Posted by: healingseeker | April 28, 2010

An odd prohibition due to chemo plus other updates

Thursday – 28 April 2010

This is the night before my 5th out of 8 chemo sessions. I am done with the more aggressive Red Devil Chemo and start four sessions of Taxotere Chemo. I am curious to know what kind of side effects I will have associated with the new kind of chemo. The day prior to chemo, today, I had to take a steroid pill called Decadron 4 mg (Generic name:  Dexamethasone 4 mg ). I noticed the bottle states “This medicine may lower your ability to fight off infections. Avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases.” I take two pills in the morning and two pills in the evening of this steroid pill for three days only.

I did have to take this same pill after my Red Devil chemo; however, I only had to take one in the morning and one in the evening for the three days following chemo. It’s a tiny pill. It must pack a big bang since it has that warning notice about my immunity level.

Speaking of warnings, I had a very strange warning given to me during the second week following my last chemo session. Apparently, my immunity level gets lower with each chemo session that passes. I guess it is a cumulative effect. Every Thursday, I go to get my blood level tested. I was told that my blood counts were so low from April 13 to April 22 that I was not allowed to eat raw fruits, raw veggies, or salads. When I asked why, the chemo nurses explained that raw fruits, raw veggies, and salads have bacteria on them that my body had no ability to fight off.

Wouldn’t you know it that there were multiple commercials featuring mouth-watering looking strawberries, salads, etc. I guess it was human nature that because I was forbidden these foods, those were the foods I craved the most. Then when the prohibition was lifted, I no longer had such a strong craving. I guess that is human nature for you! Smile!

I was also told that my immunity level was so low that week that I should wear a mask if I found myself around people who appeared to have a cold, etc. They gave me a surgical-type mask to wear. It felt so strange to be told that I was so vulnerable as I looked normal aka healthy other than the bald head and I felt healthy.

When I e-mailed a new friend who also has breast cancer about the prohibition about raw fruits and veggies, she expected to see me looking very sickly when we saw each other at the cancer support group on April 19th. She was surprised to see me looking so healthy. I am very grateful to state that I have never yet appeared sickly-looking.

The main side effect that I have that is not painful but simply annoying is that the metallic taste in my mouth is one of my most constant companions. It messes with my taste buds a bit. Compared to other side effects I have heard about, I am not complaining. It will be interesting to see if I keep having this companion make its presence known with the new type of chemo. The jury is still out on that.

I discovered a new website where you can make free 30-second videos. If they are longer videos, you have to buy an upgraded membership. I made a free video on this website known as Animoto called the 5 Warning Signs of Breast Cancer.

Click the link below to watch it.
Video – 5 Warning Signs of Breast Cancer:

The other interesting tale is the following: Due to wearing a scarf or hat, I seem to have unwittingly joined the “cancer club.” People recognize that I probably am a person with cancer due to my head gear. One day, a mother with her nearly grown or grown son approached me to find out where I found the scarf I was wearing. Her son had another form of cancer and was soon to begin chemo. I purchased the scarf at Family Dollar. They sell it in red, hot pink, and black. I was able to tell them about the cancer support group and give them some other encouraging words. The same day, I walked into Walgreens. The clerk who was helping me let me know that her sister was recently diagnosed with cancer. It turns out that she has the same oncologist that I do. I was able to tell her how wonderful Dr. Patel is, that there is a prescription medicine that helps alleviate most side effects, and give her other encouraging words. A couple of days later, I was on the phone with someone who had a relative going through cancer. I was able to share words of comfort with her.

I am most happy to help in this way. That is one of the reasons why I do not choose to wear my wig. People feel comfortable to approach me. I thank God for giving me any and every opportunity to be of service.

I hope you have a wonderful week. I want to thank all of you who have sent prayers winging in my direction. I feel certain that the power of prayer has helped me have so few side effects for my first four chemo sessions. I hope and pray that the new kind of chemo will be just as easy to experience.

Much love to you all,
Healing Seeker aka Debbie

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