Week 12 – Medical Update

Week 12 medical update  I’m now more than half way through chemo and have had two treatments with the T part of the treatment Taxol.  My side effects have changed. While I still have the chemo brain and fatigue, I do not have as much nausea.  I require only one of the three nausea medications I did during the AC part. I’m no longer losing weight.  Note: contrary to popular belief, most people actually gain weight during ACT as the metabolism slows down like in menopause. I no longer have blurred vision and mouth sores.  The mouth sores became so bad at the end of the 4th AC treatment I needed antibiotics.  I have three new side effects with this drug.  Pain, hot flashes, neuropathy (numbness in hands and feet).   The pain is centered in my long bones, arms and legs, for the first several days, then lingers in my hands, hips and knees toward the end of the two week cycles.  I have pain medication that takes the edge off, but does not take it away. Sleeping is a problem due to the pain the first 5-7 nights.  Hot flashes started on the 2nd Taxol treatment and were every half hour for the first day.  A sneak peak at menopause!  I was happy being blissfully ignorant, thank you.  The neuropathy just started last night (week 12, 9 days into my 2nd Taxol treatment) when suddenly my toes began to tingle.  I’m worried about my fingers, as they happen to push a shutter button and play guitar strings and piano keys.  For some people it’s temporary and others permanent.  I meet with my oncologist next Tuesday before my 7th round of chemo and will ask her.  We’ll also discuss what’s next as I’m ALMOST DONE WITH CHEMO!!!  Just 2 treatments and 4.5 weeks left now. I’ll have 4 weeks of recovery then bilateral mastectomy surgery and reconstruction around November 18th.  Setting the surgery date has been more upsetting to me than I had imagined. My fears are around the physical pain not the emotional aspects.  Perhaps that will come later.  I want the cancer removed from my body now, but I’m afraid of the pain and fact that I don’t respond well to any type of pain medication.  Oh joy!

Thank you to all the people who came to my home over the past week and a half!  What a parade!  I so appreciate it!  My mom got sick with the flu and couldn’t come as she had been, for chemo week.  So in came my Portland family Pat, Katy and Dean Nida to the rescue – yippee family!!  I have the best girlfriends in the world!  Caroline Petrich, Becca Blevins, Wendy Weaver, Leisl Stientjes, Sarah Sharp, Machelle Brass, Whitney Pilsbury, Dennise Kowalczyk – thank you for the delicious food and visits!  Neighbors Joe Shoemaker and April Hansen thanks for your continued support and taking out my garbage!  Guy friends and fellow Portland Executives Association members, Dick Hartung (LCL Homes) and Casey Phillips (Phillips Electronics,) and Fred Graetzer (Standard Appliance): thanks for helping with my house this week.  When it rains it pours and the house needs fixing all of a sudden. Thank you to Shelley Cooper (Xenium Resources,) Patti Henry (Salon Shabumi) and the women of the Portland Executives Association who hosted a CABI clothing party in my honor and donated 50% of the commission to my medical fund.  You are really the best!


2 thoughts on “Week 12 – Medical Update”

  1. Hi. Me again! As I mentioned, you and I are practically running a parallel chemo course. However, I had my bilateral surgery before chemo. It was a breeze compared to chemo. I cannot take narcotics or strong painkillers so I recovered on ibuprofen only. It was fine. I had reconstruction at the same time. The most annoying things were the drains. I had four. I was an octopus. Seriously, that part was so manageable.

    1. Awesome!! I’m so happy to hear that the worst part of the surgery was being an octopus. I just did a shoot with one painted on me. I can’t take the narcotics or strong painkillers either and I have fibromyalgia but it’s mostly controlled. I’ve been so afraid of the surgery. This makes me feel much more hopefully. I have another friend and her experience was very painful so I’ll put the two of you together and take the average of manageable. Hopefully. I can do the next 4.5 weeks of chemo I know. Not fun but I can do it and see an end in sight. Was more worried about the next step of surgery. Thanks for sharing Melissa!

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