June 12, 2000 - Reactions to Chemo
Today was chemo day - first treatment with Taxol. Taxol has many more potential allergic reactions than Cytoxan and Adriamycin, so there is more pre-medication. The aperitif consisted of 5 Decadron pills at bedtime and 5 Decadron pills with breakfast, a Zofran pill before treatment, a Decadron infusion before treatment, a Tagamet infusion before treatment and a Benedryl infusion before treatment!
Allergic reactions usually start in the first fifteen minutes, so the drip rate is VERY slow at first. First 50, then 100, then 200, then 400! Reactions can range from tight chest and shortness of breath to severe backpain to headache to extreme anxiety. Hearing about all that IS enough to make one severely anxious! I find they've told me so much more about Taxol that it adds to the apprehension. This is one area where knowing a lot up front can be detrimental to a positive mindset. My blood pressure was much higher than normal!!
The room as always was frigid, but I came prepared with cozy cap for bald head, snuggly Polar-tec ankle slippers for feet and my Pashmina shawl to keep my arms and chest warm - the hot coffee helped, too.
PTL! So far so good. None of the allergic reactions - and it took two hours less than they told me it would! I was very glad to leave! Roy was with me (at least he was in the waiting room). I was very thankful to have him to drive me home as the Benedryl made me very sleepy.
The next set of reactions could come in a couple of days - tingling in the toes and fingers, moderate to severe muscle and bone pain, possible fever. I am praying that I'll not have these either.
I head up to York PA again on Wednesday. We have our house on the market (no nibbles yet) and I need to keep cleaning it out. Our recently married daughter, Jill, also has a house with very little furniture in it, so we're shipping the bulk of what we have in York to her. We'll keep one bedroom and the upstairs family room which has built for it furniture. Home to Orlando again on the 21st.
Thanks again for being so faithful. You are one of the richest joys in my life!
Return to the top of this email.
Return to the previous email.
Go to the next email.
Go to the list of emails.