Updated: Jun 2, 2019
Hello again! We will pick up our story at the end of my "Red Devil" rollercoaster of death chemotherapy and move into the doldrums of chemotherapy. As my days of Adriamycin/Cytoxan (or a my cancer peeps like to call it A/C) treatments, were coming to a close we find ourselves in mid-November 2018. As long as I can recall, I have played the what if game constantly. What if we are driving somewhere and I have to go to the bathroom but there are no bathrooms in sight? What if I get on this plane and have a panic attack and pass out in front of strangers? What if my boss comes to see my lesson for my yearly evaluation and something really weird happens? Ok, well that last one is actually a legit fear:) I know that my thoughts have completely diverged from the topic yet I want my maybe someday grandchild or grandcat to have a clear understanding of me if he/she ever reads this blog. Despite these illogical types of thoughts, I will oddly and willingly put myself in somewhat death-defying positions, at which point I will sign the permission slip and not give my actions a thought. I will zip line, go parasailing, ride a wave runner at 55 mph (don't try that I fell off the back...ouch), ride on a motorcycle over the Sunshine Skyway, jump into the gulf when on a boat and swim to random islands or sand bars, dance like a freak at weddings, shave my head bald twice and other exciting adventures that I either now cannot remember, or they should not be recounted here as my mother could not handle the truth. Trust me, I have a point here...so spontaneous idiocy is completely fine, but anything that you tell me about in advance will be overthought, overGoogled, and I will become overwrought! I had been home at this point for approximately 3 and a half months with not much else but my thoughts, the best husband in the world (BHITW), my cats and my computer. (Just a reminder that before this time I had NEVER sat home for this long possibly since I was an infant). A/C chemo was clearly no picnic and now I was facing down 12 weeks of a different type of chemotherapy. Taxol was the unknown for me, and after the first 8 weeks of fun, I was terrified. I had Googled every possible side effect of Taxol and was sure that every day would be misery. The Taxol treatment would be given once weekly for 12 weeks and would take approximately 90 minutes for the infusion. It would be a low dose treatment as opposed to the AC treatment I had received, so no more shots in the stomach and I did not need the Neulasta! Phew! But, we would be adding a Benadryl and a steroid before treatment in case I went into anaphylactic shock during my infusion. UGH! So, I was thinking the worst, but after my first treatment I was absolutely fine, second one fine, third one fine and so forth. I was so fine that (shhhh don't tell my boss) that I could have been working. Being home when I was feeling awful was one thing, but this was a special type of boring hell. At about the 5th week of Taxol I was starting to have an odd tingly in my toes and by treatment 8 I could no longer feel my feet and when I did, they were in extreme pain. I had of course read the side effects of Taxol and I knew that peripheral neuropathy was possible and with me obviously, probable. At this point, I would not wear shoes so the BHITW bought me a pair of slides that I fashionably wore with socks to my appointments. After many discussions with the oncologist, we decided I would prefer to be able to walk and wear shoes in the future, so after 8 Taxol we decided to discontinue the chemotherapy. Next stop surgery...a 4 week wait to let my immune system build back up, surgery was scheduled for February 6th, 2019. Four weeks was a perfect period of time for me to overthink, overGoogle and trust me I became somewhat overwrought! Also of note someone should come up with a setting to block all medical Googling. To be continued!