leaving.
After I realized I had made it through the taxol without the dreaded side effects I felt strong enough to ask about the future. I have taken all of this cancer business one step at a time. Asking questions about the last phase of treatment was something I couldn't wrap my brain cells around before today. With one phase, the A&C, done, I felt ready.
I knew there was radiation but in my mind, I was thinking 3-4 treatments, one a week. Some easy schedule like that, but who knows where I got that notion. I ask. Oh, no. Judy says more like 30. One every day for 30 days. WTF. WTF!
I won't finish the taxol until April 18th if I don't miss a week because of my white count. I'll get two weeks off, then start the radiation which begins with simulation. Simulation of radiation is where they tattoo your skin so they know where to aim the deadly ray gun so as not to irradiate your healthy parts along with your sick parts.
Thirty days of that, not taking into account some days off to rest because of skin burns (What???) That means I'll finish up, if I'm lucky, about June 14th. Again, I say...wait, wait...what the fuck?
You can see there were a lot of profane words, exclamations, and rhetorical questions going through my mind. Good thing most of them did not come out my mouth.
I came home and took a nap. I'll wallow in my misery tonight, then I will pick myself up off the floor and go on tomorrow. It could always be worse, as my Norwegian relatives say. It could always be worse. This much I know is true.
Posted by Teresa Saum at 6:36:00 PM