04 May 2010
Fourteen-day intervals seem to fly by right now, and that’s a good thing. Today will be the fifth day of our full frontal assault to wear down the enemy (goodness, I’m obviously spending too much time watching The Military History Channel with Tim).
I’M OVER THE HUMP, NOW MORE THAN HALFWAY THERE! AFTER TODAY, ONLY THREE MORE TREATMENTS BEFORE SURGERY!! HIP HIP HOORAY!!
But today will be bit different than the other four chemo treatment days for several reasons:
First, the past four treatments have included the very powerful drug Adriamycin, also known in the cancer community as “the red devil.” It's such a powerful chemotherapy that the FDA only allows a patient to receive a certain maximum dosage. So, I'm maxed-out and today my oncologist switches me to Taxol. I have mixed feelings about this as my body has obviously responded very well to Adriamycin with a drastic size reduction in the cancer mass. In addition, I’ve become accustomed to the pattern and have learned to work my food and work and eating schedule around that pattern. So, Taxol will bring on new side effects, new patterns and I must learn to adjust and determine its predictability. In time . . .
The good news is that I did an online search last night to compare the side effects both chemo drugs. Without a doubt, while Taxol can result in exhaustion, bone pain, muscle soreness, Neuropathy, dry mouth and a bad metallic after-taste, more patients say they felt fewer or less extreme side effects than those associated with Adriamycin. I’m hopeful that this will hold true for me. Keep your fingers crossed.
Second, Taxol takes three hours to administer, versus one hour for Adriamycin. So, I’m packing more work materials in my chemo bag and plan to get some reading and writing accomplished during three hours hijacked in the chemo chair.
Third, and the most exciting news – today is my first appointment to meet with my surgeon, Dr. Suzanne Klimberg, to discuss my surgery. Now this is real progress! I have much to owe to Dr. Klimberg who took me under her wing the very day of my diagnosis – for working me in as a patient, for asking Dr. Issam Makhoul to serve a my oncologist (brilliant physician!), and for giving me a big hug and much hope that together we will beat this ugly disease. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the surgical timeline, options and her assessment of what lies ahead. My lab appointment is 8:30; meeting with Dr. Makhoul at 10:15, three-hour chemo session begins at 11:00, and my appointment with Dr. Klimberg at 3:30. It will definitely be a long day, but I’m anticipating that tonight I will share more good news with family and friends.
Wish me luck! Say a prayer! Cross your fingers and send me some good juju today!!
P.S. More good news in our NORMAL WORLD - Anna-Lee's soccer team won again last night, a 5-1 victory. This means LRCA will play in the state championship game Friday on the UA campus. Go LRCA Warriors!
Posted by Stacy Sells at 7:13 AM