... Living on chemo will change your life ... A few simple solutions will help keep life more normal and less stressed...

2012-2013 Journey Begins...
2014 ER, ER...
2015 Heart Dilemma..
2016 Make Some Changes...
2017 Chasing Cancer...

My Chemotheropy Time Line

2016 Makeing Some Changes

I'm off the Xeloda and on Taxol infusion every week.

Week 3 I got a cute hair cut from Elaine. I told her to cut it as short as she wanted to. In a few days It will be gone. Sure enough it's falling out in clumps. Because it's very short it not quite so menacing. Haven't had to shaved in days and need to get a new eyebrow pencil soon. I have all the common issues from Taxol.

  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration
  • hair loss
  • nausea or vomiting
  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • pain in the joints or muscles, especially in the arms or legs
I rest regularly. Another common side effect of Taxol is Neutropenia a low white blood cell count, which decreases your immune system to fights off diseases and viruses. Mine is very low around 2.8. So I'm staying away from crowds as much as possible and washing my hands often. I'm back on my bananas smoothies and Burrberry tea. Eating more cooked foods to limit bacteria intake.

Now if only....... Someone had a sure cure.

Well it’s time for an update. This year is my 5th year in …on chemo. Like usual, the winter did me in. The exloda chemotherapy was no longer working. Just like so much of one’s life,  the boredom of redundancy sets in. We must engage in a new challenge to achieve solutions for new issues. The cancer has spread down the back around the left side into the lymph nodes and groin. The best way to describe the pain, is as if it were a very harsh period or maybe as if your hips are about to detach… maybe.

We started a treatment of three months of weekly Taxol.  I had some issues with my infusions in the beginning. I was receiving premeds Infusions: Decadron, Benadryl, and Zantac with  Taxol, which is protocol. I reviewed the premed side effects and realized that if  I could eliminate the premeds, maybe I would feel less like I’m knocking at deaths door.  The heart was on its way out.

Along with a slightly damaged heart, I have Arrhythmia: abnormal rhythm of the heart . Not sure how long I’ve had it, but it’s extremely noticeable, concerning, and more frequent. After a review of Taxol and all the premed’s side effects, which all  noted abnormal heart beat and/or breathing difficulty, my oncology team weaned me off the premeds. Slowly, my breathing grew better. Anxiety and heart palpitations reduced, and I no longer felt like I was about to pop like a balloon. All I had to endure was the Taxol side effects, which have some of the same side effects, just not so intense.

At the end of three months, my pet scans showed a reduction of all the hot spots. This was really good. It was working at the moment.
I’m still on Taxol and Herceptin (NO PREMEDS) every other week and Zometa (bone medication) once every three months as a maintenance. So far I’m doing pretty good. I have bad days and good days that make up for the bad days.

Herceptin usually damages my heart. A good heart working percent will average of 60% to 80%. It’s like how a car’s engine runs on 6 to 8 cylinders’ efficiently up a hill. If your heart is working on 30% to 50% like 3 to 5 cylinders’  you may need a push or pull up that hill. I regularly receive about 3 to 4 treatments of Herceptin, then I get an evaluation from an echo test.  I fail regularly at a 35 to 45% heart function. They then take me off the Herceptin for a month or until I can get it up to at least 50%. 

This was a first, I have surprisingly passed my last echo test at 50%, which is low, but enough to where I can continue on the Herceptin. Gee, I wonder if NO PREMEDS had anything to do with it?

I’m in therapy on areas where the radiation has scar tissue build up. It is helping so much. I wish I was in therapy immediately following the radiation as to have reduced, or perhaps eliminated the scar tissue build up entirely.

Last week of July 2016-Overdosed

All seemed to be going quite well. Then I  had a bad week following an infusion of Herceptin and Taxol. I thought I maybe fighting some kind of a virus for the two weeks prior. It was tough to shake off. But when I left the infusion room I could hardly walk. I even stumbled and hit the wall in the hall. I couldn’t wait to get home. When I got home and changed into something more comfortable I noticed that my bra was soaked in blood from my port. This was very odd. I have never had this happen in all of years receiving chemo.

I felt strong pains in my right side consistent with pains a few years back when they almost removed my gallbladder. I could hardly breath. Every breath shot pain though and through. I finally called the oncology center. They told me to go to the emergency room. I replied “No way, they will spend hours running test and at the end of the day they will ask if I knew I had cancer. I will reply yes I explained that when I got here. Then they will say we cannot do anything for you. You need to go to your oncologist.” She laughed and said “if it gets worse go anyways. In the meantime I will get further instructions from the doctor”.

I reviewed my blood work and found most of my numbers on the low side which indicated anemia. Also my marker number was a little high which indicated the cancer is growing . I upped all my B vitamins and immune remedies like my peppermint tea, and Orgain drinks. I went heavy on the liquids and fruits and backed off of all breads, cheese and meats. I was starting to feel a little better. News came the next day from the Dr.’s office: Take some Aleave and if that doesn’t work call back in a two days. Dr. has mentioned on several occasions how well it works for him. I followed his instructions and I was relieved of the pain. I may not be cured but I am functioning much better. So what happen? All was going so well. I found out later that I was overdosed which explains everything that happened. The bloody bra and distress probably due to a low heart ejection fraction.  Thank god I had new enough on how to detox myself and I wasn’t on any premeds. Close call. Sure enough I failed my next heart test and was once again taken off the Herceptin. I continued the Taxol biweekly.

I started researching for new developments in bone cancer and found a doctor in the Rochester area. I really like her bio and met with her. I felt very comfortable with her and the new location, so Instead of driving to the east Syracuse I now drive to west to Rochester.

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