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  • Writer's pictureKate

New Drug, New Day

I know it has been awhile since I have written anything. Those Adriamycin, Cytoxan (AC) treatments kicked my butt and I just didn't feel up to writing much. I tried to keep up with school as much as possible. I registered with the disability center and was given extra flexibility on assignments. I am applying to take an incomplete in the course as the end of the semester is quickly approaching. I will need some extra time to get it finished.

Today marks the end of AC and the start of my second chemotherapy treatment, Taxol. I received the first of twelve weekly treatments today and it went surprisingly well. With the AC treatments, I ended up having what the nurses call anticipatory nausea, which is basically me feeling nauseous the moment I step foot in the hospital, or smell the sanitizer they clean the chemo chairs with, or taste the saline flushed through my port, etc. So I felt that going in to my first Taxol treatment as well. Power of the mind/body connection. I was also really worried I would have a reaction to the drug because there is a real chance that can happen with Taxol in particular. Having had a real-time allergic reaction to one of the anti-nausea meds I was given prior to my first AC treatment, I was scared and didn't want to go through that again.

Luckily, today of all days, the massage therapist came in and offered to massage my feet to help alleviate some of the soreness I had been experiencing from AC and to help calm my nerves. She continued to massage while my nurse came in with the chemo bag filled with Taxol and the emergency kit to use if I did have a reaction. She talked me through some of the symptoms that could occur if a reaction were to happen and then started the drip. I was waiting to have chest pain and difficulty breathing, like with my previous reaction, but it never came. I continued to receive my massage and had a nice conversation with the nurse and massage therapist while the minutes clicked by. After about 10 minutes, my nurse said I had passed the point of her needing to be in the room and I knew I had made it through. My anxieties lessened a bit while the pre-dose Benadryl started to make me loopy.

I felt a little nauseous on the way home so I took one of the many anti-nausea pills I have learned to carry with me in my purse, but I honestly think it was from nervousness. Side note: my purse is like a miniature pharmacy these days with tissues, lip balms, medications, ointments, and even a puke bag just in case. I have learned never to leave the house unprepared.

I fell asleep for a couple of hours on the couch when I got home, but nothing like being knocked out from AC for DAYS after an infusion. I was still coherent and was able to eat dinner without the slightest hesitation. Progress.

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