Posted by: healingseeker | May 27, 2010

Taxotere Chemo has been more challenging than Red Devil Chemo

Thursday – 27 May 2010

I haven’t written an update in nearly a month. Since my last blog, I have had two of the four Taxotere Chemo treatments. I kind of assumed since I virtually sailed my way through the four Red Devil Chemo treatments with very little side effects, I would do the same with the less aggressive type of chemo I am taking now. Sadly, that was a wrong assumption.

Red Devil Chemo:
Feb. 4 2010
Feb. 25 2010
March 18 2010
April 8 2010

Taxotere Chemo:
April 29 2010
May 20 2010
June 10 2010
July 1 2010

I turned 52 just a few days after that first Taxotere Chemo treatment. With Taxotere, I have had bad stomach aches, back aches, extremely low energy, trouble tasting food, and minimized appetite. I am definitely not one of those people who gain weight due to chemo. There were a couple of days where I would sit there and formulate the idea that I would get up and get a drink or something to eat. Two or three hours would pass before I found the energy to follow through on that idea. That is part of why I did not write. I don’t like to commit to paper so much bad news.

On the positive side, my oncologist gave me some pills that helped with the stomach aches. The back aches went away. My energy level has gotten increasingly better. Plus, my body did not go through nearly such a culture shock type experience when I had Taxotere Chemo for the 2nd time. With this 2nd round of Taxotere chemo, I still have stomach aches some and intestinal backlash. My energy level is better. The main thing is minimized taste and appetite. I lost 5 ½ pounds in the last seven days as I basically eat the equivalent of one small meal a day.

The other bad thing was that a lower left molar started acting up. I made an emergency dentist appointment. It turns out that I will need a root canal on June 8th. The tooth pain was far worse than cancer or chemo pain. Thankfully, the dentist gave me some penicillin and another pain pill to take. For awhile, I had to routinely take these pills every four hours just to get by. I’m on the second round of both pills. Now, I only need them once or twice a day.

My oncologist will look at the results of the root canal on June 10th. If the root canal was too invasive, he will postpone my June 10th chemo treatment by one week. Now that I am so close to the end of chemo, that thought does not alarm me.

Some great news: the 3×5 inch tumor has shrunk by half. That means the chemo is doing its job.

I met with my surgeon a while back. He told me that he would be taking about twelve lymph nodes along with both breasts to be on the safe side. We are aiming to have this double mastectomy around the first week of August.

Some other great news: My husband Randy and I went to Myrtle Beach for three nights May 16 to 19. We had lots of quality couple time. It rained one day. We had a great and relaxing time. I could fully taste my food. My appetite was elevated. We had one day with perfect weather and another day rather rainy. We bee-bopped around on the rainy day buying souvenirs for his Mom and her roommate who live in a nursing home. Thankfully, his mother had good health while we were gone so that Randy did not have to worry about her. It was good to see him relaxed with peace of mind and heart. We reveled in the beach on the sunny day. That last morning, we were so reluctant to leave. If I was not due to have chemo the following morning, we would have stayed an extra day. It was delightful to have that quality time to enjoy the ocean and each other.

I went this afternoon to get my blood checked as I do every Thursday. My counts were pretty good. I feel pretty good right now as well. Randy and I went to lunch prior to my appointment at a China buffet. I was able to fully taste about half of what I ate and somewhat taste some other things. I did end up with a stomach ache for a while as a result of trying to push myself to eat. I’m better now.

As for my bald head, I now have a little bit of stubble. Randy can’t tell if it is blond or gray. It is light-colored at any rate. I still do not have to shave my legs. Woo-hoo!

All in all, I am doing pretty well in spite of some of the downs. I am quite excited that I am ¾ of the way done with chemo altogether. God is good!

I wish all of you a very blessed day. With so much love to you all,
Healing Seeker aka Debbie

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Responses

  1. hi Debbie. Its me shirley one of your cancer support group friends. so how did your root canel go today. your in my prayers. let me know when you feel like it. love and prayers shirley. my email address is; shirleyjeanwin@comcast.net

    • Shirley,
      Thankfully, the root canal went very well. The dentist administered gas during the procedure. The only painful part was the 2 Novocaine shots. He covered it with a permanent filling. Surprisingly, I have only had to take 3 Advil three times a day. I thought I would have to take prescription pain pills. I get the temporary crown on June 17th. I am pretty sure that I will be able to go through my 7th out of 8 chemo treatments tomorrow morning – June 10th. I hope so, in any case.

      I wish you all the best,
      Debbie


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